When did you start with a workout after childbirth? Can you please elaborate to help women understand how to go about recovery and return back to the sports they pursue or enjoy after childbirth? 5 best tips for return to sport & life?
Whitney McClintock Rini
I went to the lake to waterski the day I got cleared by my midwife- 6 weeks after delivery. I expected to jump back on my ski and feel somewhat normal. I WAS SO WRONG! I could barely hold on to the rope- I was 15-20 pounds heavier than I had ever been and I was certainly weaker and more exhausted than I had ever been on the water. Even after skiing – very easy skiing – through my whole pregnancy, NOTHING could have prepared me for the return to training and competition.
I signed up for some pro tournaments in October – I wasn’t ready! Then I signed up for full-body movement style workouts at New Dimensions Wellness in Orlando to get stronger and lose the baby weight from December through April (This helped me get my body back and I felt so good doing it). By May when my son was 9 months old, I thought surely I would be ready to compete at my highest level- I wasn’t ready!
It took a full 12 months for me to win my first pro event after giving birth (I won on my baby’s first birthday)– which in hindsight sounds pretty spectacular! It was the most challenging road back to the top of the podium. It was difficult, but it was SO rewarding, and I am stronger mentally now because of it, and I truly enjoyed the climb. This journey gave me so much appreciation for what our bodies go through to have a baby! It also gave me so much appreciation for my sport and how much strength, technical ability, and teamwork it takes to be the best.
My 5 best tips for return to sport & life
- Find help with the baby, if you don’t have someone to watch the baby while you work out; you are not giving yourself the best opportunity.
- Do your Kegels! Or better yet, hire a pelvic floor therapist- this helps your deep core muscles engage which is critical in sport AND helps you enjoy time with your partner much sooner!
- Find a fitness routine you can commit to if it feels good, and you are excited about it then it is right for you, and it will help you move in the direction of your dreams!
- Practice gratitude. Your baby is the biggest blessing you have ever received. He also takes more of your time and energy than anything ever has. Remember to cherish the sweet moments with him; hold him while he sleeps if it feels right; let someone help if it feels right; enjoy your partner; accept a meal from a friend but mostly be thankful for all the wonderful things in your life.
- Go do something every day. It is so easy to get stuck at home. Your baby loves adventure as much as you do. Take him on a walk. Take him to your practice. Take him grocery shopping. Take him out for dinner with you. Take him to grandma’s house. Tell your little one it’s time for an adventure and GO! He will be so happy to be with you, learning how to be a human!
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.