It seems, especially now in a social media driven day and age, women are keen on returning to their pre-pregnancy weight as soon as possible.
The downside of having information at your fingertips? You also have your friends and family on Facebook telling you how to dress/feed/raise your child and how to get back in shape.
Like, let a momma live?
Thankfully, Brittany Noonan, a trainer and fitness blogger, understands that postpartum women need a little TLC -- and they don't need to jump into CrossFit training as soon as the umbilical cord is cut.
Noonan says the main mistake new mothers make is returning to the gym as soon as they've given birth.
Give your body time to heal and ensure you have had your six week check up before starting any exercise routine. I would recommend listening to your body and staying aware of how it feels – it may take a lot longer than six weeks to be ready to exercise.
(Side note: I don't expect you to be anything like me if you're that excited to go to the gym, but my body is saying "nachos pleeeease" right now -- should I listen or nah?)
Don't push yourself too hard after just giving birth. She says it "will cause so much muscle tension and tightness you won't be able to sit on the toilet, bend down to pick up the baby and will turn you off going back [to the gym]."
After Noonan had her baby, she took 10 weeks off after her caesarean.
(This is embarrassing for me because I took off 1,460 weeks off after my mother's caesarean.)
Before she went back to the gym, Noonan would do pelvis floor workouts at home to help heal her "abdominal separation." She also took her daughter for plenty of walks in her stroller.
Another huge mistake new moms make? Surprise! It's social media.
You cannot, I repeat, CAN... NOT... compare yourself to other people.
Noonan is refreshingly real about the issue:
[D]on't jump on Instagram and start comparing yourself to other 'fit mums' who have a whole lot more time, in most cases money and education around fitness.
The BEST thing you can do before returning to exercise…is to see a women's health physio and have your pelvic floor strength tested, your abdominal separation checked and also a general check up of your joints – particularly those around your pelvis and lower back.
Big noes also include sit-ups and crunches during and after pregnancy -- for up to six months after you've given birth. Noonan also doesn't recommend putting too much pressure on back to "normal" work out routines.
When it comes to postpartum fitness, slow and steady definitely wins the race for long term health.