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6 Things You Should Know Before Exercising After a Baby

Posted by Ali | Wednesday November 30, 201113 comments

Twice a week, I punish myself with a high intensity workout. My goal is simple: To get my pre-pregnancy pants on (and zipped up) without holding my breath/passing out. 

Personal Trainer Stephanie Sibbio of Think Fitness has a butt and thighs that no doubt bring her equal doses of admiration from men and cut-eye from women. For this reason I let her hurt me every Thursday morning (and then her fine Think Fitness colleagues once a week).

Stephanie showing my friend Joanna Rivard how it's done.

I had some concerns before starting to workout again after my son was born, especially since I had a Caesarean.  Stephanie being the wise, perky-butted woman she is shared some crucial tips every woman should consider before starting to exercise again.

1. "Wait until your 6 week checkup before resuming exercise," Stephanie advises. "If you want to stay active prior to this, do tons of walking to keep the blood circulating."

Motivated Mamas: My workout buddies Mikaela Clark and Joanna Rivard with their baby girls

2. "Once you do start working out, be careful when performing exercises that involve impact for the first little while. A lot of women who have not been prone to injuries pre-pregnancy may end up getting hurt when they attempt to resume their regular exercise routine due to the heightened hormones in the body."

3. "Weight loss is usually a main goal after having a baby but remember that it takes about a year for hormones to stabilize after childbirth so be patient! The weight will eventually come off."

This next one came as a huge shock to me, which I'm sure it will to all of you so brace yourself:

"Fat cells are developed in the first few years of life, and during pregnancy. Apart from that, they can only shrink. You cannot get rid of fat cells."


You cannot get rid of fat cells. What that means is it may be tougher than it once was to take weight off, but many women get their pre-pregnancy body back. It just takes work."

Jo's daughter reclines in Stephanie's arms while she sweats.

5. Did you know your abs separate during pregnancy? Stephanie explains: "The midline of the rectus abdomens (your '6-pack') is called the Linea Alba. This can stretch out during pregnancy. After giving birth, it may or may not come back together so you may need to modify some abdominal exercises."

Mine certainly have separated, and as a result it is harder to do certain abdominal exercises that were child's play for me before getting pregnant.

6. "Take care of the little muscles too. Although we want to use the large muscle groups to burn the most calories and take the weight off, we must not forget about all of the little muscles that are important in stabilizing our joints."

Now that you have the important medical details down, click over to try one of the workouts I do with Stephanie!

Photos: Shiori Mine
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on March 23, 2012  cally said:

Brilliant post.

on December 02, 2011  slaroche  1,432 said:

Excellent motivation ladies,

on December 01, 2011  Ali de Bold  STAFF said:

So glad you guys like the article! That Steph is a wealth of information, isn't she?

on December 01, 2011  mamaluv  STAFF said:

@Lyrissa - funny but true. I used to have a flattish butt so now I have a little more... shape there. But it took all the curves away from upstairs. Not that I had much to spare in the first place *sigh

on November 30, 2011  LadyChick234234  3,701 said:

The only thing that gets rid of fat cells is lipo. And then that means that the fat cells from the area being lipo'ed are gotten rid of.....but fat cells in other areas can get bigger. So if you get lipo on your thighs because you think they're fat...then if you ever gain weight again...other areas could essentially get bigger that you never had a problem with before.

Baby or no baby, I think regular exercise and good nutrition is a way of life.

on November 30, 2011  breezesandblessings  264 said:

Wow, I had no idea that you can't completely get rid of fat cells! Other than that little bit of disappointing news, these tips are great! I'll definitely look back to make sure I don't get discouraged.

on November 30, 2011  Suelyn  2,249 said:

Great info/advice.

on November 30, 2011  mamaluv  STAFF said:

I knew about the fat cells thing and can definitely say that it is harder to wrestle that weight down, especially as we get a little older (and I mean any age over, say, 25 when we're fully out of our high metabolism teen years).

However, it is doable. I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight, though the weight distribution has changed (read here: all migrated south) so I continue to work out regularly to try to balance that out.

on November 30, 2011  takoda  28,648 said:

Great advice Ali I'm sure many of the woman on here will take a lot from it. I love that you all have your babies with you and that you can share this
experience with your friends. Not many of us were able to do that. Thanks for sharing this important info.

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