This post was authored by Sarah Porter, Certified Instructor at Bar Method Winter Park and National Coach/Evaluator for Bar Method.
So your bouncing bundle of joy has arrived — congratulations, mama! Cue endless hours of just staring at your darling babe. Hopefully, your baby will sleep through the night and allow you time to refresh. Maybe you’ll even find that breastfeeding is a breeze and your little one is so amenable that carrying on with life is simple. Who said motherhood was hard?
But wait — what happens if you’re not feeling this way? It’s more than likely that you’re completely exhausted, sore and tired. You might start to feel like you’re losing your mind or become weepy for no reason. What’s happening is called the “baby blues” — and it’s actually normal.
While getting support from your partner, family, and friends is extremely important during this trying time, you need to find time to do the things that bring you joy and keep you on an even keel. Whether you gave birth vaginally or via caesarean section will play a role in how quickly you can spring back into your Bar Method regime — but as soon as your OB says it’s okay, jump back on that bandwagon. Exercise is actually one of the best ways to cope with those baby blues. Read on for six reasons why getting back into class can help.
1. You’ll experience endorphins. Better than a cup of coffee and almost as good as sex, the feel-good vibes you get from successfully completing three sets of thigh work can reinforce the feeling that you truly are a super mom.
Carrie Mack, a regular Bar Method student, instructor and mom to Wyatt agrees that class made all the difference when it came to her energy, happiness and confidence after giving birth. “After I had my son, I started experiencing the “baby blues”. I had a pretty tough recovery from labor and struggled with breastfeeding and getting sick during the first month. I spent most days feeling a sense of sadness that I couldn’t shake. I knew something was different.
She continues, “The first class I took post-pregnancy saved me. It refreshed my new mom mind and calmed my spirit. I was able to focus that entire hour on me. I felt renewed and reenergized and it literally took away the blues I was feeling. Every class I’ve taken since then has made me experience this same feeling of being refreshed and reenergized. I am a better mom because of this.”
2. You’ll raise your energy levels. Working out revives your inner stamina and strength. Having an hour to yourself to work on your fitness will mentally help you to deal with life and your newborn more easily. You might think, ‘Oh, I am exhausted and I just can’t do this!’ Instead, I promise you’ll feel so much better after taking an hour to replenish you.
3. You’ll lose baby weight. I’m always blown away by the post-natal clients at our studio — they bounce back to their pre-baby weight so fast. Talk about a confidence boost!
4. You’ll re-strengthen your core muscles. Remember how pushups, bent-elbow lifts, and reverse pushups made your upper body look fierce? Well, those same exercises are going to give you the strength to carry your baby around (plus all the gear that comes with him or her). Don’t forget that your Bar Method instructors are all extremely knowledgeable. Let your teacher know if you’re concerned about pain in specific areas so you can modify exercises as you need to as you work to get back to your strong self again.
5. You’ll remodel your pelvic floor. Pregnancy and delivery can cause chaos on your pelvic floor muscles. In fact, The Bar Method’s focus on consistently firing up your abdominals and squeezing your glutes is the perfect remedy for retraining that area. You’ll even be able to sneeze with confidence. All praise be to back-dancing!
6. You’ll enjoy social interaction. Don’t underestimate the benefits of hitting class with your Bar bestie again after having your baby. Spending time with others can help you rediscover your motivation and keep you inspired to stay healthy.
“Class enabled me to redefine myself as a young woman and not just a mom,” Kelly Higuera, a Bar Method student and teacher says. “I had a wonderful group of women who helped inspire me and motivate me daily. I truly believe that The Bar Method is why I can look back on pregnancy and post-pregnancy and think about how enjoyable my life was at the time.”
Remember that your Bar Method instructor will be there to welcome you to each class and constantly remind you of how strong you are — along with how amazing and strong your body is. Don’t deny yourself of that love. You deserve it.
Did Bar Method help you get over your post-baby blues? Tell us about your experience in the comments.