Body After Baby
IFBB pro Sandi Forsythe shares the tips and tricks she used to get in shape after having triplets.
I have recently encountered several mothers who asked me to share with them how I got my body back after my triplets. This inspired me to write a blog on bodies after babies. All to often I hear women say, “I’ll never have the same body back after this baby.” The truth is, you're right. Your body changes after having a baby but in my opinion it can change for the better! Below are some tips and ideas that I used to get my body back after having my triplets. I understand that no two pregnancies are the same and each one has its own set of challenges. I was placed on complete bed rest in the hospital at 12 weeks, and gave birth to my trio at 27 weeks. Bed rest prevented me from working out during my pregnancy, however, it did not prevent me from kicking it into gear once my trio was born.
1) Allow your body to rest; post pregnancy can be a challenging time. Our bodies are going through an array of emotion, and let’s face it pregnancy is no easy task. Listen to your doctor: rest, recover, and cut yourself some slack. This part may be hard and I understand completely. After lying in a hospital bed for weeks on end I was ready to run a marathon; but incorporating exercise too soon can be detrimental. Wait until your doctor gives you the green light to start working out.
2) Once you’re able to start working out take it slow! Baby steps. I started with walks, pushing a triplet stroller 5-6 times per week and gradually worked my way into running. When I felt exhausted I rested; understand that rest is just as essential as exercise especially after pregnancy.
3) Incorporate weight training. After about a month of cardiovascular training I started to incorporate weight training. Again go slow, start light and work your way up. I started with an upper and lower body circuit two times per week. Eventually I worked my way up to four lifting days a week and broke my body into parts so I was not at the gym long; approximately 45-minute lifting sessions. It’s not about the time spent in the gym, it's about the quality of the workout!
4) Feed your body after pregnancy. Each person is different and so the calories needed after pregnancy are different for each woman. However, if you are breastfeeding you will need additional calories to support milk production. Fueling your body appropriately after pregnancy is key to gaining muscle tone as well as getting rid of fat that was gained during pregnancy. I stuck to a high-protein diet (chicken, fish, lean turkey, egg whites, and almond milk) and veggies. I also incorporated carbohydrates (higher amounts on weight lifting days and lower on non-weight training days). My sources were generally sweet potatoes, oatmeal, cream of wheat, and brown rice. Incorporating good fats is also essential, especially for those who are breast feeding. Good choices are natural nut butters, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, hummus, and nuts.
5) Hormones-yep I said it… after pregnancy our hormones can be all over the place. Incorporating a daily multivitamin (I use MHP- Active Sport), fish oil, and additional vitamins can be highly beneficial. Again, consult with your doctor before starting on supplementation.
6) Take time, and make time for you. Having a new baby can be exciting but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. Make sure to take time for you. Set aside time to eat 5-6 smaller meals a day, set aside time to exercise, and set aside time to rest.
Don’t stress over losing the baby weight and don’t step on the scale each day. Be consistent with your diet and exercise, and your body will respond in time. You can get your body back after baby… it may not be the same body, but it can be a better version of your body! My body today is nothing like my body before my triplets. It's stronger, more muscular, and I’m healthier!