So, I’ve been trying to workout at home, but my baby keeps waking up in the middle of my workout and I’m having a hard time finishing it. Any suggestions?
Of course! About 8 weeks after I gave birth to my son, I decided it was time for me to get back into my fitness routine. Mentally and emotionally, I was probably ready way before this, but my body hadn’t caught up with my mind and my midwife strongly advised against it. Honestly, I don’t even know that my body was fully ready when I began. I definitely wasn’t ready for the reality that my body was different. Things felt like they weren’t exactly back in the right place or as if part of me might fall out onto the floor at any time…I definitely wasn’t ready for that!
As someone who wasn’t able to exercise during pregnancy due to complications with anemia, I found it extremely difficult to get back into a regular fitness routine– and this is coming from someone who has practiced and trained personal clients as well as taught yoga and barre for several years. Add to that, the stress and emotional experience that comes along with being a new mom as well as the frustration that comes along with realizing your body has a long way to go before being back where you remember it. So, there I stood face to face with my home barre. My son was fed, changed, and sleeping quietly in the swing. I began practicing barre with a body I barely recognized…then my son began crying. He needed me. I was torn. Of course, I went to him. This happened repeatedly and on most days. I became really frustrated with my inability to get in a decent workout.
Then one day, as he was peacefully sleeping in his front carrier as I went about my day doing other things, I realized…I could wear him working out at the barre. The next day, I was so excited to get started. He slept peacefully in his carrier as I finished my ENTIRE workout! This happened several days in a row and I started to feel like I was on fire. My workouts were going great and he was getting his much needed time being held. I actually found the small pulsing movements of the barre workout usually soothed him to sleep. Either that or the sound of my heartbeat, but I like to think it was the workout. Regardless, it was a win, win for everybody!
It was during this time that I simultaneously designed my postnatal fitness program, but all the while, I was doing most of it with my son in his front carrier. I know a lot of people think that a class designed for “postnatal” or even “prenatal” for that matter is going to be easy. And, with good reason, a lot of these classes are easy. They focus more on the time with the baby than on the workout. While bonding time with your baby is REALLY important, so is making time for self-care. If working out makes you feel good about yourself, then it should be a priority. You can’t sacrifice all of yourself to your new role as a mommy. That’s the fast track to burnout. So, a little bit about my program…it’s an intense workout and baby is along for the journey.
Let me assure you that my program and wearing baby in the front carrier while you do the barre exercises is in no way easy. While the exercises we do are safe for your healing core and pelvic floor, it’s still an intense workout! But, it’s an appropriate workout for your body and what it needs right now. Please understand, you will sweat, you will shake, and you will burn. I love my son more than life itself, and I love spending time with him. But, I also really love the feeling of getting in a great workout and it was important to me that I could start to feel like myself again. Best part, I didn’t need a babysitter, my son was happily sleeping, and I was beginning to feel like a new version of myself. What more could any new mom ask for?
If you’re in the Philly area, please check out my babywearing barre classes at Y2B Fit on Tuesdays + Saturdays at 10:30am. I used to teach this class at other local studios, but I’ve moved all of my classes to my new location in the Mt. Airy neighborhood. It’s really a dream come true to be able to offer these services to new moms! If you’re outside of the Philly area, please contact me for more information. I’d be happy to help you on your journey.