Oh Baby! My Babywearing Workout

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HeidiPowell-ErgoWrap-bycylinders

Oh baby! I’m not sure whether it?s the sleep deprivation or just the passing of time that makes a new mom forget what it was like to try to juggle life, family, work AND a new baby. Honestly, it?s not always easy to do it all, so I try to find tips, tricks, and products to help smooth these sometimes-rough waters ?. I?m happy to be writing this today to share one of my new favorite secrets and latest discoveries that?s helping me balance it all — babywearing.

Now, let?s rewind about 6 months ? you may recall a post I did about an amazing carrier that carried big ol? Cashy boy in the Colorado mountains, while I was 6 months pregnant. If you don?t recall, long story short ? while we were in Colorado filming Extreme Weight Loss, one of the crew let me borrow their Ergobaby Carrier for a hike with Cash. I was a bit skeptical, being 6 months pregnant, that the carrier would be all that comfortable with a 2 year old…especially one that doesn?t like to be contained. Much to my surprise, the carrier was a hit, and I was sold! I bet you can guess what my first purchase was when I got home?

Enter little Ruby, and enter amazing Ergobaby infant line. My two saving graces have been an?amazing swaddle? we received?as a gift and my?Ergobaby Wrap. I have learned how valuable wearing my baby can actually be with these wraps and carriers. Not only does babywearing give me the bonding time and closeness I crave with little Ruby (and she definitely needs with me), but it also allows me some hand-free time to FaceTime with Chris, return a few emails, fold laundry, and most importantly, keep being an active mom to Matix, Marley, and Cash.

HeidiPowell-ErgoWrap-walking-o

Why am I so in love with this wrap? Unlike most “structured” baby carriers, the soft fabrics almost seem to mold to your body and to baby. The tight fit on my back and shoulders makes Baby Ruby feel lighter than when she was in my belly! I feel like I could carry her around all day and not get tired or achy. New moms ? I?m sure you can relate ? that upper back/shoulder tension you get from carrying a newborn and nursing all day long it brutal, to say the least. The relief has been very much appreciated ?.

HeidiPowell-ErgoWrap-lookingatruby

This wrap was made for multitasking, baby-snuggling moms?like me. 🙂

HeidiPowell-ErgoWrap-cashbridgebehind

One of the biggest perks of all? This wrap allowed me the freedom and flexibility to begin moving around and burning off those ?baby pounds? that added up over 9 months!

One of the most often asked questions is, ?When can I start working out after having a baby?? While this answer is different for everybody (be sure to ask your doctor first), I figured I?d share some of my own personal tips to getting your body back while bonding with baby?through babywearing ?

Safety first! Use a babywearing carrier, like the Ergobaby Wrap, that is properly designed for the age of your infant or toddler. Read the directions and understand the correct positioning and usage for your baby and at what age they can change positions.

Balance! Balance! Balance! Remember, you just had a baby. Just as you may have started to lose your balance and center of gravity before delivery, the same is most likely happening post-delivery. As your weight is changing and the muscles are retracting in your abdominal and leg/hip areas, your body needs time to adapt, once again. Think about it ? for 9 months, you got used to carrying most of your weight on your front and center!! Bottom line here is that you must take it easy anytime you are carrying your baby, using your arms or the carrier, and ease into any kind of exercise. Baby?s safety is most important?don?t move too fast or too quick, wear supportive shoes, and make sure you feel stable with the baby in the carrier, no matter what it is you are doing.

Walk, don’t run! While you may be tempted to jump right into some pre-baby exercises like squats, lunges, and running? don’t! At least, not if you are wearing your baby. For all of the above-mentioned reasons, you should maintain safety first. The best news I can deliver is this: most weight loss happens while walking anyway!!! Yes, you read that right. How do we get 400 lbs individuals to lose 200 lbs in one year? By reminding them to simply walk! Walking is one of the best ways to stay active, maintain relationships (like playing with your kids and carrying baby), and burn many calories! Amazing, right??

Work that walk! Now that we know the power of walking is often underestimated, and that it can be one of the most effective calorie burners in your arsenal of exercises, it?s time to figure out the how. It?s easy?secure your infant in a wrap or carrier, set a timer for 30 minutes and get moving! Focus on alternating between slow and brisk walks to get your heart rate up (again, safety first). A couple ways to easily do this are:

  • Time it – 90 seconds fast, 90 seconds slow. Alternate between the two until your time is up.
  • Light Post to Light Post – Most neighborhoods and pathways have light posts or other items along the path that are evenly spaced. Use them as your goal for each round of slow and brisk walking.
  • Be a kid again ? When exercise seems daunting, rest assured that simply playing is exercise in and of itself! Take the kiddos outside and engage in tag, ring-around-the-rosie, or even a little skipping. Play is a natural form of exercise for kids of all ages, and is great for mom and dad too!

HeidiPowell-ErgoWrap-chasingcash

So much you can do with that baby swaddled next to you, huh? Ruby is near 4 months now (already!!). I try to cherish every moment with her?time flies faster than I want it to. Thank goodness for the Ergobaby Wrap, I can love on my Ruby all day long, even with our crazy, busy lives ?

Heidi

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?It’s Powell Pack Time!

35 Responses

  1. I believe it!!! I don’t have kids yet but @ 30 I’m prepping my body to be the best looking , healthiest, most active and fun mom no matter what age it happens!!!
    Yay!! Got to say, L O V E them shoes Heidi!! Where can we get dem?? Everytin yo touch turn to Gold?! Bam! Lol

  2. Heidi,

    Love that you babywear, it can really be a lifesaver (I also have an Ergo SSC and a stretchy wrap, and a woven wrap)! Looking at your pictures I just wanted to point out that Ruby’s positioning in the carrier could be a bit more ergonomic. Ideally her knees should be above her bum and the wrap should be spread completely knee to knee. There are good instructions on this site (different brand of wrap, but I couldn’t find instructions on Ergo’s website) http://www.mobywrap.com/mw/how-to-moby-wrap.htm and a wealth of videos on youtube.

    P.S. If you like the way the wrap is like hugging you might like a woven wrap for bigger babies – not as grab and go as the Ergo SSC, but super supportive (and pretty) http://shop.paxbaby.com/girasol/

  3. I used to teach workout classes – until I was 10 mos prego. Then gained weight when I stopped to focus on my actual dayjob and my baby/family. I just have to say for women that have significant weight loss it’s just better to put your kids in childcare or gym day care and “kill it” at the gym or in a group workout class. I have pics of me trying to work out “with child” for almost 4 years. Unless you are blessed with great genes or already are in great shape, half assing it with a baby in an Ergo just isn’t going to do it. I just have to say it. It wasn’t until I stopped trying to do cardio with a toddler in the house interrupting me or doing videos with a kiddo a-foot underneath me and I just signed up for high intense classes at the gym and put my kid in the kids club or did it when he was at daycare did 45 lbs come off in a matter of short months. I LOVE you guys but in these pictures she is just walking around behind your toddler. Not sure how that is showing how you can lose 20-40 lbs of pregnancy/baby weight. AND I am very aware of my body and I can’t stand seeing Stroller Strides instructor do planks with their baby worn in front of them. Or planks with one baby in Ergo in front of them and their older child sitting on their back. All it takes is one accident! Be careful with your baby wearing. Again Heidi isn’t doing this but I have seen what women do fitness-wise when wearing these things. Personally I have learned that trying to juggle kids+working out at the same time doesn’t allow you to really reach the intensity that you need for serious weight loss. JMHO

  4. I love your blog! I admire your family circle and how you incorporate fitness and health into your family’s daily life. I am changing my lifestyle and am working on becoming a healthy mommy, and want to lead by example for my 3 year old daughter. Thank you for inspiring me, along with many others! Please continue doing what you are doing! 🙂

  5. I have the Ergo baby carrier and I absolutely love it!!! What brand is your shoes btw? I think I want to get them!

  6. I didn’t have a wrap with my first two, but received one as a gift with my third. I was in love!!!! What a lifesaver with our third and fourth (and soon to be fifth!). I will never be without a wrap again.

    I love your family pictures!

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