My 3 Secrets to Bouncing Back After Pregnancy That Worked For Me!
How I Got Abs And A Flat Stomach After Pregnancy
FULL DISCLOSURE! This post about my Bounce Back contains affiliate links, which means that I get a tiny commission from sales that result from this post (at no additional cost to you!) I ask you this - will you click and buy from my links before you leave this page? (insert prayer hands emoji, and fingers crossed emoji) This is also a tale about my own personal experience, unique to myself. Thank you for reading!
After finding out that I was pregnant with my son (my first born!), I became kind-of sort-of obsessed with The Bounce Back. I know it sounds lame to some folks, but I couldn't help it. Society did this to me! Now that I have two kids, I do think it is kind of funny that I was as concerned with the bounce back as I was....but ultimately, I wanted to do what I could to be as healthy as possible while carrying my baby. And that included fitness, which has always been a big part of my life.
While pregnant, I spent time researching all sorts of foods, workouts, and other regimes that I could potentially adopt during my pregnancy. I also talked to my doc for guidance on what I could and could not do.
I had been exercising often prior to becoming pregnant, so continuing with workouts once pregnant came naturally to me. I was not intense with my workouts during my pregnancy, and I did not do them on days that I did not feel well. And of course, I exercised in conjunction with eating a balanced diet (for the most part, there were certainly times with the only thing that would do was a medium Butterfinger blizzard, saltines, and pretzels!)
Secret 1: I adopted a toning workout that I could stick to most of my pregnancy, one that my doctor and I felt was good for me and my situation.
I was physically active and worked out regularly prior to becoming pregnant, which made it easier for my doc to agree that continued workouts would be good for myself and baby. The Pregnancy Project by Tracy Anderson was my favorite home workout during my pregnancy. And I could go at my own pace as my belly grew.
Tracy is pregnant throughout this series, and each disc is meant for a different month of pregnancy. They do not become easier as you become more pregnant - which I loved. The workouts are about 30 minutes in length, and they keep me toned throughout pregnancy without realizing it. The workouts focus on arms, legs, butt, and core.
This came to a huge surprise to me, but 14 days after my son was born, my stomach was flat again. It by no means was firm, toned, or snug to my body that early in the game, but it was flat. Now, what I am not sure of is if this would have been the case if I had not worked out during my pregnancy. But since I don't have a twin or a clone, I will never know the answer to that!
Pregnant belly vs. one week postpartum belly.
Secret 2: I conditioned my skin and tracked my weight throughout my pregnancy.
I implemented a very routine skin conditioning lotion regime throughout my pregnancy. Just when you think you are applying too much oil or lotion to your skin, apply a little more. Overdo the oils and moisturizers to the max to keep your skin supple and soft.
I feel that having extremely moisturized skin could have helped my stomach to stretch where it needed to for my pregnancy. I had skin like buttah for nine full months!
I also paid close attention to my weight during my pregnancy. No, this was not so that I could feel bad about myself when my weight started to shoot up. It was simply so that I could stay aware of what was going on with my body and could make necessary changes when needed.
For example, if I was capping off every night in a given week with ice cream, and I was not happy with my 8-pound weight gain that week, then maybe I would stick to just one ice cream indulgence the following week. Tracking your weight and paying attention to what is going on will allow you to make adjustments before it is too late.
Pregnancy-induced edema caused massive swelling to my lower half.
For the most part, pregnancy weight gain is out of our control. I had textbook gain until week 34, but then I absolutely blew up when I acquired pregnancy-induced edema. I gained 30 lbs in 5.5 weeks, most of which were out of my control. Water retention is no joke, as you can see from my above picture!
Secret 3: I selected a post-pregnancy workout that I loved.
I did not do this until my son was about 17 months old. It was not until then that I became serious about really finishing this "bounce back". Up until 17 months postpartum, I had been happy with how my body had recovered since pregnancy, but I craved more definition.
I was already a member of Fit4Mom, and I decided to try their 8 Week Body Back program. Our instructor, Lesley (who is the owner of our franchise), really helped us moms to get back into shape. The plan consisted of a meal plan, two in-person workouts per week, at home workouts, materials to help us with meal prep and planning, and an online support group for those in the Body Back program.
Left: 17 months postpartum, before Body Back.
Right: After 8 week Body Back program through Fit4Mom
This program was the one for me, and it worked. It was exactly what I needed to finish my bounce back journey.
Now that I have had two children, I am about to start my second Body Back session through Fit4Mom. I cannot wait to start this program again - our community of moms are truly amazing!
Good luck mamas, and don't be hard on yourself if things don't go the way you hoped. Nausea, never-ending fatigue, and an ever-growing belly may disrupt any routine that you form. Remember that the most important thing about pregnancy is that you have your babies best interests at heart along with your own health- bounce back is just a silly thing that comes second (or 1000th) to anything you or your baby needs.