Postpartum Fitness: Six Months In

Wow. I had a baby six months ago. This has been simultaneously the longest and shortest six month period of my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I figured now would be a good time to check in on the whole postpartum fitness thing, since it’s been half a year (!!!). When last we left it, I was determined to do my best and not put too much pressure on myself to “bounce back” and lose the baby weight. I started pretty strongly back in the fall, running distances up to four miles and generally feeling pretty good. But then between illness, sleep deprivation, and an early-onset winter, I fell off the bandwagon.

The good news is, even though exercise hasn’t really been happening, I’m already within five pounds of my pre-baby weight. The bad news is, my body composition is still very far away from where I’d like it to be. My endurance is shot and I’m nowhere near as strong as I was before I got pregnant. Taking nine months off of exercise and growing a human will do that to you.

Now that sleep is back on the menu (thank you, Ferber method sleep training!) and I have a treadmill literally in my house, I’m hopeful that things will pick up again. I already started my New Year run streak, which I’m excited about, and I’m trying very hard to find consistency with yoga and strength training as well.

As of this writing, Vera is taking 2-3 naps per day that are anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. My goal is to just put on my workout clothes and do whatever I can during her first nap of the day, which tends to be her longest nap. If all I can manage is a 1 mile run, that’s better than nothing. But I think, as her nap schedule evens out and I get my running legs under me again, I’ll be able to hopefully start covering longer distances and getting my speed back.

My main fitness goal at this point is to simply feel more like myself. I currently feel like a bit of a stranger in my own body, and I miss feeling strong and confident. Also, we are still planning to have at least one more baby, and I’d like to be as fit as possible before putting my body through another pregnancy. I fully attribute my healthy pregnancy and uncomplicated delivery to how fit I was before I got pregnant with Vera, and while I know it’s no guarantee that next time will be the same, I’d like to at least give myself and the next baby the same head start.

Mamas, what was your favorite form of exercise after your little ones arrived?

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16 thoughts on “Postpartum Fitness: Six Months In

  1. txa1265 says:

    Yay for napping! Ferber-izing is not easy, but is definitely effective … or at least it was for us (and you!).

    Getting back in some sort of shape between babies is definitely a good idea – I know for my wife, who had a very traumatic second c-section, the doctors said that being in good shape was a very positive factor for her.

    Plus like you say, it makes you feel ‘more like you’ during a time when you feel – well, it is perfect how you described it as ‘a stranger in your own body’. Good luck!

    • Rae says:

      Thanks, Mike! So far, so good. I’m very lucky to have a treadmill at home, because it has been a very cold, snowy winter, and we live in the middle of nowhere!

  2. Amy says:

    Huzzah for Ferber! Worked for us, too. And we’ve gone back a few times when Mr. Toddler has had sleep troubles.

    Running was definitely my go to after baby #1 and looks like baby #2, also. I am totally stronger now than before I had kiddos…I never did much strength training before, and now I can lug around a nearly 16lb baby in a bucket seat and a 35lb toddler. At the same time! Haha But even given my new muscles, I still have a ways to go to get to where I want to be.

    • Rae says:

      I know what you mean-my arms are usually sore at the end of the day because Vera loves to “fly” and be tossed in the air. It’s a workout!

  3. Erin Ablett Wellness says:

    So pleased to hear you have such a good mindset of getting in what you can and not being too hard on yourself! It definitely sounds like you’re on the road to success.

    Thank you for sharing your journey, too. I’m studying post-natal fitness coaching at the moment as an additional Personal Training module so it’s really interesting to hear things from the mother’s point of view. I guess a lack of consistent sleep and time will be the main factors to consider but again, you’ve 100% got the right mindset. Best of luck to you x

    • Rae says:

      Thank you! For me, lack of sleep was definitely the limiting factor in what I could do for quite a while. I just didn’t have the energy to work out because I was so exhausted.

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