Fitness for Mamas: Your Postnatal Body


By: Emily Fee

I don’t know how I feel about this photo.

I would be surprised if you hadn’t seen the recent photo below of Maria M. Kang on Facebook.

Maria M Kang-Emily Fee

She looks amazing for a mom, well for any normal human being for that matter! I’m not going to lie; I still don’t know how I feel about this photo.

I don’t hate her for looking that way eight months after having a baby because to be honest I’m breastfeeding, working out and running on not enough sleep to remember to make a meal for myself, so I know how easy it is for the baby weight to fall off. But I am also aware that postpartum bellies are not what they used to be given that you’ve just made a human!

MILF, have you had your recommended amount today?

Your body has just gone through so many changes and challenges which is why I’m still reeling from the b*&^*@$% caption (now that I’m a mom I’m trying to clean up my potty mouth) that the photo contains. If she had only written “MILF, have you had your recommended amount today?” or something inspiring to all mothers out there I think this photo would have been accepted so much better by her peers.

Pre and postnatal fitness is a such a neglected or might I say misunderstood topic. It is difficult for mothers to know how approach fitness during and after pregnancy. Which is why I think it is important for us as moms to do our own research and start talking about it. When I became pregnant I wasn’t sure what I was able to do, when to stop doing core workouts and how to keep fit during this transitional time in my life. I didn’t care if I looked like Maria Kang, but I wanted to make sure I was making healthy choices for myself and my baby. Let’s be honest, during pregnancy pizza and chicken wings always seem like the better choice when put up against the gym.

What kind of exercise can pregnant women do?

For Christmas last year my husband gave me a gift certificate for a prenatal training class. At first I was a little apprehensive about going because there is little advice as to what kind of exercises and how much of it a pregnant women can do. When I asked my doctor about working out, she simply just said “sure just do what you feel comfortable doing”. So I went into the first prenatal strength training class with an open mind. I must say it was unlike any other fitness experience I ever had. The program approached pre and postnatal class with a wellness method. The main goal of each session is for you to feel better when you walk out of the class then you did walking in.

Thigh Gaps?

Strength training can significantly benefit your body during pregnancy, prepare for labor, and help you bounce back much quicker after baby. It is exactly what I believe expecting and new mothers are looking for in pre and postnatal fitness. We’re not looking for a six-pack or thigh gaps, we want to be healthy for our babies and ourselves so we can be the best moms we can be!

Current Research

The current research of the benefits of working out during pregnancy is finally coming to light. It seems it is beneficial for both mommy and baby, Global TV News released an article titled Exercise During Pregnancy May Boost New Born Brain Development. The article stated that women who are pregnant and exercised as little as 20 minutes three times per week can advance a newborn’s brain activity. This was according to a study the University of Montreal presented at the 2013 Neuroscience conference. Read more here.

An Accidental Mom’s Group

Personally I had a wonderful pregnancy and recovery, even with a C-section. I slept great throughout my pregnancy, had minimal back pain, and my energy level was high. I have to say that I strongly believe that it is a direct result of working out during my pregnancy. Most importantly I’ve met some really great moms and their babies in this class. It’s almost become an accidental mom’s group.  After a few of the classes, we’ve gone out to grab some lunch or a quick coffee together. During the class words of encouragement show our support of one another.

A Realistic Approach

Raising babies is hard. As mothers we can criticize each others looks or we can love one another. We can offer support when it’s needed and and celebrate victories no matter how big or small they are. This is a healthy, balanced, supportive, and realistic approach to pre and postnatal fitness.

Emily is a first time mom, an American living in Canada, blogger, dog lover, Martha Stewart wannabe, education enthusiast, and most recently a master of doing everything one handed. Emily enjoys sharing the joys, struggles, and humor in becoming a mom to other Modern Mamas everywhere. Before dedicating her life to her family and writing about the undertakings of motherhood she earned a B.A. and M.A. in Childhood Special Education from Manhattanville College. Checkout more from Emily on her blog Beauty

You May Also Like