Rest is a huge part of making a full recovery, but it's not the only part to help you make a full recovery and a smooth transition to an exercise program. That's why I created the Bump Fit Postpartum Guide. This downloadable pdf, or ebook, takes you from day 1 postpartum (you can do these in the hospital!) all the way up to your six-week doctors follow up appointment. Exercises progress as you heal from the inside out. And while I would suggest waiting at least 5-6 weeks post cesarean (there's more healing going on there versus a vaginal birth), you can still benefit just as much if you delay the start of the guide. So no sweat if you feel absolutely tired, haven't showered in days, and can't remember when you ate your last meal without a tiny human interrupting you - the guide will be waiting for you when you are ready!
Below I list the top 5 reasons why this guide is so beneficial. It's not about vanity and "getting your body back" (although this will most certainly help you get there), but rather on healing properly so you don't have to worry about issues like diastasis recti or incontinence later down the road.
Once you have a baby, as a mother you will quickly find out your time is not your own. They are so little and they literally eat, sleep, and poop all day so you should have plenty of time to have "me" time, right? Wrong! If you aren't feeding them, putting them to sleep, or changing them then you are resting, showering, feeding yourself, washing all that tiny laundry, or doing house work. Suddenly it's the evening and you are too exhausted to even think of doing anything else other than passing out to some Netflix.
Having the comfort of owning an exercise program will help give your day some structure outside of baby life and allow you to move your body in a safe way that will encourage proper healing. With the postpartum ebook you don't need a lot of equipment allowing you to do the exercises when you simply have a spare moment. The exercises are to rehabilitate your core and pelvic floor and are not intended to be used as a program to lose weight - with that being said you can sprinkle the exercises into your day rather than waiting until the end of the day to complete them, increasing the odds of your compliance with the program.
4. Close The Gap To Your Diastasis Recti
All of the exercises in the postpartum ebook are safe to do if you have a diastasis gap. The purpose is to rehabilitate the core muscles that have been stretched and weakened during pregnancy. Learning how to improve your posture and re-engage the transverse abdominus in a progressive week-by-week manner will help not only to close the gap, but improve core strength, and your posture.
3. Stop Leaking
Did you find yourself leaking urine when you were pregnant? Guess, what? Unfortunately the leaking isn't going to stop now that you have delivered. If you don't strengthen your core and pelvic floor it may even get worse - especially if you return to exercise prior to seeking to improve this. The good news is, the exercises in the postpartum ebook will help you do just that - improving your pelvic floor in ways that go beyond your basic kegel.
2. Created By A Women's Health Physical Therapist (And Mom)!
There are A LOT of self-proclaimed "specialists" for exercise programs targeted towards moms and unfortunately they are not all qualified to make claims such as improving pelvic floor strength, closing your diastasis, or healing prolapse. As a physical therapist I went through an intense 3-year program to learn about the body and how it works. That's why doctors readily refer patients to us, because they see us as musculoskeletal experts (that's a fancy way of saying we know the way muscles, bones, tendons, etc work in the body and better than most!) But I have taken my training a step further and focus allllll of my time, effort, and continuing education on learning about the woman's body and how growing a baby can affect her body during and after pregnancy. Additionally, I have lived the consequences of not readily preparing your body postpartum for an exercise program and then on the other side, taken the postpartum healing experience through a guided exercise program and seen and felt the drastic changes between rehab and not.
Because you are doing a rehab program created by a women's health specialist, you will drastically reduce your chances of needing physical therapy down the road for issues like incontinence (urine or fecal), diastasis recti or a mommy pooch, back or neck pain, and pelvic pain (including pain with sex). I know $99 can seem like a lot of money for a rehab program, but would you rather pay less than $100 for a six-week program or go to physical therapy for up to $200 per session and go for 8+ sessions (That's $1600!)
1. Guaranteed To Get You Ready To Start An Exercise Program
This program takes you from day one postpartum up until your six-week postpartum checkup with your doctor. We focus on lengthening muscles that have been tightened during pregnancy, learn to engage and isolate muscles that have been dormant for months, and progressively increase the difficulty of the exercises week-by-week so you aren't stuck doing the same exercises for six weeks. Because you are learning how to properly engage the muscles needed to do every day tasks you will be ready to start an exercise program once cleared by your doctor or midwife.
As a bonus reason to purchase the ebook, many mothers have told me this could have reduced their postpartum anxiety or depression had they had access to postpartum friendly exercise routine. According to Harvard Health Publishing from Harvard Medical School, exercise can help reduce depression (You can read the full article here). Of course, if you are suffering from severe depression, medication may be warranted.
I remember after having my first, not knowing where to even begin with my fitness journey back to my pre-pregnancy body. I jumped right into an intense program created by an amazing women's fitness trainer. And because I had seen so many mothers rave about how good the program was I went ahead and started the program the moment I was cleared by my OBGYN. Unfortunately, my doctor did not ask or check for certain postpartum symptoms (for more on what they do and do not check during your doctor follow up, click here) and I was told I was "good to go." But my body, especially my core, was far from ready to start an intense program that included a lot of jumping and ab work. I learned the hard way of what not to do and what is even better for your body after baby. Learn from my mistakes, take a leap of faith in your investment, and become stronger than yesterday!