5 Steps to a Healthy Postpartum Recovery

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Three weeks ago I gave birth to my sweet Oliver and I’ve been completely smitten ever since.  I’m looking forward to sharing his birth story with all of you soon.  For now, I wanted to let you in on my postpartum reality.

5 steps to a Healthy postpartum journey from StayFitMom.com

First of all, I feel a little like I’ve been in this crazy time warp for the past three weeks.  The last three weeks of my pregnancy seemed like 3 months, and the first three weeks of Ollie’s life has felt like 3 days.  I’ve never wanted time to slow down more, which leads me to my next point… crying.  The hormones this go around are out of control.  I go from “happy” tears to “sad” tears to “I just cried in another Facebook video” tears.  Just when I think I’m getting control of my emotions, my older boys kiss the baby, and you guessed it, more tears.  Also, my brain is frazzled.  I haven’t opened my computer to blog since Ollie’s birth because forming complete thoughts has become quite the task.

If you opened this post expecting to see air squats, push-ups, and a diet plan, you will certainly NOT find those things here.  Not yet.

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5 steps to a Healthy postpartum journey from StayFitMom.com

These first few weeks are precious, and I know this is time I will never get back {insert more tears here}.  So while other fitness bloggers or Pinterest photos might lead you to believe you’ve got to have your body back together in 5 seconds, I’m here to tell you otherwise.  This is about REAL healthy postpartum recovery.

5 Steps to a Healthy Postpartum Recovery

  1. Snuggle.  That’s right, priority number one right now involves lots of hugs, kisses, rocking, and snuggling.  This is my third time snuggling one of my newborns, only this time, I’m well aware of how quickly it passes.  I’m no longer worried about keeping my kid alive (like I was with baby number one), or rushing to get the baby on a schedule (like I was with baby number 2).  I’ve just been over here snuggling and staring for the past 3 weeks.  Biggest brother and bigger brother are getting their fair share of snuggles these days too.
  2. Ask for help.  With my first baby I felt like I needed to do everything myself.  Almost like I was out to prove I would totally nail this mothering business.  Only to quickly realize nobody on the planet nails this mothering business.  Parenting is so so hard.  It really does take a village.  If other people offer to help you, LET them.  When your good friend asks, “Can I bring you a meal?”  Your response should certainly be, “We would LOVE that.”  This time around my mom has been THE biggest help.  She has taken my older boys on adventure after adventure, she let me take naps, cleaned my house, and cooked me food.  These first few weeks as a family of five have been pretty blissful thanks to grandma.  My husband has also majorly stepped up his game.  He’s totally rockin the dad of three role.  He’s getting the kids dressed and fed first thing in the morning before he leaves for work, and soothing little Ollie when he gets fussy; all things I did by myself with baby number one.  When I was pregnant, Chris joked that with the amount of responsibility he picks up with each child, that he’d be nursing this one.
  3. Eat.  Alright this is where I get REAL honest.  I gained 51 pounds with this baby.  My kid weighed 7lbs 4 oz, so when people said, “Girl, you are ALL belly!”  they were either lying OR I managed to fool them with my maternity clothes.  While I would love to fit back into my jeans sooner than later, I’m also nursing and figuring out how our family is going to adjust.  I am making healthy meals a priority (my husband’s grilling, I’m roasting veggies, and I turn desserts down), but people are also bringing me delicious enchiladas and beef sandwiches and our family is enjoying every bite.  Again, I know that a stricter diet and my fanatical exercise routine will come, but all in time.  For now Spanx and leggings go a long way.   5 steps to a Healthy postpartum journey from StayFitMom.com
  4. Listen to your doctors.  My doctor gave me a pretty good list of things I’m not supposed to do until I get the clear.  No sex, no swimming, and… no exercise.  I’ve got to be honest, I feel like my recovery has gone great, and I think that’s largely because of all the exercise I did during pregnancy.  I remember week one feeling almost completely normal.  We went grocery shopping at Costco, and I lifted a box into my car, and the next day I knew I overdid it.  While my body may seem normal on the outside, I know there’s still a lot of healing to be done on the inside.  The last thing I want to do is set back my recovery.  For these first 6 weeks, I’ve traded CrossFit for newborn snuggles, and I’m completely fine with that.
  5. Rest.  Easier said than done with a little one that needs to eat every two to three hours, but daily naps are a thing for me (see Step 2: Ask for help).  We are all taking life pretty slow.  Our schedules aren’t jam-packed with activities and some days we stay in pajamas until 3pm.  I am a go, go, go kind of girl, but these last three weeks have been anything but that and I’m loving it.

5 steps to a Healthy postpartum journey from StayFitMom.com

(Spanx and Leggings)

 I’ve just about reached the end of my brain capacity.  I’ve got to be honest, this post was originally supposed to be 10 steps, but alas newborn life.  It’s time for me to put steps 1, 3, and 5 into action.

If you liked this post and you’re past your 4-6 week postpartum journey you might also like…

How I’m losing the Baby Weight Doing CrossFit 

Postpartum Crossfit FI

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