You've got a smart and strong little pal on your hands! Every day your baby learns more, and needs your help on that quest. Don't get caught thinking he is too young to engage and learn from your interactions with each other. Isn't it crazy that just 11 weeks ago he was residing inside of you, and now he is learning to interact with you and his surroundings?!
There are the moms that jump right into working out the second they walk out of their 6-week appointment, and there are moms that just reallllly don't like working out at all! Neither one is the right or wrong way to be, that is just who you are! One thing is for sure though, being physically active will seriously help your body and your mind. Although there is such a big focus on the way bodies look in the media, we believe you just need to feel good and be healthy for you and your family! So, if you are dragging your feet because you feel intimated or discouraged by crazy expectations for yourself, JUST STOP. Little by little mama!
So, where do you begin?? Well...there is not one solid answer for everyone. You obviously need to pace yourself, but perhaps you want to challenge yourself too. Your first step will be to take the advice given at your postpartum check-up from your doctor or provider. They will have either given you the go-ahead, or told you to hold off until you meet with them again, dependent upon your healing. You can also refer to this blog post to get some tips on a few VERY simple and baseline exercises you can do to start!
Next, just give it a go and experiment a bit along the way! If you worked out through your pregnancy, go ahead and get back to what you were doing before BUT scale your weight and intensity down. Didn't work out at all? Use the trusty tool called the internet and research "beginner workouts!" There are plenty of sites that will give you a workout AND show you how to do each movement. If you are ready to head to the gym, you can check out classes they offer, or schedule a session with a personal trainer! The key is to find something you like and be committed to. Keep trying until something clicks and you will be grateful!
Though little, your 11-week-old baby is really starting to have a mind of her own! She is sleeping less than she was a few weeks ago, which gives her more time to be engaged in other things. If you haven't, now is a great time to start reading to your baby. Be animated, use different tones, and engage your baby with your facial expressions! When she is bored of the reading, she will turn away, and then it's time for another activity! Singing nursery rhymes, a little tummy time, and just playing with her on her level helps her development. Each of these activities may not last very long, but when consistent, a little goes a long way!
You might be noticing that baby can hold her head up with more purpose and strength these days! You can work on this with her by having her sit supported. Just make sure you're not getting too carried away since she may have a moment of 'let-go' where she just gets tired and drops her head. You can also sit facing her, hold her hands, lower baby slowly, and softly, onto her back, then bring her back up again. Think of it as mom and baby workout time!
As you go back to working out, find a group class that you enjoy attending! Especially if you are a first-time mom, it is hard to keep committed when the regular mommy-bumps-in-the-road come up. It becomes easier when you consistently go at the same time, and feel a sense of commitment and camaraderie. Some days you might have to strap baby to your chest, and others baby might calmly kick and squirm on a nice blanket next to you. Before you know it, your gym time is just a regular part of your schedule, and your baby will roll right along with it!