I think women feel so much pressure to return back to "normal" postpartum. I see and speak to women all the time who rush back into exercise in hopes of "getting their body back", but it actually ends up doing more harm than good!
Pregnancy has such a physical toll on the body (let's not even get into the emotional and mental toll it has). For 9 months your body expands, organs shift, ligaments and joints loosen, hormones run wild, blood volume increases, muscles weaken, etc. It's the greatest miracle and the most amazing thing to experience, but IT'S A LOT! A heck of a lot, actually. Add the labour and delivery recovery on top of that, and the 6 week recovery time makes sense!
I think it's easy to forget everything your body is going through as it recovers postpartum, especially when you start feeling better. I am 3.5 weeks postpartum today, and since I now no longer feel the aches, tenderness, soreness, and pain from delivery, I am really tempted to start working out again. While I maybe externally feel ready to start, I know there is SO much going on with my body internally still. It's important to me to respect that and let my body do it's thing first. By taking this time to rest and TOTALLY recover, I am actually helping my body out MORE than if I jumped back into exercise again.
WHAT I AM DOING
While I am refraining from "proper" exercise, I am going on walks every morning with Piper and Jack to get in some movement and fresh air. I'm mainly doing it for my sanity and to help me feel a little more like myself, but walking is also incredibly beneficial for the pelvic floor! I honestly believe walking is the "superfood" of fitness, and it is something I strongly, strongly recommend for pregnant women!
The only other thing I am doing is some pelvic floor recovering exercises. These are very slow, low impact movements that work WITH your body to help everything function properly. Pelvic floor exercises help restore the core, heal diastasic recti, prevent incontinence, and reduce lower back and hip pain. I believe pelvic floor strengthening is THE most important thing you can do during pregnancy, and postpartum (when you are ready, of course). I personally started these type of recovery movements at 10 days postpartum. I have posted the pelvic floor exercises I am doing HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Other than walking and pelvic floor strengthening movements, I am not doing anything else. Just lots of rest, rest, rest. Again, I think it is SO important to let my body totally recover. Our bodies are smart. They know what they are doing. I respect my body and all it has gone through, and I want it to heal in the most effective and smart way.