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Bodies After Baby Comprehensive Guide (REBUILD)

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Hello Beautiful Mama,

Congratulations on your new baby! This is an exciting time for you and your family. It is so important to take care of yourself so you can have a strong mind and body to take care of everyone else. We are so happy you are here!    

This 6-week program is designed to heal and strengthen your postpartum body from the inside out.  There is a heavy emphasis on healing an abdominal separation (this can be a vulnerable area in your core whether you had a separation or not) and help strengthen your pelvic floor (which can still be stressed through your pregnancy and labor even if you had a C-section).  

You can relax in knowing that everything laid out before you is for the good of your postpartum body.  You can expect to feel stronger, more energized, and slim down your waistline within the next 6-8 weeks. You will also be training your core to be functional for the rest of your life (leak-free, pain-free and injury-free).  Your mombody deserves to feel just as amazing as it looks!

The BAB recovery process is gradual but extremely effective.  Be kind and be patient with yourself. 

Please keep this guide as a quick reference during our 6 weeks together. I will also be available to answer questions on FB.

 Our BAB philosophy is simple: Help Moms look & feel BEAUTIFUL inside and out.

Your inside-out transformation begins with these three tools:  EAT. MOVE. REST.

Remember: You really can’t have full body health and wellness without the combination of all three of these components.  

Ok, let’s start with Eat.

EAT.

We focus on whole food nutrition that will both heal and strengthen your mom body from the inside out.  That’s right - what you put in your body will have a lot to do with how quickly it can recover. Here’s what I mean:   

Your pregnancy, labor and delivery were stressful on your body and each one has compromised the stability of the soft tissues and muscles in your core and pelvic floor.  Most of us had at least one of the following: episiotomy, diastasis recti (abdominal separation), hernia, pelvic floor pain or dysfunction, connective tissue tearing, and even the intestinal lining (leaky gut) can be affected.  We focus on foods that restore the areas that were most affected by your pregnancy.

So, what should I eat, you ask?  

Our answer is: Eat good food and drink plenty of water.  That is all you need to do to help your mom body recover.  

But, if we are digging a little deeper, and we want to help accelerate our body’s natural healing processes, here are BAB’s food guidelines for your recovery: 

  • Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full.  Most moms are NOT eating enough food.  Calories in vs. calories out is an outdated way to lose weight. And we know this because not all calories are created equal.  When you eat whole foods you can eat so much more than if you are loading up on brownies and pasta. You do not need to track your calories when you eat the “right” foods, however, some moms like to see a baseline of what they are eating. Feel free to track your food in My Fitness Pal video tutorial here

  • Eat Protein - This important building block will help build muscle and repair soft tissue - specifically, your core and pelvic floor.  Also, please keep in mind that you have lost a lot of blood during your delivery - and blood has iron. Great sources of protein with iron are: red meat, dark green leafy vegetables, beans and legumes, seafood, poultry. Strive to eat a palm-sized portion of protein with each meal. Other foods rich in protein are: eggs, nuts & seeds, tofu & dairy.  

  • Eat Fat: Mommy brain is no joke. Eating enough fat will make you feel so much better. An extremely important fat for moms is Omega-3 DHA found primarily in fish such as salmon, anchovies, sardines, mullet and lake trout. DHA supplements are a great idea if you aren’t able to eat a lot of fish because three servings of fish a week is the ideal. Other good sources of fat are: ghee, butter, egg yolks, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds.   

  • Eat Carbohydrates: As in the GOOD carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables. You will need the fiber to keep your digestion running smoothly. You will also be flooding your postpartum body with important nutrients you lost while making and delivering a baby.  Get used to the idea of eating greens at every meal. 

  • Avoid sugar: (And white flour products when you can). Think of sugar (cakes, brownies, ice cream, etc. & don’t forget pasta, pizza, white bread, croissants, etc. which turn into sugar in your body) as the gasoline you pour on a fire. Sugar is inflammatory and actually interferes with the healing process.  Plus, it causes wrinkles and we are trying to plump up loose pregnancy skin with nutrition. When you crave something sweet, dark chocolate is a great option. Or coconut milk yogurt with berries.  

In addition, Bodies After Baby strongly encourages the use of two secret weapons in your recovery. Moms should also find ways to consume the following:

  • Bone Broth - It’s no secret the skin on your tummy and thighs has stretched out and become looser. Drinking bone broth is the fastest way to restore the elasticity in your skin because it has plenty of collagen (among other important nutrients). Drinking broth helps pull the skin back to the muscle and also lightens the color of stretch marks - you can think of it as nature’s botox.  Please note: Beef broth is best for skin health. Chicken and turkey broth are great for joint health.  Vegetarian broth does not contain collagen. You can buy in bulk at Costco, you can make your own, or order online from brands like Kettle and Fire. 

  • Collagen Powder: When you can’t drink bone broth, try adding collagen powder to your smoothies, coffee or tea. Collagen helps with two vital components of your healing:  1). Connective tissue repair (you want this for your abdominal separation and pelvic floor repair) and 2). It helps restore the lining in your gut (bone broth does this as well).  This means your body will be able to absorb more of the goodness you are feeding it.  Nothing worse than eating good food that isn’t being absorbed by your gorgeous mom body.

BAB organizes each of your 6 weeks like this:   

2 Slim Days
3 Strong Days
(2 Weekend Days)

To explain, 2 Slim Days (in a row, back to back) focus on eating more fat and protein, less carbohydrates.  3 Strong Days are the opposite - less fat and protein, more good carbohydrates in the form of fruit and vegetables.  Like a seesaw.  When your protein and fat goes up - your carb intake will go down.  And vice versa.  

Move.

The BAB workouts are designed to heal and strengthen your postpartum body from the inside out.  We do this by activating your deep inner core and it all starts with the BAB breath.

BAB breath video tutorial here.

You will be excited to know these exercises are the fastest way to slim your waistline so you can look good.  But, we are even more excited to give you a fully functioning core for the rest of your life so you can feel great!     

One simple truth: Once you’ve had a baby, you will always be considered postpartum.  

This FACT is important to understand because it is the foundation of the BAB exercise technique - it is the whole reason why moms need to take care of themselves differently.  You will begin to see that it is imperative we shift our focus from “losing the baby weight” to healing our injured bodies after baby.  Over the next 6 weeks together, I will break this down for you and put all of the pieces back together again.   

But remember this: many of the standard weight loss programs out there fall short when it comes to a mother’s body.  With BAB, we emphasize core-centric workouts that focus on repairing an abdominal separation and a weakened pelvic floor.  Our exercise videos will show you exactly how to do this.

Again, our 6 weeks together are organized like this:  

2 Slim Days: Cardio & Foam Rolling Videos  (Remember the seesaw: HIGH Protein & Fat, LOW Carb Days on Slim Days)

3 Strong Days: Core and Pelvic Floor Videos, & Foam Rolling videos. (Remember the seesaw: HIGH (GOOD) Carbs, LOW Protein & Fat Days on Strong Days)   

Rest.

Diet and exercise are major players in our postpartum recovery but they are NOT as powerful without rest. Getting rest is imperative for your body’s ability to repair and restore. 

Please note, rest can mean many different things in our program; such as: sleep, meditation (listening to your inner voice), getting outside, walking with friends, self-care, staying positive, focusing on the bigger picture, etc. These are all powerful ways we can reduce stress levels in your body. The lower your stress levels - the more thorough and efficient your postpartum recovery will be.

I can’t emphasize enough that as a new mom, you need REM sleep to repair tissues and stabilize hormones so your body can heal from the inside out. This is easier said than done with a newborn!  

Just be aware that sleep and/or resting will always be more beneficial than a workout.  

Our culture promotes that “moms can do it all” and “more is more” and we should power through a workout no matter how we are feeling.  This is absolutely not true! 

There are two tools built into this program you can rely on when life feels overwhelming:

  1. The BAB Breath: Breathing is not only powerful for exercising your inner core, but also telling your body “everything is ok” when your stress hormones kick on. Train your brain to use the BAB breath to calm down your “fight or flight” response. One breath every ten seconds is ideal.  Inhale life energy, exhale stress. Simple.

  2. Momtribe: Take comfort in this group of moms that is going through the same exact thing you are.  This is a safe place to share your trials and tribulations. Studies have shown that women can handle stress much better with a “tend and befriend” approach - which means we NEED each other to get through this thing called motherhood.  Whoever said, “it takes a village” was absolutely right.

We look forward to covering other ways to nourish your beautiful soul (inside & out) and restore your postpartum body over the next 6 weeks together.

A few housekeeping items:

On Monday of prep week, I will send a link to join your Facebook accountability group.  On day 1 of prep week I will post an introduction thread for you to introduce yourself and get to know the other ladies in the group.

Your success through the Bodies After Baby program is largely dependent on your diligence to consume information, perform the assessments, and try the strategies through prep week before we officially get started with the week 1 workouts the following week. 

Please post your questions on our Facebook group page.  It will help others to see me answer your questions on the Facebook group page.  I check Facebook often to answer questions and view your updates. 

Lastly, it is so important that you maintain a proper mindset.  Remember that your positive mental attitude is going to be your greatest asset throughout this program.  Your success is easier to achieve when you believe you can do it.  Here’s to keeping your inner voice positive.   

Let the inside-out transformation begin!

Much love,
Amy