As a physical therapist and pilates instructor who works with women during and after their pregnancy I had created my own idea of what I thought my journey would look like. Well… I learned quickly that things change and patience is the best thing we can give our bodies, babies, and overall well being.
My pregnancy was for the most part very easy from the beginning. I did not have morning sickness or many abnormal aches and pains. My goal was to remain active, but be attentive to my body and do what felt best. I ran until 20 weeks pregnant, skied a few times (gently and only sunny days), and continued strength training, pilates, and yoga throughout the entire pregnancy.
My labor and delivery was more than a little different than I thought it would be, not to mention giving birth during the COVID pandemic. I had a plan that was flexible and my health and the baby’s health were the most important. In the end, I ended up with an induction, 30 hours of labor, and a C-section. As a result of the epidural my first 3 weeks I struggled with leg swelling and foot drop on one side (I could not lift up my ankle and toes), which steadily got better with time.
Navigating life with a newborn baby as a first time mom, with constantly changing schedules, feeding, sleeping, and prioritizing basic day to day tasks was a learning process. Not knowing what to expect, I envisioned easy workouts at baby nap time, and waking up earlier than they did. Again… I was wrong.
I recall talking to patients and clients after they had babies, and when they would tell me that it was hard to find time, I would think to myself and ask them, “can you find even 5-10 minutes?”. I now have a whole new appreciation and understanding. I also want to soak up each moment with my baby as she grows and learns, that my priorities have shifted.
As I write this blog I am 15 weeks post partum and steadily feeling more comfortable with my new life. My baby is thriving, although not the best day time napper, but she is full of smiles and energy. When putting together my initial post natal classes for Dynamic Pilates TV, I structured them in ways that you can pick and choose what you want to do and have time for. Focusing this first class on foundational movements and things that you can incorporate into your day to day movements with baby. Maybe you even do some of the exercises as you play with your new bundle of joy.
I have created these classes based upon what I have done and what I would teach patients and clients. You may be able to progress faster or slower based upon your own personal journey. My overall message always is that our bodies were in constant change for 9 months, we cannot and should not expect them to be back to where they were in 8 weeks. I know I will and you will too, get back to the activities that we love, but day to day time with our growing babies goes by really fast. I have chosen to take my time, knowing that soon, I will have a running partner in the stroller and built in resistance to add to my squats and bicep curls.
Be kind to yourself!