I LOVE working out, and I especially loved it during my most recent pregnancy. Something about focusing on my health while growing my new babe was incredibly empowering. What about you? Did you feel energized and ready to work out during pregnancy?
Now that I'm postpartum, I'm biding my time until I can return to working out. The first few weeks post-pregnancy are a sacred time of rest, so I know I must take this just as seriously as any other period of time.
But what happens when I get the green light? Do I just jump back in... full steam ahead?
Nope, I'm going to be incredibly careful to make sure that each exercise I do is actually safe for my new postpartum body, and that it's helping build me up- not causing more distress.
Enter: Glowbody PT. This episode features a mama and former World Champion athlete, Ashley Keller. She has created both pregnancy and post-pregnancy workout plans, and she knows the ins-and outs of both intensity and safety when it comes to the fresh new mom-bod.
Ashley is an army spouse and mother of 3 young children. Before babies, she was a professional tri-athlete for Team USA, and won a World Championship for Half Iron Man. She then served in the Army and became a mom. She realized she needed short, efficient workouts for herself, so she decided to share what she was doing for her prenatal workouts on YouTube- GlowBody PT was born.
Ashley has not created your average run-of-the-mill pregnancy routines. No, no, my friends. These workouts are a beautiful marriage of both intensity and safety for pregnancy and post-pregnancy.
Ashley discusses the breakdown of her pregnancy workout plan, which is divided into trimesters.
During the first trimester, Ashley discusses the importance of maintaining consistency with whatever types of workouts you were doing before. If you weren't working out much, now is not the time to begin something rigorous. However if you were working out, continue in the same way. The caveat: bring your maximum workout level from a 10 to a 6 or a 7.
She mentions that there are several things mothers should avoid during the first trimester: overheating and breathlessness (due to change in hormones).
The first trimester is a great time to try to get the abs and back very strong, as their strength and stability through pregnancy is key.
The second trimester is a great time to begin lifting weights, even if you were not lifting weights before pregnancy.
Ashley gives great explanation as to how helpful squats are for avoiding the "soggy bag" pelvic floor.
It's incredibly important to remember that the body is creating a hormone called relaxin, which increases greatly during the third trimester. This makes the joints and body as a whole hyper-mobile, so it is very important to be careful while working out, especially with yoga. Ashley recommends doing prenatal yoga only once or twice per week.
Her pregnancy plan ends at 32 weeks... why? Not because you cannot continue to work out past this time, but because she wants each individual mom to listen to their bodies rather than feeling like they must do a specific workout. She recommends doing workouts from the second and third trimester if you feel good continuing to work out. She reminds mothers to listen to their bodies, as it will tell you when to stop!
Ashley has had 3 vaginal births in the hospital on base with midwifery care. She appreciates the intimacy of the midwifery practice, and the way that the hospital allows her to labor how she wants. She has found that giving birth on all 4’s, either on the bed or on the floor, is best for opening her pelvis and allowing baby to engage. She says her most recent baby practically “fell out” as she leaned against the bed. Nurses had to rush over to catch the baby.
As we delve into postpartum, Ashley's big piece of advice for the first few weeks is toREST HARD. While it is not time to begin working out, this is a great time to begin doing long kegels (specific description in episode).
Beginning to Work Out Postpartum:
After receiving the "go ahead" from your medical provider, it's important to make sure that you are also checking your body's signals. Are you still bleeding? This means you're not actually ready. Are you still sore? If you had a Cesarean section, is your incision oozing? This would also mean that you're not ready. Just like at the end of pregnancy, it's important to listen to your body's cues during the postpartum phase.
“We need to retrain our body because it’s gotten a little wonky." Ashley discusses how it's important that we are not only gaining strength, but rebuilding the very foundations of our body. It's been stretched and relaxed, and we must be very careful as we begin to rebuild.
The benefits of Ashley's 12 Week Post-Pregnancy Plan:
- It's Diastasis Recti Healing/Safe
- Saves Time (20-30 minute workouts, 4x/week)
- Does the Brain Work for You- Just click on the video and Ashley works out with you!
Happy Homebirth listeners receive a promo code (for being the greatest listeners in the world)!
No matter how far postpartum you are, you can close that diastasis recti gap with Ashley’s 12 week post-pregnancy plan!
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