Saturday, April 28, 2012

Body After Baby

This coming Thursday, my precious little sweet will be four months old—I gave birth to a child four months ago. This fact continues to blow my mind on multiple levels. 1) That I actually did it, and 2) that it's already been four months. Gah! Time flies, evident by the box full of clothing that is already too small for Hannah. Please stop growing, little girl. Please.

As I look back on all that my body has been through, I have to say that pregnancy is an amazing process. An extremely hard, yet amazing process. The female body is a brilliant thing, really. To be able to grow another human? What! Fascinating. My pregnancy was wonderful, my recovery...annoying. I tell people that I prefer labor and delivery over recovery. It's true. Labor is manageable, full of excitement and anticipation. Delivery presents your child, the one you already love more than you ever thought you could. Recovery is annoying and just plain painful. At least it was for me.
They say, "'ll be sore." 
I was. I'll spare you the details, but I was.

They say, "'ll have to take it easy for a while."
I did. But mentally, I wanted to do more. 

It was hard not to.
But I really, physically could not do more.

And then you start to feel better. 
And then you don't feel better.

But what you're feeling really doesn't matter because you've got your little bundle of joy. So all of that, that's what I wish they would have told me during our birthing classes. But life continues once you come home, despite of what you've been through. And it continues to change by the minute, amazing you more and more by the second. Until one day, you've got the whole mothering thing down. And you feel like yourself again.

Well, mostly like yourself.

If you're breastfeeding, as I am, recovery...rather, your weight loss is hindered by your body's need to produce food for another. No, it doesn't make you lose weight fast. It helps, but it's not a quick fixer-upper. You have to work really hard to shed that baby weight. But, don't forget, nine months on and nine months off. So they say. That's why prenatal fitness and health care are important.

But that's another post entirely.

What I'm here right now telling you is that at some point you'll be ready to work hard again. And I know you'll want to focus on that core, specifically. But until then, take it easy and enjoy your new bundle of joy. Meet with your doctor at your six-week checkup, then proceed as he/she tells you.

That was about 15 weeks ago for me.
Here's my core today (yeah, stomach in your face):

No stretch marks, and definitely not as toned. Still about 7 pounds up from my pre-pregnancy weight. Give or take, of course, depending on diet and water.

(Note: If you're pregnant, get some Cocoa Butter. I swear that's part of the reason why I don't have stretch marks. That and my over consumption of water while pregnant.)

Here's what I looked like before I got pregnant:

Just a bit tighter, taken in January and I got pregnant in April. So, well over a year ago at this point. I might not ever look like that again, but I'm happy with my body right now. How could I not be?! It grew my daughter for me!

But I have been hitting the core pretty hard lately. Because 1) core strength is important, 2) it's fun tow work, 3) and I wouldn't be a human woman if I didn't want my stomach to be toned. So I brought an oldie-but-goodie to Circuit Sculpt on Monday and it seriously made me sore! Scissor kicks:
Source: Oxygen

Give them a try. I felt it particularly low in my abdominals. See if you feel it there, too. Just be sure to keep that low back pressed into the ground as shown above. You don't want it creeping up into an arch. That's stress on the spine you don't need.

With that, I'm off to play with my sweet precious little bean of a girly girl. God, I love her.

Question: What's your favorite abdominal exercise? And if you've ever had a child, tell me one thing about pregnancy and childbirth that surprised you the most.


Michelle said...

I am totally jealous of your pre- and post-baby stomach!  Based on your recommendation I bought cocoa butter to rub on my belly for the next few months.  ;)

adailydoseoffit said...

Doesn't it smell so good? It reminds me of the beach. And chocolate. I bought the Palmer's brand. Still using it! Hope it works for you. Make sure you're drinking tons of water, too. Tell me...when are you due? I can't remember. Or maybe I never knew.

Michelle said...

I'm due in September.  I haven't been drinking a lot of water - that's always been one of my downfalls.  I'll have to up the amount I'm drinking.  I'll just pretend it's wine...

Mo said...

I am 30 weeks pregnant now, and wondering if I will ever have a flat tummy again. ;-). Good tips and I will keep this in mind as I recover. I've never taken 6 weeks off exercise and I know I will be antsy to get back at it.

adailydoseoffit said...

Congrats! The end is near! If you've been active throughout your pregnancy, it'll be easier for you to get back into your groove postpartum. Don't worry about the six weeks of'll be totally consumed by your little one! And, depending on your labor and delivery, you might even be able to get in some walking. Don't rush it though, and listen to your body. Trust me, it'll tell you if you're doing too much.
Thanks for commenting/reading! Keep me posted on Baby's arrival!

Mandy Nester said...

I'm telling you, lady, we are kindred spirits! I had my baby in January 2012 and I got rid of all my weight pretty well. I'm not as toned in the middle as you, so something to work on! I swear by cocoa butter, too. I drink a lot of water, and no stretch marks for me either. That beach picture reminds me of Destin, Florida. The thing that surprised me most was how I ached in my groin. I carried my son WAY low and by the end of my pregnancy, I was so sore. That lasted for nearly a year after he was born. Thankfully, I have no trouble now!

adailydoseoffit said...

Thanks for reading, Mandy! Love hearing from moms that had similar experiences! I still use cocoa's like a beach in a bottle! Ha! Hope your son is doing well!

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