New moms and new bodies
by Jessica Shapley
Last month I wrote the first of a three-part series on new motherhood. The journey continues from breaking some of the initial isolation and building your personal confidence as a mom to reclaiming your body.
You might wonder "were did my body go?"
Taking care of our bodies while caring for our new babies, as we know, is vital to our health, energy and sustainability. Running after toddlers is exhausting! After the birth of my child, parts of my body settled into new frontiers.
Feeling more comfortable started with getting some clothing that fit the body I was in. Many women don’t want to buy clothing in a bigger size but buying a few pieces that are not maternity clothes and that fit can make you feel better.
Then of course there is the whole “eat right, rest and get exercise thing” but after having my kids, I found I made little time for myself.
It’s hard to want to shove an exercise program in, especially if that’s not what you were doing in your pre-baby life. When I hit that six week mark and my doctor said I could resume exercise, and, ahem, other stuff, it felt too soon.
Before being pregnant, working out was inconsistent; getting back on the wagon post-birth was offering a bigger challenge.
I even joined Bally Total Fitness in the Bronx. I paid up front for an entire year and only went four times. For me, a "workout" does not come naturally. What I find helps is having a buddy to jog or walk with, a class or even a trainer to keep me on track.
We are lucky to live near Fort Tryon Park, or any park for that matter, so starting with a walk with a friend, free sunset yoga or morning Qi Gong (http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/forttryonpark/events) can be a great start to taking self care. The Nagle Street Y has a gym and various programming for families (212-569-6200).
The following is a list of trainers, classes and programs for mom, mom and baby and dads (all of which are facilitated by local parents):
Hudson Pilates on W. 181st Street offers mommy-and-me sessions – 212-740-7178.
Shasta Jenson offers mommy boot camp and individual training in local parks –
Kristen Shultz Dollard, author of “The Yoga Body,” provides private and in home classes –
Stacey Linden on Ft. Washington Avenue offers mommy-and-me sessions – mindbodysoulyoga.com.
Author and fitness trainer, Christopher Warden, provides group and individual fitness training in Inwood and Washington Heights – mypersonaltrainernyc.com 917-749-8989 There are Akido classes in Inwood – aikidouphere.com 646-483-8700.
The Riverdale YWHA has childcare available for parents while they work out.
Whatever your "thing" is the biggest challenge might be making the time to fit it in. Perhaps breaking it down into smaller increments and setting up your week’s goal can help. Whatever it is, you are doing it for you, your family and your baby.
See you in the park.
(Correction from last month’s article Bev Solow is an IBCLC.)
Jessica Shapley, LMSW