The postpartum time is a time of learning how to care for this tiny human you created and dealing with his or her needs; however, it is also a time of great physical and emotional healing for YOU!  Often as new moms we put all our needs, wants, dreams, and goals on the back burner and get ready to settle into our “mommy role”, but in reality we need to take care of ourselves first so that we can function at full capacity and be the best mommies we can be!

​I have been helping busy mamas for close to 3 years now, and I today I am sharing my Top 6 Tips for Postpartum Health and Fitness.   I encourage you to give these tips a try to help you get into a healthy routine postpartum!   

*** Always allow your body the time it needs to heal after having a baby and ensure that you have been given the “OK” by your Health Care Professional before starting any exercise routine.***

1.  Get Yourself In The Right Mindset

Number one step for my clients is always to create a list of goals, if you don’t have a goal(s) to work towards you are 10X more likely to quit on yourself. Make a list of small and big goals, and give yourself time frames ranging between days and years. Do not make all your goals physical either. Health is about mind body and spirit!

LET’S GET REAL! Your kids are not an excuse not to make health food and workout.  You may have to workout with a crying baby in the swing next to you, and a crazy 4 year old running in circles around you (or between your legs).  If this is how you have to do it, then this is your reality and that’s OK! 

IT WON’T ALWAYS BE PERFECT! You may have to stop to change a poopy diaper or get someone a snack.  You just have to do the best that you can each day, and not use these things as an excuse to give up.

2.  There is no QUICK FIX!

There’s no magical way to take off “baby weight”, so please, I beg you, do not even start looking for one.  

Healthy eating habits and daily physical activity ​is what you need!

Remember a new mom’s body needs certain nutrients to keep her and her child healthy.  So step away from the scary fat sucking pill, and the device that squishes your organs around (because you may want another baby someday ha-ha)!  But seriously ladies, get ready to DO THE WORK in the kitchen and with your workouts… it’s the only sure way to get safe results and keep them long term. 

3.  Plan & Prep Your Food

Also knows as “Meal Prep” – planning and preparation is so important! You cannot leave eating healthy to chance and circumstance!

My first suggestion: Get all the junk food out of the house – ​especially your trigger foods!

​Do not feel “bad” about trying to get your nutrition on track.  Personally, I don’t care about stuff like ice cream or chips so I’m not tempted by them at all, but Oreo Cookies are another story!  So don’t play with fire!  Next, if you have family members who eats that stuff, simply ask them to support you and help you stay on track by refraining from purchasing those items for the next little while until you get into a good routine yourself. 

Just about everyone who’s serious about nutrition does some form of meal planning/prep each week. That’s where you cook (or prepare to cook) a few things in advance so they’re ready during the week when you’re the busiest. I personally prep all of my meals at the beginning of the week (Sunday or Monday), so I can get the grunt work out of the way. Then when I’m strapped for time during the week, half of the work it is already done.

Pro Tip: Remember, most of your results come from your nutrition! If you would like help with this, please feel free to connect with me – I am kind of a meal prep geek!​​

4. Drink Water!

This one may seem silly, but you wouldn’t believe the amount of people who do not drink nearly enough water every day. Staying hydrated is super important both during your workouts and throughout the day. While you don’t need to drink gallons upon gallons of water, you do need to make sure you are getting enough, Coffee & Tea DO NOT count as water intake (sorry ladies); as well, what you drink during your workout does not count towards your daily intake as you are basically just replenishing what you are sweating out.

Drinking water helps with:

  • feeling more energetic
  • healthy skin
  • energizing your muscles
  • metabolizing food
  • fighting infection
  • burning fat

– Drinking 1 glass of water when waking helps activate your organs
– ​Drinking 1 glass of water 30 minutes before eating helps digestion

Believe it or not, there is actually no exact amount of water you should drink – it depends on your body type, the amount of exercise you get, what you eat, etc.  You do get 20% of the water your body needs daily from fruits and veggies you eat, but the rough guideline is your body weight divided by 2 and that will give you the ounces.  If you’re bored of plain water throw some lemons or limes in there to change it up!  Drink up!

5.  Find Physical Activity That WORKS FOR YOU!

Of course you always want to check with your health care practitioner before starting any new physical activity at this stage in the game especially after having a baby.  Make sure you are cleared of any concerns, and if there are any lingering issues you can address them accordingly at the time (For example: pelvic floor or Diastasis recti issues).

When you start, make sure you start with something you like.  Sure down the road I always try to push my clients to try new programs or a different style of workout, BUT that’s later on.  Right now, you just need to find something that you will actually do every day and not hate every single minute of it.  So if the thought of cardio makes you want to cry, don’t try to take up running 6 weeks postpartum because chances are you will find an excuse to quit.

I also suggest trying to do something in or close to the house for the time being, because getting out to a gym can seem daunting to a new mom. ​

Am I emotionally ready to leave the baby for that long?
Can I physically leave the baby for that long (if nursing)?
​Do I have time to drive there, change, workout, change again, drive home?

The most important thing right now is to find something you like, that takes 30 min max a day, and that will make YOU feel good after you do it. I 

6.  Get Yourself Some Accountability

Everything we discussed above is pretty straightforward, but the reason it can seem so hard to do is because most people are missing a crucial part of the equation, ACCOUNTABILITY!

Having an accountability person or group gives you that extra ‘oomph’ of encouragement to get your workouts in, inspiration for new meal ideas so you actually do your meal prep every week, and motivation to keep making yourself a priority every single day. 

No matter how excited you start off, eventually you’re going to have a day (or a week, or a month) where you’re motivation wanes and your excuses win out.  Real-life mental obstacles we all struggle against, like sleepless nights, comfort foods, stressful schedules, and blah moods.  

That’s where accountability partners/groups can swoop in and save the day. 

Accountability is an integral part of what I do and it is the key to continuing your Postpartum Health & Fitness journey and then making it into a lifelong commitment!

Remember, a happy healthy mama makes for a happy healthy baby… and family.

*** Always allow your body the time it needs to heal after having a baby and ensure that you have been given the “OK” by your Health Care Professional before starting any exercise routine.***

Ana is a mom of two children, her son Santiago (4) & daughter Valentina (6 months). After battling postpartum depression for the first 15 months of her son’s life, she realized what an impact taking control of her own health and fitness made and wanted to share her experience and support other mamas on their postpartum journeys.

Ana has been a Fitness & Nutrition Coach now for 2-1/2 years, and is passionate about helping other mamas realize their own God-given potential and find the courage to finally peruse it.  She works with the mindset that you cannot inspire someone to truly take action and change with words alone… you have to first be willing to take action yourself and reach outside your comfort level to prove to them that it can be done!  Her online support groups (aka Accountability Groups) inspire everyone to be in a constant state of growth no matter what your fitness level is or where you are on your journey to overall better health.