Postpartum journey - 3 months in
Let me start with a disclaimer first: all of those pictures are me flexing. I like comparing my muscle definition as it shows me if there is progress in my muscle growing and my body composition.. As much as I would love that my post pregnancy body already looks like this 24/7 it simply does not.
Still, I am proud of my journey.
Seeing my body for the first time after the birth was a little shock. I maintained an active pregnancy pretty much through all my pregnancy journey, and even though I knew I lost muscle mass I have not expected my body to become so soft. My tummy felt strange. After the bump growing so much in the last trimester, now it was still here, yet there was no baby in :)
I was checked for diastasis recti in the hospital and was measuring 2 fingers gap-due to it not being severe it was suggested to me not to wear any stomach shappers as this would get in the way of my own muscles doing the work of closing the gap (the nurse however mentioned that if the gap was more than 2 fingers those could help). Eventually as the weeks were passing by my diastasis closed. Now when I check for it, I do not feel any gap.
I am still being careful and am not doing any abdominal exercises though, as I want to make sure that first and foremost my core is strengthened. If you have a diastasis recti, please take time to work on your core properly first. Abdominal exercises like crunches, planks etc can only make things worst.
I gained 14 kg (cca 31 lbs) all together through my pregnancy - I dropped 9 kgs in the first 10 days (baby/placenta/water), and the rest 5 kg over the course of next 10 weeks. As currently I could count my workouts with both my hands, the weight loss of those 5 kgs can be attributed to breastfeeding (I am breastfeeding on demand which means currently 9-10 times per day) and clean eating 90% of the time (had to change my nutrition due to my baby having reflux).
I tried starting working out at 6 and half weeks postpartum after an all clear from the doctor. Having a very active pregnancy and continuing working out until the day before labor I thought I could easily snap back to my old routines of exercising 5-6 times per week. I was wrong though. My body went through the process of growing a baby for 9 months - it was a little silly from me to expect that right away I could be able to do intensive workouts I used to. I experienced the hardest soreness of my muscles in my life.
After my first full body workout I was sore for 5 days. After my first short run my ribs and core muscles hurt. After my first leg workout I literally couldn’t walk or sit properly for 6 days. In the period of 5 & half weeks that followed, I did less than 10 workouts, mostly because:
1) I took it to hard at start
2) it took so long for the soreness to subdue and
3) it was really challenging to find time with the little one in my hands all day long
This however thought me not to rush things, to take it slow and that it will take some time to gain back my strength and that I need to be okay with that. My goal currently is trying to exercise 3 times per week (30 min sessions) and go for a run once per week if the baby allows for it.
Looking back on all my fit pregnancy and now postpartum journey, I am proud and grateful of my body. Even though in pregnancy I've developed pregnancy diabetes in 2nd trimester and skin eczema in 3rd trimester, I was healthy, mobile and able to enjoy all of the journey. It gave me healthy and beautiful baby. And it still works hard despite all the sleepless nights :D
I've really come to appreciate how truly amazing human body is. Being active in pregnancy was seriously the best thing I could have wished for. It helped me maintain my physique and healthy lifestyle I've developed prior to it. It helped me with mood swings. It helped me mentally and physically so much, and it helped me in looking at my body now 3 months postpartum and knowing that I can reach my fitness goals again without ever thinking that pregnancy ruined my body. It didn't. It just made it more badass ;)