"Don't lift more than 10lbs." I don't agree with this postpartum advice. Well, except for sometimes.
My problem with it is that usually these women aren't given any strategies, only a blanket statement of what not to do, but then left in the dark on what they CAN do, or how to do those necessary things like lifting your baby in the carseat, groceries, laundry baskets, getting up and down from the floor a million times a day, and picking up your baby or toddler a billion times a day.
You're likely going to be lifting more than 10lbs the first time you lift your baby in their carseat. Let's teach you how to breath and engage your core and pelvic floor when lifting heavy objects.
You're going to go back to the gym eventually. Let's teach you where to start, what symptoms to watch for, how to test, and how to progress.
I had some fun doing these videos illustrating why it's so important we teach moms HOW to move. They 're going to do it anyways - let's give them the tools and knowledge to do it in a way that supports healing and promotes healthy function.
Now for the, "except for sometimes."
Just because a client will be lifting more than 10lbs, doesn't mean I'll be pushing the weight right away.
It doesn't matter how fit you were prior - pregnancy and birth MATTER postpartum, and your body deserves (and needs) adequate recovery. New moms discount how MUCH they do in a day - lifting, getting up and down, lack of sleep, lack of hydration, lack of adequate nutrition, if breastfeeding - the physical energy it requires. This all takes a toll on our body's ability to heal and recover. A gym session is just one piece of the daily load.
So, we start with basic movements, reminding the body how to move again, how to breath, how to engage. Yes, I want her to be comfortable lifting her toddler's weight, but we don't need to do 40 reps at that weight, reps can also be done for form and practicing breathing and testing alignment. If no symptoms arise, we add a little more next time, and a little more after that. Testing and retesting.
There's no simple answer. But the answer is so much more than, "don't lift heavier than 10lbs."
For 5 videos demoing how much gym life transfer into postpartum life, head to my IG post and watch me drop a baby*.
*Not a real one.