Mary Helen's Post Pregnancy Tips

Dear Beauties,

The strength and resilience inherent in the female body is a source of constant inspiration for me. Having recently delivered our third daughter I am starting the road back to rebuilding strength and getting back in shape.

My core is still very week and my tummy soft. I gained a healthy amount of weight with my pregnancy (somewhere around 35 lbs total) and am now exclusively breastfeeding which requires me to eat well and often to maintain my production. Rather than obsessing over my body which remains softer and weaker than usual, I am trying to fully appreciate all it has done and continues to do! Having done this before, I realize that everything about these early months with a newborn is in the big picture, very brief. The sleepless nights, the co-sleeping, sweet newborn snuggles and yes, even the soft shape of your body as a new mom. The change that a woman’s body goes through as a mom is a natural and a beautiful part of childbirth. I want to truly enjoy the process of getting back in shape rather than dreading it as I work towards building what I like to think of as my best body ever: strong, powerful and filled with love for my babies and this beautiful life.

For any Moms or others looking to kickoff a transformation, below are my 10 tips for your best body ever, after Baby !

1. Start Slow & Make it a Lifestyle

Lasting change does not happen overnight. I would rather put in place a program with results to take you through a lifetime than aim for a quick fix that cannot be maintained. Take a serious look at your schedule and start by carving out 15-20 min/day to workout. Add on an extra 5min/day several days each week to get yourself as close to an hour a few days a week as you can!

2. Stay Positive

Learning to think about our bodies in a way that is positive and kind is key to living a happy, healthy life. Do not let negative thoughts get between you and your workout or any health and fitness goals. If you are struggling with self doubt and a negative body image try to focus on how great moving makes you feel. You are worth it!

3. Don’t Compare

This is your life! Don’t waste time and energy comparing your body or experience to another. For new Moms I think this is particularly important. Every pregnancy, delivery and experience as a mother is very individual. It is comforting to know that other moms share in your struggles but unproductive to think that someone else’s glossy pictures tell the entire story. Instead focus your energy and actions on living your happiest, healthiest life.

4. Set Goals & Celebrate

Goal setting is a great tool to work towards achieving the life of your dreams! I like to think of goals in two steps, first set a big picture goal and then smaller weekly or monthly goals to help get you there. As you achieve each small goals, take time out to celebrate! It could be telling your family and friends or finding another reward like buying yourself a favorite beauty product or a cute leotard or pair of shoes.

5. Be Flexible

Life is not predictable. If you fall off path, miss a workout or eat too many french fries (like me last night!) don’t obsess and punish yourself. Instead let it go, move forward and rearrange your schedule to accommodate your next workout.

6. Invest in a Sitter

Moms, this is key! If you have the resources to hire a sitter to buy yourself some extra time to workout and even sleep this can help move you more quickly towards realizing your goals. If you don’t have a sitter don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help. With three kids and my own business we have a nanny but sometimes I’ll bring in a sitter to arrive a little earlier in the mornings to help me fit it all in. If I’m lucky I can get my Mom to come and stay to help us out! I love being able to workout from home knowing that someone is caring for the baby but I am right there if she needs me.

7. Save Yourself Time - Train From Home

This is one of my absolute favorite ways for fitting it all in. Training from home is one of the biggest time savers and a must for new Moms looking to squeeze in a workout. Sometimes I will do a set of inner and outer thighs while the baby is in the bouncy chair in the afternoons and work in a set of abs and lunges when our two year old naps and the entire house has “quiet time.”

8. Stay Hydrated

Water, water, water! Drinking water flushes toxins, keeps your digestive system on track and can help battle fatigue in exhausted Mommies.

9. Intensify the Toning

Building lean muscle is an important part of speeding up the metabolism and burning more fat. I like to switch to 2 lb weights after having a baby and sometimes add ankle weights when I am doing my inner thigh workouts on the mat.

10. Add Cardio

Once you feel strong enough a little cardio goes a long way towards heating things up and adding an extra burn! Check out our standing exercises for cardio options from low to high impact.