Answering your top 10 questions about what life looks like after having my second baby. From when I started to work out again, to my current postpartum fitness routine, to the best post-baby ab exercises, and whether or not a third baby is on the horizon.
You guys have been asking for more real-life, lifestyle content. So we’re introducing a New Q+A Series where we take 10 frequently asked questions about a specific topic — think meal prep, weekly workout plans, mom hacks — and answer them here on the blog.
This month, January, is our very first monthly Q + A series and the topic is: 10 Questions About Life After Baby.
If you’re a visual person and like video, check out the rapid-fire style, question and answer video we put together at the top of this post (also on YouTube here).
On the contrary, if you’d rather comb through the questions and answers in greater detail; you can grab a hot cup of coffee and read all the details below.
I started working out again around 4 weeks postpartum. I started with power walking and 15-30 minute, low impact strength training workouts 2-3 days a week. Some of my first workouts included:
*Note, this is my personal journey. Every pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum journey looks and feels different. I do advise that you check with your physician or midwife before returning to exercise post-baby.
Physically harder. I came out of this pregnancy with a 3+ finger width diastasis recti (or ab separation). My pelvic floor was a lot weaker. And my hemorrhoids continue to be an issue. As a result, I saw a pelvic floor therapist — Jennifer Joslyn at Motion MN in Minnetonka. You can read more about what to expect in a pelvic floor physical therapy appointment + the exercises Dr. Jen and I worked through in this post: about Diastasis Recti. After months of core and pelvic floor recovery I’ve now decreased my diastasis recti to less than 1.5 finger width separation. My pelvic floor is feeling stronger as I continue to increase glute and hip strength. And my hemorrhoids are still an issue, but are slowly getting better.
Mentally easier. Transitioning into life with my first child, Brody, was a lot harder for me. I had postpartum depression, anxiety and rage. While it hasn’t been all butterflies and rainbows since Bella was born, my mental health is in a much better state this time. Having a second child has helped ‘chill’ me out a bit more.
And in the video at the top of this post I said, about the same in regards to finding time for my marriage and husband…but I think I’d actually say it’s been harder with two. There’s a lot more ‘divide and conquer’ happening these days.
Currently (writing this around 4 months postpartum), early morning workouts before the kids are up. Anywhere from 4:30am-6am. Or nap time workouts if I’m home with the kids. Both of which take place at home in my downstairs basement home gym.
And sometimes I have to be a bit more flexible, allowing for the kids to join me if they wake up early.
Currently (again I’m writing this around 4 months postpartum), I’m striving for 4-5 days a week.
That said, in my earlier postpartum days it was 2-3 days a week.
Eventually, I hope to get back into a more solid routine of 5-6 days a week. But I’m allowing myself a bit more grace and flexibility this time around.
To be honest, working out postpartum is a big part of maintaining my mental health. So I try to make it a priority. But allow for flexibility because there are so many variables in the first year postpartum, like lack of sleep.
And on the days I don’t workout, I try to be more active with older son Brody.
I personally love this 10 Minute Beginner Ab Workout, and I’ve been doing it 2-3 times a week since around 4 weeks post-baby.
I love using a spongeball (under $10 on Amazon) for re-building core and pelvic floor strength post-baby.
These 7 Exercises for Postpartum Recovery and Diastasis Recti are also great.
I’ll reference question #2 above, but overall I’d say easier as I feel less crazy and anxious.
My first child, Brody, was born at 36 weeks so I didn’t feel as prepared as I’d hoped to be when he was born. Whereas, this time I worked ahead on a lot of content for work, had meals in the freezer to pull from; so I felt more prepared this time around.
That said, I did have a lot of ‘mom guilt’ for not being able to play and be with Brody when Bella was first born. There were a lot of days I cried over feeling like a ‘bad mom’ to my firstborn because Bella required so much of my time and attention.
If you follow me on social media, you know that I took a 1 month hiatus over the holiday’s (basically the month of December). If I ever have another maternity leave I’d take a longer social media break.
Becoming a new mom brings out a lot of insecurities and I found myself comparing my babies sleep schedule, or my milk supply with other new moms and there’s just no reason to go there. And taking time offline, helped me be more present at home where I needed to be.
I’m still trying to figure this whole mom of two thing out :).
I’d say that having two kids has definitely ‘chilled me out’ a bit. And I’m showing myself a lot more grace this time around.
I’m trying to be totally present where my feet are, making 4-8pm ‘family time’.
And when I feel overwhelmed with two kids needing my attention at the same time I remember, ‘if they’re crying they are breathing’.
Two moments come to mind.
I had no idea I could love two tiny humans this much!
Ha, you’ll have to ask me that again in two years…I honestly can’t answer that right now.
And that wraps up our first monthly Q + A post!
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