Getting Your Body Back?
Most postpartum fitness and movement classes market themselves as a means to help you lose weight and shrink your tummy. But, we don’t design or advertise our classes that way. Instead, we believe placing the focus on helping you feel strong, whole, and capable, not on the scale or your waist size, is what makes for a wellness-centered, truly supportive postpartum class.
“Yeah yeah yeah”, you say, “that sounds great, but will your class help me lose weight anyway”?
And we get it! Every mom feels that way sometimes, and you’re not shallow or vain for longing for it.
For some, the desire to get their old body back is as practical as not wanting to buy a whole new wardrobe. For others, it’s a visceral need to feel at home in their body. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum are incredibly disruptive and disorienting, and many new moms desperately want to recognize themselves again. The experience of feeling like your body, or even your life, is foreign, less than, or destroyed is common and valid. And, in a sense, painfully accurate! We do not ever want to minimize the physical and emotional toll of growing, birthing, and nurturing a baby. Wanting to feel whole again, more like the version of yourself you remember before baby, is something all moms go through, and there is nothing wrong with you for feeling this way.
Perhaps even more powerful is the value our culture puts on “bouncing back” after baby. No matter how unattainable or unhealthy it may be, that messaging is everywhere. Social media, magazines, our friends and family, and even many in the health and wellness industries tend to strongly associate happiness, health, fitness, even respect and love, with thin, youthful bodies untouched by the grittiness of real life. Who wouldn’t feel there was something wrong with their post-baby body under that pressure?
But we believe our job is to help you navigate this minefield of postpartum experiences without reinforcing it with messaging that focuses on changing your physical appearance. In fact, we believe a focus on weight and size can make feelings of brokenness and disconnection worse, especially if our bodies don’t shrink or firm up like we hoped, as if often the case. There is nothing more defeating than feeling like a failure, and we are in the business of empowering mothers, not reinforcing what undermines their chances of feelings good in their bodies.
You body may change as you begin to exercise postpartum. It may lose fat or tone. We support those goals if they are important to you, and would never shame you for wanting that. As we detailed above, we get it! But, as a program, we are neutral about changes in your appearance. What *we* really want is for you to function better in your daily life. We want to support your road to recovery so you can enjoy running around with your little ones, jumping on the trampoline, or laughing at their silly antics, without tiring easily or peeing your pants (more common than you think!). We want you to feel capable of all the holding and carrying that’s required in those early years of parenting without feeling weak and sore. We want you to experience the endorphin rush of a good movement session without being bogged down by pelvic & back pain. We want to help you divorce exercise from weight-loss or body-shaping so you can enjoy all its important benefits without devaluing your current body (which is an amazing life-creating, life-giving wonder!)
Simply put, we want your cup to be as full as it can be. There’ll be no pressure from us to hearken back to a life and a body that no longer exist. We aim to move you forward and help you thrive in your new existence in all its beauty and complexity. That is what inspires us, and is the energy you’ll feel in our classes.
So, remember, all of our classes are a prenatal + postpartum mix, and are the perfect environment for you to move and get to know your new post-baby body. We always recommend seeking clearance from your health care provider before returning to movement after baby, but you can expect to be ready about 4-8 weeks postpartum, depending on the details of your delivery. We know how to help you navigate your postpartum needs and are a safe place to explore just what this new body can do!