Postnatal Fitness & Body After Baby

Mary Helen Bowers with Baby Mary Helen Bowers with Baby Mary Helen Bowers with Baby Mary Helen Bowers with Baby Mary Helen Bowers with Baby

Hello Beauties! With the launch of our new Postnatal Series we have mommy fitness on the mind in a serious way. I’m excited to chat with you all about our postnatal workouts, my experience and what a body after baby really means.

Having a baby and becoming a mother has been one of the most meaningful, powerful experiences in my life. And for as life changing as having a baby is, it changes your body in a profound way, too.

Glossy magazines and tabloids love to hype the return to a pre baby body but as a mom I’ve learned that this isn’t a realistic or healthy way to think. There is no pre baby body, or life for that matter, after having a child. This is totally normal and 100% ok! We are human, after all, and having a baby changes you, quite literally, from the inside out.

The postnatal process is about building and getting to know a whole new body after baby, one that is incredibly powerful, magical and strong.

I don’t mean to say that we can’t all look and feel incredible, and in many cases, even better than before having a baby. But before beginning any conversation about postnatal fitness I think it’s important for women to pause to acknowledge the incredible journey that our bodies have been through and recognize the miracle of carrying and delivering a child!

From here I want to encourage women, and new moms in particular, to focus not simply on losing weight and burning calories, but instead on creating a strong foundation for health and well being. Building strength, muscle tone and taking time each day to take care of yourself becomes more important than ever after having a child. Carrying and delivering a baby is hard work and takes a serious toll on the body. In the weeks and days after I delivered Lumina I felt exhausted and physically depleted, and at the same time blissfully happy. Postnatal fitness is the perfect time to focus on giving back to your body and yourself, even when time has become more limited and precious than ever before.

It’s also imperative to consider the big picture. Getting in shape after a baby is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight and can take many months to do in a healthy way. I started working out (slowly) at 6 weeks postnatal, after I was cleared by my Doctor to exercise. I built back my confidence and strength in a slow and steady way, increasing the time and frequency of my workouts as the baby got older and my core got stronger. I tried not to put a lot of pressure on myself to lose the weight too quickly because it wasn’t the right thing for my body or for Lumina. There are so many different factors to consider. I breastfed exclusively for over a year and found that if I were to miss a snack,  eat a lighter meal or somehow not drink enough water my milk production would dramatically drop.    (More on nursing, working and working out in another post!) With time and consistency all of the weight did come off and my new postnatal body emerged stronger and more complex than ever before.

Postnatal fitness is an important part of a mother’s health and wellness. It’s something that all of us deserve!

So much love and labor went into the production of our new postnatal videos. I hope that you will all love and use them as much as I did! A bit more detail on the workout below:

We filmed these videos when Lumina was just 3.5 months old. I particularly love the exercises targeting the waist and sides because they really work wonders for taking that extra layer of softness off after the baby, and strengthening the center and core.

Postnatal Abs:
This 10 minute workout focuses on toning and tightening the abs and waist and rebuilding strength and muscle tone through the core.

Postnatal Cardio:
This 15minute, low-impact cardio workout gets the heart rate up with dance-inspired movements that tone and lengthen the muscles.

I can’t wait for you to try them!

With love and best wishes to all of the Ballet Beautiful mamas out there!
xoxoMary Helen