As I've said before, I know that staying in shape throughout my pregnancy helped me immeasurably during labor and delivery. My pelvic floor was really toned, so when I was pushing, I could feel the muscles working and direct energy where I needed it to go. I labored without medication, meaning that I was up and moving pretty much the whole time; Being able to stay on my feet for the better part of 11 hours, including one hour where I was doing squats every couple minutes during a contraction to cope with the pain, was a definite perk of staying in shape. The mental conditioning really helped me as well - I was so prepared to "pace myself" during a long and grueling labor that I almost couldn't believe it when the handed me my baby. I felt, in body and mind, that I could have handled a few more hours with no problem <-- I never thought I'd say that!
Now, seven weeks removed from the experience, I can also acknowledge that staying in shape during pregnancy has contributed to a quick recovery. I mentioned in a previous post that my stitches never hurt - once the swelling went down in 2-3 days, I felt perfectly fine. I went on a run two weeks postpartum and my body felt okay - strong, even. I lost a lot of cardio fitness (my lungs were burning and I still wheeze my ways through runs, and my heart rate skyrockets quickly) but muscle-wise I felt similar to before. I returned to Body Pump after 3 weeks for an easy workout, and now four weeks later I have bumped up to lifting my pre-pregnancy weight.
I'm also trying to get back into yoga, using videos on yogadownload.com, but that's been tough both because I seldom have 30-minutes during the day without a baby strapped to me, and because I DID lose a lot of flexibility over the last few months.
|Heading out for a walk with my little one|
How are YOU feeling today?