SURPRISE! The Postpartum Guide HAS ARRIVED! We couldn't be more excited and have poured our HEARTS into this guide.
For those of you that are newer to Expecting and Empowered, the Postpartum Guide was created by me, Krystle (women's health and orthopedic physical therapist) and my sister Amy (a nurse and personal trainer). We're a sister team that shares a passion for helping women navigate a very demanding part of their life: pregnancy and now POSTPARTUM. This guide can be considered a ROADMAP to your postpartum period, whether you are freshly postpartum or your baby is a few years old. We'll get into the differences later!
We know that one of the BIGGEST concerns women have in the postpartum period is losing weight and getting their body back. BUT, we also know that sometimes what women are doing postpartum doesn't allow their bodies to heal properly and their early exercise can actually end up setting them back. This guide is designed to let your body heal! It is programmed to reactivate many of your muscles that became "sleepy" during pregnancy. This happens because we tend to get stuck in certain movement patterns and lose some of our core function during pregnancy (hello baby bump)! What needs to happen postpartum is that the muscles need to rebuild and restore first and then we can progress up to hitting it hard and reaching your postpartum goals.
The Expecting and Empowered Postpartum Guide hits 4 main pillars:
Core Restoration and Function- We're strengthening you from the inside, out. This way, you'll be able to progress up to bigger, larger movements before you know it. It is imperative to retrain your pelvic floor, diaphragm, back and abdominal muscles so that you can return to what you love doing!
Girls Got Goals, Weight Loss Goals- We want to help you hit your fitness goals in the safest and most effective way possible. The plan is to move from small, isolated movements to large body movements. We took into account both burning calories AND having an efficient workout now that you are a time pressed mama. We definitely know this is a consideration and we've programmed the guide to help you do this! We also want to point out that this takes time and isn't a "bounce back program". Rather, think of it as a safe, efficient and effective way to train after one of the BIGGEST events your body will ever go through.
Reducing Injury- Reducing and preventing injuries caused by pregnancy or postpartum demands on your body.
The guide is diastasis recti (DR) safe! There are DR modifications in the guide to keep you safe as your abdominal heals. This will activate muscles that allow your core to restore after experiencing a DR. Don't worry, we also tell you how to check yourself for a DR in the beginning of the guide.
The guide strengthens your mid back and neck muscles! This is SO important so that you don't get headaches and back pain during new motherhood. Although people don't talk about this much, many new mamas experience it!
Restoring hip function. This will help you avoid knee pain postpartum. Important for everyone, but especially for women that want to get back to the things they love (running, cycling, weight lifting, etc.).
- Training to be a Mama- Just like a fitness athlete, we are training sport specific. That means that we are training you to be a MAMA! It is a physically demanding job- from bending over, to changing diapers, to carrying heavy carseats around. The goal is to train the muscle groups that are needed to care for your new babe!
The Postpartum Guide: Details
There are two postpartum guides available. Let us outline the differences, so you can make the right choice for YOU!
Weeks 1-5 we cover what you can do to help yourself recover and what you can do for your fitness right away. Often, women are antsy to get back to the normal routine...but, the questions we answered during this part of the guide is: what can I do right now to help myself heal and start working toward my postpartum goals? The exercises are safe and effective and can be done before being cleared for exercise by your physician. Think of it as you taking an active role in your healing. Did you know that there are things you can do within the first 24 hours of birth that will help you recover and assist the healing process?
If you are planning on having more children (thus would be using the guide again), we recommend that you purchase THIS guide. If you are further out, you simply start at week 6 and follow it through to the end! Week 6 will be your first week and you'll follow the plan all the way through, week by week.
We wanted to serve TWO kinds of mamas. The ones that are directly postpartum and moms that maybe haven't had time to workout since becoming a mama, maybe it has been YEARS! We know there are women experiencing aches and pains postpartum, and they have yet to get them taken care of. Our second guide, Mamas Further Out, is specifically designed for these mamas. So if you are not planning on having any more children, the Mamas Further Out Guide dives quicker into the exercise program and the introduction gives you information YOU'LL need: how to make exercise a habit, when to fit it in, etc. THIS guide is for those of you that are done with your baby making phase of life and wanting to get in shape after babe! Your "baby" could be 1 or 15 years old- this is the guide you want to get! Again, since the exercises in the guides are very similar...if you are planning to have more children, buy the Postpartum Guide. We're trying to make this clear to help you make the right choice for you!
What You Get with BOTH Guides:
You get 3 workouts a week. Each workout should take you about 30-45 minutes and each workout includes a flexibility section, pelvic and core restoration section, and a strength and conditioning section (upper, lower and circuit day). Just because this guide is a postpartum guide, doesn't mean that the workouts are easy. They are safe, quick and efficient exercises that you can do because we know that you are all busy moms with limited time. Just like with the pregnancy guide, we'd recommend also getting in 2 cardiovascular training sessions a week!
Information You Aren't Getting Anywhere Else
The introduction part of both postpartum guides is stacked with SO much information. From recovering from a vaginal delivery or a C-Section, there is information that you don't get from your physician. Things that will help our bodies heal and recover in the fastest and most efficient way possible so that we can minimize some of the problems later in life.
Please let us know if we can clear up any questions and we'll make sure to get you the answers.
Cannot wait to support you through this challenging period!
-Amy Kiefer and Krystle Howald