Saturday, 3 January 2015

2.5 Weeks Postpartum

The past 17 days have gone by so quickly, and yet I've been soaking in every single second I've had with little Zoey. She has already grown so much (1lb and 7oz at her 2-week checkup!) thanks to her immense appetite and natural breastfeeding abilities. She has been such a wonderfully easy little baby, and that easiness paired with our more laid-back second-time-parent attitude has made the adjustment to having a second little one around that much less, shall we say, alarming ;)

Baby's first bath - she really liked it.
Very happy after eating.... AGAIN!

For those of you wondering, the birth went well (and yes, I worked out the day I went into labour!) I had to be induced in the end because my amniotic fluid levels were very low and posed a risk to Zoey if she stayed in there much longer. I opted for the epidural, which I have ZERO regrets about. Seriously, you women who do this naturally are Ah-May-ZING! We had no complications aside from the fluid levels though, and everything about my recovery has been going perfectly.

I had asked my OB at one of my last prenatal checkups if I would have to wait the full 6 weeks to go back to exercising, and she said that since I was a reliable patient who was already very fit that I could go ahead and start doing LIGHT workouts when I felt I was ready; this week, I felt ready.

I went into the gym on Wednesday for what I'm going to call a "Body Check-In". It wasn't a workout. Not even close. I took my body through a series of movements and took notes on how I felt in response to each of these movements. Here is what I did and what I learned:

Exercise   Notes   Prescription
Bodyweight Squats   Shins and abductors weak - leaning too far into my toes.   Work on glute activation

Felt good!

Posture analysis
Shoulders rounding forward
  Strengthen upper back and stretch chest
Single Leg Lifts  
Not ready for those! Lower abs way too sore still!
  Pelvic Tilts, Diaphragmic breathing, and Vaccuums


Oblique Twists

Lat Pulldowns


Single-Leg Squats  
Left side not stabilizing well. Not ready for these yet.
  Strengthen core and stretch hip flexors

Single-Arm Rows
Right lat tight.
Stretch lats and shoulders

Light Deadlifts
Low back tired quickly
Strengthen low back

In addition to how I feel, I can also see some areas where the pregnancy took its toll - namely on my glutes, which are smaller and softer than they were 9 months ago.  I'm not surprised at all at any of the weaknesses and imbalances I'm experiencing as they all correlate directly to pregnancy and breastfeeding. I have found that the areas most affected by pregnancy and the first few weeks postpartum to be:

-Upper back --> Shoulders are rounded forward during pregnancy to compensate for large weight being carried at the front of the body. Also due to excessive rounding during the many hours spent breastfeeding.
-Lower back --> Becomes overly arched during pregnancy because of extra weight in front
-Glutes --> Hip flexors tighten and glutes become lazy from the demands of carrying extra weight in front; diminished lower-body training during pregnancy, and diminished use during those hours of breastfeeding.
-Core/Abs --> Basically just from being stretched out for 9 months ;)

Today I went for my first actual workout, but kept it very very light and took many many breaks (I had to... my stamina is not what it used to be!).
First workout back and feeling GREAT!
I have no cardio in my program for the foreseeable future as I'm still taking my daily walks, and I don't want to lose weight too quickly for fear of interfering with my milk supply. For the next few weeks I'll do a "Foundational" style program, going back to basic movements that'll work on the areas I've highlighted above. Some examples of the exercises I'll be incorporating are:

-Pelvic Tilts on floor
-Glute Bridges
-Cable Rear Delt Flyes
-Wall Sits
-Balance work
-Lots of stretching!

Finally, here is a comparison pic of me at 1 week postpartum with Jayden, and 2.5 weeks with Zoey (and Jayden):

I weigh 127lbs in both pics, but because I managed to maintain much more of my muscle with this pregnancy I actually look BETTER this time around (despite the fact that I'm still 6lbs over my starting weight, as opposed to 2lbs under my start weight in the first pic!). Just another reminder to not get too caught up in the numbers - go by how you feel, and how you look.

Yours in health and maternity,

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