Too often, new moms are given the message to workout harder, do more, and do it sooner. It takes over your social media feeds, and penetrates our culture.
Keri, founder of Make It Work Momma, is a breath of fresh air in the black hole of social media misinformation. Her account showcases her pregnant and now postpartum workouts, showing that slow and steady is the key to a healthy mom bod.
“The message out there is hard work pays off,” Keri said. “But this isn’t always the case. Just because you go into a pregnancy strong, it doesn’t mean that you will get right back to that after you have the baby. You need to rebuild your foundation.”
Keri’s journey, like so many women on a mission to help other moms move with more awareness, comes from a place of live and learn. She went into her first pregnancy in the “best shape of her life.” She was taking TRX classes, and continued throughout her pregnancy to work hard in the gym doing planks, mountain climbers, and complex TRX movements.
One 91/2 pound baby later, ready to return to the gym, she found her core weak and unstable. She talked to her trainer, but he had no answers. Planks and sit-ups would make her core stronger, they decided. After many months of feeling not quite herself, she discovered she had a 3-finger gap between her recuts abdominis (the “six-pack” muscles). Those planks and sit-ups were only exacerbating the problem.
She first heard of diastasis recti from a friend—not a docotor, midwife or trainer. Disheartened by the lack of postnatal knowledge and care in the fitness community, she became motivated to change the fate of other moms, and she got certified as a personal trainer. She has since had two more babies, both again over 9 pounds. Each recovery has been better and she has returned stronger. What’s the secret?
“I have recovered so much better this time around,” she said of her newly postpartum self. “The difference is that I have been gentle with myself. I didn’t rush my recovery. I took the time to strengthen my pelvic floor and focus on my transverse abdominis and my breathing.”
Knowledge is power. There simply isn’t enough mainstream knowledge available on how to heal and move while pregnant and postpartum.
“I wish someone would have shown and explained how the body, core and pelvic floor work together, and how to take care of and train these systems. A few simple shifts in how we move and train can make such a difference on our bodies. I’m not sure why it isn’t common knowledge,” she said.
Thanks to pioneers like Keri, we are one step closer to making postpartum recovery a priority and not an afterthought.
Please follow Keri on Instagram at @makeitworkmomma and check out her website, www.makeitworkmomma.com.