Post-Pregnancy Exercise & Courtney C
One of many examples of exercising during and after pregnancy.
Tell us about yourself. My name is Courtney Doyle Chambers. I’m 32. My husband Matt and I will be married 4 years this June, and we just welcomed our first baby, a girl named Dagny, on November 23rd. I work full-time as a marketing manager at Cengage Learning, but am currently enjoying the last bit of my maternity leave.
What exercise routine were you following prior to having your baby? For most of my pregnancy I participated in Boot Camp twice a week and Metabolic Explosion Training class on Saturday mornings. Towards the end, I did MET class exclusively 2-3 times a week.
At what point did you stop exercising? My last MET class was 11/10. I chose to stop then as my due date was 11/18, and I was becoming anxious about when and where I would go into labor! For the most part I still felt comfortable in class, though some exercises were becoming more difficult.
How do you think exercising for so long during your pregnancy has helped you? I had a wonderful pregnancy, and I largely attribute that to my exercise regimen. I wasn’t sick, I was comfortable despite my growing belly, and felt pretty energetic most of the time. I also had a speedy labor and delivery. From the time my water broke to the time that Dagny was born was a total of one hour and 35 minutes. I can’t help but think that continuing to strengthen my body with exercise throughout my pregnancy played a role in a great birthing experience. I also felt really good afterwards – a few of our hospital visitors commented on how I was already up and about!
How long has it been since your baby was born? Was this your first? Dagny is 10 weeks old this week and yes, she is our first baby.
How many weeks did you wait to return to exercising? I returned when she was 6 weeks old, after my post-partum checkup and when my doctors cleared me to return to my regular activities.
What exercise routine are you following now? I’m currently going to MET class on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings. Matt attends Boot Camp on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so by going to MET we are both able to go to a class on Thursdays. I might like to add another night in the future, but for now this is working well as I learn to balance life with our new addition.
How do you feel? I feel great! The first week back was a little rough on my body, as expected, but my soreness lasted only a couple days. Sometimes I still feel a little slower than usual, but I’ll get there. Overall, I think it’s been going very well!
What are your goals? My initial goal was to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, which I’m happy to say happened pretty quickly. Now, I’m back to my pre-pregnancy goals: to further lower my weight and BMI. I’d also like to be able to do a full round of high-quality, regular push ups!
What advice do you have for other women who are pregnant or who are considering starting a family? If you are already exercising – stick with it if your pregnancy allows, and ask your doctor if you have any concerns. During my pregnancy a lot of people in my life expressed concerns about me continuing my exercise routine. But, all of the doctors at my practice agreed that I could continue my regimen (whatever I had already been doing) as long as I felt comfortable. I did, so I kept going, and I am so glad I stuck with it.
What advice do you have for other women who have recently had a baby? Don’t be afraid to get back to exercising! As long as your doctor approves, it can help to increase energy and feel like yourself again. Plus, it gets you out of the house! We all need a little “me” time.
Any other comments you’d like to share. Sharon and my fellow Boot Campers and MET classers were a wonderful support system for me. It was so motivating to hear their kind words and thoughtful check-ins throughout my pregnancy, and afterward as well. It definitely inspired me to keep coming back! Thanks to all of you!