The Importance of Letting Your Body Rest After Having a Baby
I just gave birth to my first baby boy almost 5 weeks ago now. I can’t even imagine life without Timothy Grayson now that he’s here. My entire routine has changed completely. Even throughout my pregnancy, I continued to teach anywhere from 4-6 yoga and Pilates classes and privates each week. I ran around the city all day and still found time to fit in my own workouts. Now my days are spent at home most of the day, breast feeding, getting about 2-4 hours of sleep each night and taking care of my new bundle of joy.
It’s really important to listen to our bodies and treat them with care and respect after having a baby. My mom came to visit from Idaho 2 days after Timothy was born, and she was so helpful. She and I and my husband all went out for dinners outside to enjoy the fresh air, park walks in Central Park and ran light errands. She also made it possible for me to see a few of my clients (and they got to meet baby Timothy as well); but I really have had to slow it down.
I find it’s a real fine balance between getting outside and doing things that nurture my spirit, and also being at home with my baby and resting. I’ve found the most important things in these first couple of weeks is drinking plenty of water and still eating good, high quality meals. I don’t want to lose too much weight and since I am breastfeeding, I need to keep a little belly on. I’ve also found it important to get outside every day even if just for a walk around the block. Timothy loves his stroller and it’s the perfect weather in NYC right now.
I’ve done very light yoga stretches when I can and downward dogs and forward and side stretches feel amazing. Upward dog was a little intense of a stretch on my stomach at first, but it’s feeling better now and it’s great for my posture since I am breastfeeding so often. I’ve also done some Pilates core work but nothing too intense. I find when I do big movements like double leg stretch, it’s almost too much pressure on my abdominals. Kegels, modified hundreds (knees bent in table top), half roll downs, knee folds and side lying leg work are perfect.
I’m surprised at myself, being the huge fitness fanatic that I am, that I really don’t feel the need to go super hard core yet. Being pregnant and being a new mom has given me a whole new perspective on my body. I love my extra tummy region, I feel a strong bond when I nurse Timothy, I have a hearty appetite, and I love to move my body; but I also want to have enough energy and reserves for myself and my little guy.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!