Postpartum Body, Fitness + Running Update

Hi guys! Exciting news… over the weekend I jogged about 3/4 of a mile (with some walking breaks in there) – the first time I’ve been able to do that since last summer! I was heading out to take Freyja for a quick walk solo and decided last minute to swap out my nursing tank for a sports bra to see how jogging felt, because I hadn’t tried it recently. And what do you know – it still didn’t feel amazing, but it definitely felt better! My pelvic floor feels normal/fine, and while my C section area still felt weird/tender, it didn’t hurt like it did last time I tried to jog a few weeks ago.

Weirdly, one of the things that bothered me most was actually my aggressively tight groin muscles. Is that normal for a C section? Or just for postpartum in general? I’m sure the lack of stretching and all the sitting I was doing after Riese was born probably contributed to that, as well as all the shifting/changing my body has done over the past year, but it was still kind of weird. I do remember that 4 or 5 weeks after Riese was born when I first started doing some light stretching I was so tight that I couldn’t lie on my back with one leg straight on the floor and the other leg lifted – I had to bend my lower leg knee or lift that leg slightly off the floor. Thankfully now that’s not the case anymore, but I guess things are still just extremely tight! (For more on some of the gentle core strengthening and stretching moves I have been doing post C-section, check out this post: Getting Back into Fitness After a C Section.)

I definitely want to continue to be extra cautious with the running because I’m not looking to injure myself or set back my surgery recovery by ramping things up too quickly, but I’m hoping that now that I’m 4 months out from the C-section I can start to incorporate a tiny bit of jogging into the mix once or twice a week on the occasion that I’m already out doing a solo dog walk anyway. We’ll see – I’d love to be able to do a 5k in late spring/early summer… once I get a better idea of how long I think it might take to build back up, I want to pick a race!

My body is starting to feel a lot more like my own again in general, which is nice. My C-section scar area is still tender and a bit numb, but it’s healing up well. (I’ve been using this Vitamin E oil to do some scar massage at the recommendation of my postnatal PT and I think that has helped… here’s a video on how to massage your C-section scar if you’re interested.)

As for other fitness, I am making it out consistently to 2 classes per week now, occasionally 3 if I’m feeling especially energetic. I’m doing one to two strength/boot camp style classes, and/or one yoga class.

It has made the most sense to do the yoga class over the weekend when Matt is home, if our schedule allows… I usually just play it by ear and go if timing works out, and if not that’s okay too. For the strength classes I’ve been doing early morning during the week with my workout buddies Chelsea and Kathleen – I leave when Matt and Riese are still asleep and am home by the time Riese is up and needs to eat (although I leave a bottle of pumped milk just in case she’s hungry before I’m back), so it works out well timing-wise. It’s hard because I can’t always fall back asleep after feeding Riese in the middle of the night before my alarm goes off again to get up for the workout, but seeing my workout buddies makes me happy and it feels good to move my body so it’s worth getting a little less sleep once or twice a week to make those classes happen.

Unless Riese has literally JUST eaten (that magical timing pretty much never happens though), I get up with enough time to pump to make sure I’m not full of milk when I’m bouncing around in a class – that probably wouldn’t feel great. I have a snack and some green tea (I save the coffee for post-workout) while I pump… my Oatmeal Banana Coconut Cookies are my recent fave pre-workout as well as middle of the night nursing fuel snack – so good! Not too dry and not too sweet. (Also, after trying a couple different brands my favorite hands free pumping bra is officially the Simple Wishes brand bra – thank you to those who recommended that! SO NICE to be able to have my hands free to eat/drink/play on my phone while pumping rather than just sitting there awkwardly holding the flanges.)

I don’t need to modify as many of the moves in classes anymore now, although I still avoid or dial down some of the core work (especially crunches – I usually do tabletop and lift alternating arms and legs instead). I’m also being cautious in terms of the amount of weight I’m lifting, and making sure to focus on form vs. speed. If I’m slower than everyone else to finish something or do less reps overall, no worries. It’s more important to do the move properly and safely.

My #1 form of fitness since Riese arrived in November is still walking, though! I love doing lots of walks with her, and as she gets heavier I get stronger – doing a long walk with what’s essentially a weighted vest on is no joke! I wasn’t able to walk while wearing her until my body healed up a bit, but now I love it.

For tomorrow’s fitness, it’s my day off from work to spend with Riese, and my Wednesday PACE mom’s group is over, so I’m going to take Riese to a baby and mommy yoga class! I’m excited – obviously the point of it is not a big workout but rather some fun play time with Riese and a little stretching as a bonus. Apparently they teach you a little baby massage during the class too which is fun and something I’ve been wanting to try! I’ll report back later this week on how the class is. We will see how timing works out in terms of her eating… just watch she’ll want to eat during the whole class. 😉 Have any of you guys tried baby + mommy yoga classes before? Any tips/things to expect? I want to try one of the stroller group workout classes soon too… I hear the stroller strong moms group in the area is awesome! I believe they are indoors right now and move outdoors come April.

Have a nice day guys!

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