Body After Baby: 4 Months Postpartum

Wow, I have so much to share. I am anxious and slightly nervous to write how I have been recovering during these last several months. But before I continue please read the following disclaimer…

I don’t use extreme measures, deprive myself, or sacrifice my sleep in order to obtain results. I was active during both of my pregnancies and I fully believe that staying active has helped my body recover. I have found that being patient, consistent, and determined are the greatest ways to regain strength and stability in my body. I am a mama to two, and a wife to a firefighter. I don’t have a chef, housekeeper, or nanny. I am real person and I am inviting you to come on my postpartum journey with me. If you are recovering from childbirth please listen to your own body and know that each woman’s pregnancy, labor, and delivery is unique. 

To read Maisie’s birth story click HERE. You may also be interested in reading Body After Baby: 1 Month Postpartum Update.

PRE-PREGNANCY STATS

Waist 27″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 130 lb.

39 WEEK PREGNANCY STATS

Waist 38″ | Hips 39″ | Weight 154 lb.

4 MONTH POST BABY STATS

Waist 31.5″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 133 lb.

Body After Baby 4 Months Postpartum

I am really not even sure where to start. I was feeling really great up until around 6 weeks after giving birth. Both Caden and Maisie were healthy and Josh was back on his regular 24 hour shifts. I felt like supermom. Sure I was exhausted at the end of the day but all things considered I thought I was managing fairly well.

Around 8 weeks postpartum I started to feel very run down. I remember the newborn phase with Caden and being tired but this time around I just seemed to become more fatigued as time went on, experienced frequent heart palpitations, and felt a looming sense of dread hanging over my head.

Thinking that I might have a nutritional deficiency I set up an appointment with my naturopath and she recommended that I see a cardiologist.  One doctors appointment turned into another and has since spiraled out of control. I really can’t tell you how many times in the last 3 months I have been to a doctor. These appointments have included the dermatologist for skin biopsies and exzema, dentist for a root canal, cardiologist, naturopath, vein specialist for varicose vein treatments, and lastly to my primary care doctor.

I don’t even want to think about how much money I have spent on co-pays. Thank the Lord for insurance!

Multiple doctors visits, waiting for various test results, and trying to manage squeezing all these appointments in while nursing Maisie has been stressful to say the least. The “what if’s” started to pile up and before I knew it I was spending the majority of my time worrying about what could happen to myself and my family.

Crying seemed to become a normal part of my routine and I seriously felt like my bubbly personality was never going to make a reappearance.

I never thought I would battle with postpartum depression or anxiety. Like never ever.

With Josh’s encouragement and support I made an appointment with my primary care doctor and told him with tears in my eyes what I had been experiencing. That was the turning point. It was scary but empowering at the same time. I knew from that instant going forward I would be in a much better place. Maybe not right away but I was at least taking steps in a more positive direction.

Sharing all of this is not easy, and I debated over and over if I even wanted to share. In the end it feels better to be open and honest. I am not perfect and don’t have it all together and would never want anyone to get that impression from my blog.

I am so thankful I went to see my doctor when I did. Waiting would have only allowed me to sink deeper and deeper into a dark and bottomless pit.

This past week I learned the results from the testing that was done at the cardiologist. I have to say that it was a relief in a way to find out that the heart palpitations I have been experiencing were not a result of an over active imagination. The pulmonic valve in my heart is leaky. It is mild leak that could have been a result from pregnancy or I could have had it my entire life there is really no way to know. It is not life threatening but later on down the road if it should worsen I may need heart surgery.

My heart is also misfiring electric signals causing it to contract in an abnormal rhythm, this is why I have been feeling the palpitations. I had to wear a heart monitor with electrodes and wires for two weeks which was slightly annoying but worth it because I now have the answer I need. Again this is not life threatening and should it get worse I might need to go on medication but the cardiologist thought it could be related to postpartum hormones so I just have to wait and see.

All of this to say I am doing better. I can still exercise and I now have a plan to get back on track mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Without God at the front of all this I would be even more of a mess.

Enough of all that. Hopefully that gives you an idea of what has been going on. This next part seems slightly less important to me now in comparison to what has been happening with my overall health but I know I said I would share my before and after pictures from using the MuTu System 12 Week Program.

Body After Baby 1 Month & 4 Months Postpartum

1 MONTH POST BABY STATS

Waist 33″ | Hips 39″ | Weight 139 lb.

4 MONTH POST BABY STATS

Waist 31.5″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 133 lb.

Ladies, if you have had a baby recently or even if it has been several or more years I highly recommend the MuTu System. You can read my MuTu System 12 Week Online Program Review for more details. Since my last update I have lost 6 pounds and 3.5 inches. I can’t sing it’s praises enough! If you feel like you are looking pregnant months or years after having your baby do yourself a favor and click HERE to watch a quick video explaining the program and how it works. I’ve also been using my Fitbit to track my steps each day which has helped me see how much (or how little) I have been moving.

I am averaging around 7 hours of sleep each night and Maisie is nursing every 3 hours during the day and sleeping 12 hours at night. It is great! Over the last 6 weeks I have been waking up at 5am to pump breastmilk to stash in the freezer. The treatment I am having done on my varicose veins requires me to pump and dump for 24 hours after my appointments. All you moms who exclusively pump you are rockstars! I am planning to write a separate post on this in the next few weeks. So far my treatment has been going well and my legs are already feeling better. Yay!

I think that I need to hit publish on this post before I decide to delete it. To see cute pictures of my kiddos follow me on Instagram. I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below.

Moms how have you dealt with your postpartum recovery?

This post may contain affiliate links of items that I have used and loved. Thank you for supporting this blog and our family by purchasing through my links.

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MuTu System 12 Week Online Program Review

This is not a sponsored review. I purchased the MuTu System 12 Week Online Program with my own money and have not been compensated for this post. I highly recommend this program and because I loved it so much I became an affiliate. This means that if you purchase this product from my links I will earn a small comission. Thank you for helping to support this blog and our family.

UPDATE JANUARY 2018 :MUTU System has launched a *BRAND NEW* program designed to flatten your tummy, stop annoying leakage, lose the weight you really wanna shift, heal your diastasis recti, feel fitter, healthier and sexier. The best bit is it takes 15 minutes a day! Since this post was written I have had another baby and wrote another post (with before and after pictures!) to share what I thought about the new program. Enjoy reading about my original experience with this program below.

When I was nearing the end of my second pregnancy I started to research how I wanted to strengthen and allow my body to heal after childbirth. I knew going into this pregnancy that my core just wasn’t the same as at had been since the birth of my first child. Planks in particular really caused me to struggle. I couldn’t figure out why I had this annoying cone shaped bulge in the middle of my torso whenever I would engage my core in planks or in yoga while on my mat, like in boat pose.

After having my babies I didn’t realize how greatly my body would be impacted and forever changed. I can remember teaching a yoga class 2 months after my son was born and showing a transition from lunge to side plank that just about took my breath away. I felt like my pelvic floor was ripping in half and had to drop down to my knees to recover.

Let me first say, being pregnant and giving birth is an amazing miracle and I am so thankful that both my babies were born healthy. For those of you reading this who are struggling with infertility my heart breaks for you and my prayer is that you will be able to experience the joy of being a parent in the future. Please know, I am not trying to tell a story of how hard pregnancy is or how horrible labor was at all but instead only want to convey that pregnancy does do some crazy things to your body.

It is so important to take care of yourself after giving birth. I strongly encourage anyone reading this who is thinking about becoming pregnant, currently pregnant, or just had a baby to allow your body time to heal. I love running, high impact exercises, and plyo workouts (think of exercises like squat jumps, burprees, and jumping lunges) but since Maisie was born (she is 17 weeks old today) I have not done any of those things. Eventually I will run and do burpees again but for now I am content with what I am able to accomplish with my body and that each day I am getting stronger and healthier.

ANATOMY OF THE ABS

If you have had a baby you might be one of the many women who have no idea that their abdominal muscles have separated and are still separated. Did you know that this could even happen? I had no idea until after I gave birth to Caden. As a personal trainer this was nothing I even learned about in my course work.

Take a look at the Rectus Abdominis both before and during pregnancy…

Diastasis-Recti-V3-720x484

The Linea Alba, the connective tissue between the right and left half of the Rectus Abdominis, stretches to accommodate the growing baby. For some women the gap closes naturally on its own. For others the connective tissue has become overly stretched and aggravated that it does not heal properly which leaves the new mama with an unwanted belly bulge months and even years after her bundle of joy has arrived. And for a mama who has multiple pregnancies the gap can become noticeably wider each time.

This gap is known as Diastasis Recti.

YOU CAN HAVE A FLAT TUMMY

While I do have a small amount of diastasis recti I have found that in order to encourage my tummy to become flat I can’t just focus on abdominal work.

Why you ask?

Because it will not re-train the core and pelvic floor. Crunches, sit-ups, and various other abdominal exercises will only put increased internal pressure on the abdominal wall and never allow you to achieve the tummy you want. No mom wants to have low back pain, an unstable core, a tummy that sticks out, and a pelvic floor that doesn’t work properly. Instead you must focus on adjusting your body’s alignment and stretch and strengthen your muscles to get a strong functioning core and pelvic floor.

The big question everyone asks is how do I do this?

Your body is a system. Everything works together. Muscles work together to support each other. So instead of only focusing on one part of the problem the entire system that supports your midsection needs to be addressed.

If you are looking for a way to heal, re-train, improve, and strengthen your core the MUTU System is the perfect program for you.

There are several programs available that focus on healing diastasis recti. I have looked into many of them. By far the best program that I have found and that I support is the MuTu System. The creator Wendy Powell is simply amazing. This program focuses on retraining the muscles in the body, healing the mommy tummy, and correcting the internal pressure.

You can get a free video with Wendy’s top 10 ab exercises by signing up on her website (top right corner).

The Mutu System offers several different programs, DVD + online training. I have the 12 week online program and love it! It never expires and I am currently doing it right now.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

In order to do this program you will need the following items:

I used 8 pound weights for this program. I would recommend starting off with 5 pounds if you haven’t been exercising consistently and also getting a heavier and lighter resistance band so you can make your workouts more challenging as you progress each week.

Mutu System also just released their own MUTU Kit Bag that contains a resistance band, loop + small ball. Everything you need to get going with our programs. You will only need to purchase your weights separately.

WHAT’S THE 12 WEEK ONLINE PROGRAM LIKE?

Watch this trailer for a detailed look at the 12 week online program…

To be honest, I was skeptical about this program. I mean it sounded great and all, but I really wasn’t expecting to be as challenged as I was or to make a huge difference in my body. Once I started, I couldn’t believe just how weak and unstable my body had become since being pregnant and giving birth. This program has really challenged me. The workouts are fast paced and take 20 minutes total. I love that each week builds off the last and that every exercise progresses just enough that you feel challenged but not enough that it seems impossible.

THE RESULTS

So I know everyone is really big on before and after pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I am as well and will be sharing my 4 Month Body After Baby Update next week pictures included. In case you missed it you can read my Body After Baby: 1 Month Postpartum Update.

I think the biggest benefit of this program, even bigger than how you look, is learning how to improve how your body functions and feels. From day 1 of this program I have noticed improvements in my body and what I am able to do. Lunges were not something I could do easily or comfortably during pregnancy and after giving birth, but a few weeks into the program when lunges were added I could do them. I am so happy!

The abdominal separation that I had after giving birth has been reduced by a finger width. Overall I am stronger and my balance is much better because I am rebuilding core strength and retraining the muscles of and relating directly with my pelvic floor. When I do the core exercises and stretches before bed I have noticed that I do not have to get up to pee 5 times at night because I am learning to relax overly tight muscles and retrain the weaker stabilizers like my glutes and transverse abdominus.

Update: To see my before and after pictures read Body After Baby: 4 Months Postpartum

GET STARTED TODAY, 15% DISCOUNT CODE, & MUTUVATION 2014

Thank you Wendy for your creating this wonderful program! It has been such a blessing to me and I am excited to have been able to share how much I love the MuTu System with my readers.

If you are ready to invest in your health and re-train your core and pelvic floor you can get started today. That is the beauty of using a program that is all online!

UPDATE: Take a glance at the MUTU Store to purchase the online program. The 12 week online program cost is $167. Wendy, the creator of the MuTu System, was kind enough to offer a 15% off discount code to all readers of The Workout Mama.

Go and checkout the MuTu System and use the discount code tamara15 to save on your order.

If you live in LA, Houston, Chicago, or New York City you can join Wendy at MuTuVation. MuTuVation will inspire you to think, exercise, move and live in ways that will transform your well-being. If you are a mom this is for you. If you want to learn about the stuff you don’t understand about your body, the stuff you’d like to change about your body, what its OK to feel and look like after you’ve had babies, and whats not OK, and what you can do about it click the image below to find more details on MuTuVation. MuTuVation will be in Los Angeles on October 18th, Houston on October 20th, Chicago on October 22nd, and New York City on October 25th. All events will run from 9.30am until 4.30pm.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on The Workout Mama is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is your responsibility to educate yourself and address any health or medical needs you may have with your physician. Please seek professional help when needed.

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