Recovery postpartum, don’t wait until your done having babies to heal your body postpartum. Enjoy this conversation with my Knocked-Up Fitness® client, Allie, mom of three. She’s an avid runner but started experiencing incontinence postpartum after her first pregnancy. She also started dealing with hip and back pain and found amazing relief when learning how to effectively strengthen her deep core and pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy.
What drew you to the Knocked-Up Fitness® Prenatal Program?
I’ve always been healthy, or you know, long term health is kind of my goal. From the first pregnancy, I always tried to stay active. First time around, my doctor says, do what you did before. So of course, I ran a half marathon while pregnant. I was running through pregnancy and lifting weights and all that. And then postpartum I started peeing my pants, my first run out, and I’m like, I just don’t know if I should have been running while pregnant. I don’t know if that was the best advice. I continued to run until eight months pregnant.
Wow. Can I ask you how did running feel while you were pregnant? I love having this conversation about running during pregnancy. Because I know it is something that you know, and feel free to talk and share with whatever. But I know, it’s one of those things where we feel okay, we’ve been running for so long. So we should be able to keep running during pregnancy as long as we can. But were you having incontinence problems when you were running during pregnancy or didn’t start till after?
It didn’t start until after baby – I was pretty lucky there. I felt pretty good until probably six months postpartum. And then I was like, no, if you get lazy, you’re gonna quit doing everything. It was like more of a, you can’t stop now. You know, like, prove everybody wrong. You can do this till you have the baby. I’d get out on the run and it would feel like my hips just wanted to fall into two pieces.
I did, it’s not like I ran three miles, but my goal was a mile a day and then it turned into three times a week.
I did the three times a week, one mile, and I was like, Okay, I need to just walk now. But then even at that point, walking was pretty rough on my hips. I have pretty easy pregnancies I have to say. So even though I felt hurt when I got done running, I’d recoup pretty quick.
Then the next time around, I was like, okay, I can do what I did during my previous pregnant, but maybe don’t push it so hard. I tried to run up until 20 weeks with my second pregnancy and I started to hurt. I’m going to stop. Let’s just take it back. I did more walking on inclines during that pregnancy. But I didn’t have a program to follow or guide me. And I was still having some incontinence even before I got pregnant.
If I want a longer run, I felt like I was clenching while I was running. And then as soon as I stopped running, and I relaxed, the floodgates opened. Not like tons but it was just like, ‘man, I thought I was doing good.’
So this time around I want to start healing now. I don’t want to wait until after this baby. I want to make sure I’m setting myself up for success. So I started doing some research and came across Knocked-Up Fitness® just through Google.
I came across your program and decided to take a chance.
So this third pregnancy, I had started feeling hip pain. First trimester. It’s like, wow, what is wrong with me, by the end of the day at 20 weeks, and laying in bed my hips hurts now. It’s like, they just feel wide, like they’re just wanting to fall apart. This back pain and all of it. So I was like, well, maybe I’m just trying to do too much and I started doing your Knocked-Up Fitness® Prenatal program at 24 weeks, and I’d say by 26-28 weeks, I had NO pain like, zero.
“I had NO pain like, zero.” ~Allie
Amazing Allie. That’s amazing!
I wouldn’t say I was super consistent for the first four weeks. It was more like, get it in when I can. I’d do maybe 10 minutes in one day. But it’s just the awareness that I had all day long:
- How am I standing and hugging my baby?
- Make sure I’m not putting the pressure on my back and my hips.
- And I really think that just having awareness is the key and trying to take even 10 minutes a day, that helps a lot.
I love it. I love hearing you say that so it’s not me saying it. That 10 minutes of exercise a day, it does work. And it really is an awareness thing and bringing it into your life. I love you sharing your story about running during pregnancy and postpartum. Because that’s a lot of women. We just think we can keep doing it.
There’s so many times the doctors will just say keep doing what you were doing. Because they don’t know. And they don’t know, because it’s not their expertise, right?
They’re there to keep mom and baby healthy at the end of the day. And they don’t spend much time diving into the research around prenatal exercise and the amazing health benefits of staying active during pregnancy and how it can relate to birth and postpartum recovery. Which, if you’re open to sharing, and you can say as little or as much as you’d like. But did you notice a difference in from birth and postpartum recovery perspective with between from one two all the way now to three?
I actually had pretty easy labor. So I have to say that it wasn’t a ton of difference. But I mean, this second one, I took two contractions and he was out with no tearing. And the last one I also had no tearing it took me probably 10 minutes. The first one was probably like 20 minutes, so it got progressively better. But that might also just be knowing what to do.
Absolutely. By the third though, that’s great! I know tearing and not having had tearing during birth with a second is amazing. So how far postpartum are you now?
Nine weeks postpartum.
A question I always love asking moms is: Do you feel a difference now in your pelvic floor after baby number three? Have you noticed improvement in your pelvic floor postpartum even now only being nine weeks postpartum?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, before, in between babies, if I sneeze or cough, I have a bad habit of plugging my nose when I sneeze, which obviously puts so much pressure everywhere else. Every time I would sneeze I would pee my pants a little bit. And I haven’t noticed that at all now!!
I’ve tried to stop plugging my nose to just relieve any extra pressure that needs to be. And actually two weeks ago I got six weeks. I’ve tried to incorporate jogging, it’s like, every other minute for 10 minutes, very minimal jogging. I did 15 minutes this week. Not a lot, but I have had no issues at all. And to only be six, seven weeks postpartum starting running again I was expecting something. And while I’m running postpartum, I’m like, ‘Oh, I think I could do more, as I have everything in me to not let myself do more to ease into it.’ Because I know I want to, this is the long game to heal my body postpartum.
I love hearing that. Just a reminder to you and all of our other ladies listening; up till around six months postpartum you have relaxin in your body still. Even if you’re jogging a little bit, it feels fine for you. You’re really smart to keep yourself back a little bit. Because even though you feel really good, which we hear all the time, and I love hearing that, I want everyone to feel amazing. I just don’t want you in a couple months from now to be like feel like you overdid it. And set yourself back again. Because when you really look at it for long term health and setting yourself up for success moving forward, not just in this moment of wanting to get back to doing longer runs. The fact that you’re able to do a little light jogging and smart just doing short little ones and then mixing that with walking.
Don’t underestimate the power of walking during those early postpartum months and beyond!
I also want to ask you if you had any words of wisdom to share with all of our other busy moms?
How can we get all of our workouts in and do the self care and do those things? Because it’s really hard, especially when you have other little ones to keep up with, whether you’re a stay at home mom, homeschooling kids or working full time. We’re all busy and I’ve been in all those positions. I’d love to share your perspective or just some advice for other moms.
I think I could probably take some of my own advice on what I’m going to say.
I’m very much a schedule type person. I need to get up at 5am and do my workout so it’s done for the day. And then it’s six o’clock, I’m rolling out of bed, the kids are getting up, I need to get him ready. And then I’m like, down all day long, like, Oh, I missed my workout, I’m never gonna fit it in.
But what I’ve found, especially during the last eight, nine weeks postpartum that I’ve been off is just get it in when you don’t plan on every day, like I need to make this habit at this time of the day. I’ve just really made it work where he’s sleeping, I’m not holding him. Let’s do something. There’s laundry that needs folded, and I should do some dishes too.
But I’m just going to get in a quick 10 minutes, at least while I can.
Then also, I’ve just strapped the baby on and go for a walk. Even when I was pregnant, I tried to get in one or two 10 minute walks a day, just so I was getting up out of my chair from my office job. I’m trying to get a little bit more movement in even though it’s not exercise.
I think that helped me with my back pain too.
Just because I had the cues in mind, you know, hug your baby, good posture the whole time I’m walking. And I just couldn’t believe even if I missed my workout, I felt stronger, you know, if I missed my core workout. So I really focused on that postpartum because my baby loves sleeping on my chest. So put him in the carrier.
I don’t think I always felt like my shoulders hurt like I was hunched over, you know, and this time around, it’s like, I have no back pain when I haven’t been the carrier even. It’s just like, I know how to hold myself a little bit better. So yeah, as far as timing goes, I’d say don’t get down on yourself.
If you didn’t do it when you planned it, I think scheduling something, it’s how you make sure to make time for it. But if it doesn’t work out, do what you can when you can and don’t. Don’t throw away your day, just because it didn’t go as planned. What I’ve learned is nothing goes as planned.
Yeah, I couldn’t not agree more. So well said. Because I think sometimes we get hard on ourselves, we don’t live up to whatever expectations we set for ourselves. And that just adds to our stress and adds us to scaling down.
Be kinder to yourself, do what you can do.
And like you said, because this is so much of what I’m always encouraging everyone is it’s like, get your movement and get your exercise in when you can, but it is really about taking what you’re learning, especially with the core and the posture and the breathing and all of that and applying it to your life. Because that’s where we’re doing movement all day long, even if we’re sitting at our desk.
I’m a big big fan and always encourage everyone like strap your baby to you get moving postpartum, get walking. I mean it’s an exercise in itself just to stand up in those postpartum days and the way the baby gets bigger right now. It does it make such a difference. And it’s so awesome. And I think it is so empowering for people to learn more about how your body really has the skills, you just have to teach it how to do it.
So yes, definitely. And unfortunate. I mean, since the vid happened, I’ve been able to work from home. And I think going forward, I’ll still be able to work from home so it’s nice that I can kind of take my breaks at different times. So instead of thinking when I go back to work, at least I was doing this before as well. So I plan on doing the same instead of taking an hour lunch, I take three 15 minute breaks. I try to walk two of them. I might do some laundry at one of them. And then I eat during one of them.
I know that I’m not always going to be able to wake up early enough to get it in even though that would be my ideal because I am a morning person. It is just the one morning I do get up on time. So does my one year old. Like Exactly. So it’s just not realistic. So I tried to get into it throughout the day, you know when they’re at daycare if I can, too.
This is being more creative with your schedules. I love that, Allie. This is awesome. I’m so grateful for you popping on here sharing your experience. Is there anything that you really want to share with our ladies listening that you’ve had? That we haven’t already talked about?
Nothing that I can think of. But yeah, I just really credit you. I’ve told friends, another friend that was pregnant at the same time as me.
Am I really doing anything? I completely credit you for it. So thank you.
You’re so welcome. You’re so sweet. And I will put it back to you because you are the one that did the work. So that’s amazing.
Thank you, again, so much Allie for popping on here to share your journey with everybody.
Yeah, no problem. Thanks for having me.