MY POSTPARTUM WORKOUT GUIDE!!

It feels like a dream to be able to finally share my POSTPARTUM WORKOUT GUIDE!!!!

Wohoooo!!

I began working on it in the summer, so it has been in the works for awhile, and is something I am so passionate about, and so excited to share! Below is some more information about the guide, and one of the workouts so you know what the layout looks like, and what to expect!

WHAT EQUIPMENT DOES IT REQUIRE?

The only equipment it requires is a set of dumbbells, and a stability ball. I highly recommend having both of these in general if you workout from home. They are the same pieces of equipment I use in my Pregnancy Workout Guide, Pregnancy & Postpartum Workout Subscription, and ‘Regular’ Workout Subscription.

HOW LONG DOES EACH WORKOUT TAKE?

The workouts are designed for you to do them from home (although you can also do them at the gym if you’d like), and each take about 30 minutes to complete!

WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?

There are 95 different exercises in this guide, and each has an image showing you exactly how to do it. The workouts are broken down into 3 different phases:

  • PHASE ONE: These are pelvic floor recovery exercises. You can start as soon as you feel up to it after delivery. These are VERY basic moves that target the deep core muscles and help your body recover. These are not full workouts, and should in no way make you sweat. They are designed to begin strengthening up those muscles that take a major hit during pregnancy and delivery.

  • PHASE TWO: These workouts are designed for mothers after they have been cleared to exercise by their doctors. They are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor, create strong connective tissue in the abdominals, help restore the core and prevent incontinence. You should remain in this stage until you no longer experience leaking, have abdominal separation, and other pelvic floor issues.

  • PHASE THREE: These workouts are designed for postpartum mothers who no longer experience leaking while exercising, have abdominal separation less than 1.5 fingers widths apart, whose stomach does not cone while exercising, who do not feel any type of discomfort in the pelvic region while exercising, and who do not have any other physical issues from delivery. They are designed to bridge the gap between “postpartum” workouts and “regular” workouts. They still incorporate pelvic floor exercises, but begin incorporating some higher impact exercises as well.

Aside from the workouts, the guide incorporates information on how to tailor it to YOUR body, and how to choose the right weight for you. It also includes educational information, and what to aware of postpartum - such as abdominal separation, coning, incontinence, diastasis recti, and posture. It includes steps to ensure you are properly connecting the deep core muscles while you exercise, which is crucial during this time. Lastly, it includes information on what to focus on during each phase, how to know when to move onto the next phase, and how I recommend breaking up the workouts each week.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

All of the written information is at the beginning on the guide. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to read through the entire guide before getting started. The information in there is important, and you should be aware of all of it before beginning.

After the educational information are the 3 phases broken down. Each phase contains pages with all of the workouts simply written out. Following that, are the workouts broken down with images to show you exactly how to do each exercise in each particular workout.

Postpartum Guide || goodfortheswole.com

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE POSTPARTUM GUIDE AND THE SUBSCRIPTION?

I, obviously, think both are great options - it just depends on what you’re looking for! As I mentioned, the postpartum guide is broken down into 3 different phases. This is a guide specifically focused on strengthening the body from the inside out. The Postpartum Workout Subscription contains workouts that are all “Phase Two” type of workouts. They are designed only for when you have been cleared to exercise by your doctor, and are for women who struggle with incontinence, abdominal separation, coning while exercising, and need lower impact workouts. You get 5 workouts sent every week with the subscription, so if you feel like you’ll be in Phase Two for awhile, or are not interested in Phase One or Phase Three style of workouts, than I would suggest the Postpartum Workout Subscription instead!

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

As of now, the Postpartum Workout Guide is priced at $40. I am hosting a giveaway pre-launch on February 20th on my Instagram, that will run until February 21st at 10:00pm MST. I am sending TEN people this guide for free. Go enter on my page!!

I AM “X” MONTHS/YEARS POSTPARTUM. CAN I STILL DO IT?

It does not matter how long ago you had a baby. The deep core muscles can always be strengthened, just like any other muscle in your body! Once you are postpartum, you are ALWAYS postpartum, and this is a good way to work from the ground up and properly strengthen the right muscles!

WHAT IF I HAVE PROLAPSE OR A HERNIA?

This guide is obviously not individually tailored. I always recommend seeking the guidance of a pelvic floor physical therapist for very specific issues, such as prolapse and hernias. You should ALWAYS run everything by your doctor first, but in general, Phase One and Phase Two workouts might be good option.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!! All of my sisters (I have 4) are flying into LA this weekend to hang out, and I'm so excited to see them! They're the best. 

It's been one hot minute since I've done a Friday Favourites post, so below are some of my absolute favourite things/products. I use all of them regularly, and want to share in hopes that it's helpful!

Have the best weekend!!!

NUK BOTTLE

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I went through A LOT (emphasis on the "LOT") of different types of bottles when Piper transitioned from using a baby bottle to a sippy cup, or a "toddler bottle", or whatever you want to call them haha. She just wouldn't take any of the big kid bottles/cups I bought for her. She would take a sip and then refuse to touch it again. I didn't know this was common until other mums messaged me on Instagram asking if I found a bottle that worked, because they were struggling with the same issue. Who knew haha. 

I seriously bought and tried about 8-10 bottles before finding these NUK bottlesThey are "learner cups", so they are designed to help transition away from a baby bottle. Piper drank from it immediately, and never looked back! I threw away all of our other ones, and bought 4 more. If you're struggling with this problem too, try out the NUK bottles. I got mine on Amazon, but I've seen them at Target, Buy Buy Baby...and pretty much any baby store!

COMOTOMO BOTTLE

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On the topic of bottles, I've been using Comotomo baby bottles with Jack, and he uses them with no issues at all! I'm still exclusively nursing, but I pump as well, and Jordan has occasionally feeds him my breastmilk if he wakes up while I'm at the store, or at our apartment gym or something. I love these bottles because they are designed to mimic breastfeeding, help avoid nipple confusion (Jack has done just fine switching between the two), reduce excess air-intake (which reduces colic), and they are 100% silicone. I'm a fan! I have two 5 ounce bottles, but they also have 8 ounces bottles as well!

SENITA ATHLETICS NURSING BRA

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Okay, I know I've talked about these a few times on Instagram already, but if you are a nursing mama and are looking for a GOOD nursing sports bra - I cannot recommend Senita Athletics nursing bras enough! Seriously. GET.ON.IT! They are cute, supportive, comfy, and the clip is so easy to clip on and off. I have the blush, and stripped one, but they have a couple of other styles too, along with nursing tops to pull over your bra, or workout in. I honestly can't say enough good things about them.

**I recommend ordering a size up from your regular non-nursing size! I am pretty small chested in general, so if you "grow" a lot while nursing, or are bigger chested, maybe even go up 2 sizes.

BLOOMING BATH

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First of all, can we talk about how I want to SPREAD JACK ON A FREAKING CRACKER AND EAT HIM ALIVE!!! I can't handle his tiny little body. He's too much. Second, and more to the point, this is the Blooming Bath and I loooove it! I used the PUJ with Piper, but I have to say that I prefer this brand more, and it's cheaper so...holla! It's this padded lotus that easily folds into any compartment (I bathe him in our bathroom sink), it's suuuuper soft and you just hang it up once you're done and it dries really fast. I love how cozy and supported he is in there! 

WORKING OUT AGAIN

Is it stupid to add being able to workout again as a favourite? Whatever. I'm doin' it. It's strange working out without a bump now. I have a much a wider range of movement, that's for sure, and I don't get so breathless after doing like 2 reps of an exercise haha. I wrote a post HERE about how to properly ease back into exercise postpartum, and I'm still paying close attention to my body and how it feels. Some days I get in awesome workouts, and other days my workouts are pretty "blah" and short, but I'm moving my body and figuring out a schedule that works for us! **I'm doing workouts that are all similar to the ones in my Postpartum Workouts and Pregnancy/Postpartum Workout Subscription!

One Week Postpartum

I was going to try and get a post up every Monday, Wednesday, Friday still, but it's Thursday and I'm just writing my first post for the week.

EL. OH. EL.

I wouldn't say I'm "busier" than before, but I simply don't want to rush around getting stuff done. All I want to do is hang out with Piper, and soak up every second of Jack's newborn stage. That's the most important thing right now, and I am in absolute heaven over here. 

Piper is down for her nap though, and Jack is snoozing on my chest (letting out the cutest snores), so before I hop into a much needed shower, I wanted to recap on this first week of my postpartum recovery!

1-5 days postpartum

1-5 days postpartum

I feel like I have to state that this is MY postpartum recovery. There is no set "normal" recovery that every woman follows. We are all different people. We all went into pregnancy in different physical shapes, with different genetics, had different activity levels during pregnancy, different approaches to eating, different babies, different hardships during pregnancy, and different deliveries. There are a lot of factors that go into it! I had NO idea what to expect after having Piper, and it was honestly all quite surprising going through it the first time. I hope by sharing MY experience, it's not used as a template or a comparison for postpartum recovery, but rather helps prepare you for going through your OWN recovery. Hopefully it isn't as shocking for you as it was for me at first haha. 

**Sorry if this gets TMI. It's hard to talk about postpartum recovery without getting specific though ha. 

RECOVERY

As I mentioned in Jack's Birth Story, my doctor had to do a very fast episiotomy at the end of labour to quickly get him out. She did an awesome job with stitching me back up, but it was a second degree tear, meaning the tear went deeper into the muscle beneath. I felt SUPER sore, and was super swollen (from the pushing as well), for about 4 days after delivery, and standing up/sitting down didn't feel great haha. There was/is obviously a lot of bleeding too, especially because of the blood thinner shots I have to take. 

Every day I have felt a little better and better, and it's honestly AMAZING to me to think of how the body can recover after birthing a baby. It knows what to do and how to do it. It's so incredible and gives me an even greater respect for my body. I feel SO much better today (9 days postpartum) than I did this time last week. There's obviously still bleeding and discomfort, and it's uncomfortable to walk around for long periods of time, but all things considered, I feel really good!

Full term to 9 days postpartum

Full term to 9 days postpartum

BREASTFEEDING

Breastfeeding has been A MILLION times easier this second time around. With Piper, I had to have pillows set up in specific positions so I could nurse her in one specific way haha. It took me a few months to get completely comfortable with nursing, and I got anxiety the closer it got to each feeding time because it really stressed me out! It was also SUPER painful with her for the first 10 seconds of latching. I don't know if it's because she wasn't latching totally right, or what, but it was hard! Jack has been a master eater from the get-go...literally latched himself a couple of minutes after being born haha. He eats in half the time Piper did, and eats a LOT. It's been much less stressful, WAY less painful, and so much easier. I don't know if it's because it's my second time around and I know what I'm doing, or if it's because he's just a good eater. 

PHYSICAL

How much weight did I gain during pregnancy? Don't care. Am I back to my pre-pregnancy weight? Don't care. As for how I physically look, I'm embracing it and loving it this time around! Of course, I've looked/felt better, but I'm fully embracing this stage and appreciating my body for what it just did for me. With Piper, I didn't know what to expect, and I was honestly surprised when I still looked 6 months pregnant after she came out. I guess you're just used to looking a certain way when there isn't a baby in your stomach, so it's weird when the baby comes out and you're left with a totally foreign body. Now, my skin is obviously still soft and stretchy around my stomach (something you can't really see in a snapshot picture). For the first few days after having him, my whole stomach would jiggle around with each movement and laughter. I got used to this rock hard stomach from having a baby in there, along with the braxton hicks contractions I was having 99% of the day, so it was a weird transition. There's no other word to describe it other than "weird".  My uterus, although not as swollen as it was after he was born, is still shrinking. I still feel contractions from it shrinking, especially when I'm nursing, which apparently you feel more and more of the more kids you have (I don't remember feeling any with Piper). 

I had a little gap between my abdominals (less than 1 finger-width), which is totally normal (you don't want it to be 2 finger-widths apart or more), and it has already pulled back together which is great! Honestly, while my pelvic floor feels MUCH weaker after going through this labour, I can see and feel the benefits of all the exercises I did during pregnancy, along with making an effort to nourish my body well. I don't mean this in an arrogant way AT ALL, but I am so proud of myself because having a healthy pregnancy IS NOT EASY. It's hard! It requires a lot of effort and a lot of motivation. But it's SO worth it! It was worth staying away from certain exercises I knew weren't appropriate during pregnancy, because it protected my core and helped it recover postpartum. It was worth it to keep up with beneficial exercises because it kept my body strong FOR labour and, again helped it recover postpartum.  **You can get my pregnancy workout guide HERE. It was worth making an effort to mostly eat healthy food during pregnancy, because I don't feel like I suddenly have to start doing things different now I am postpartum. I just have to continue with what I was already doing!

9 days postpartum

9 days postpartum

WHAT I'M DOING NOW

I'm still working on fueling my body properly because it makes me feel good, and I know it's good for the milkies. I'm not counting calories, macros, or anything like that. I'm just trying to eat lots of REAL food (seriously, lots of it because I'm STARVING), while making room for my favourite treats still. I am not exercising right now (I have gone on a couple of tiny walk around the block, but that's it because it doesn't feel the best ha). I don't plan on exercising I am cleared at my 6 week postpartum checkup. I think it's very important to fully let me body recover externally and internally first. I will start some pelvic floor recovery movements soon, which is more like basic breathing techniques to help my body recover, but that is it. No belly band, no "get your body back quick" program...just showing my body lots of love and care right now through rest, recovery, and quality food!

I sure look and feel different from MY "old" normal, but I feel so confident in my body, and I am fully embracing this new normal of mine.