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Episode 3: Getting Your Body Back After Baby with Beverley Simpson

, , February 8, 2020

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Jacqueline Kincer  [0:03]

You are listening to The Breastfeeding Talk Podcast, episode number three. Today I am going to share an incredible interview with my friend Beverly Simpson, where we dive into all things related to the postpartum body and fitness after giving birth. You are not going to want to miss this episode, it is so full of things that most moms wish they knew before they gave birth. So stay tuned.

 

Welcome, Beverly Simpson to The Breastfeeding Talk Podcast! I am so excited to have you on as a guest. You all do not know her yet, but you will! Beverly is the owner of B Simpson fitness and the creator of the 30 Minute method. She was a district fitness manager for a big box gym in Manhattan and she was responsible for hiring and developing personal trainers and personal training leaders.

 

Beverly is in a primarily male-dominated field. For her, she felt driven mostly by ego. She almost pretended she was not pregnant when she conceived her first baby. It was not until she had her two daughters under the age of two, struggled to breastfeed and work in a male-dominated field that she realized there is a huge gap of resources out there for moms, especially athletic moms who are not necessarily professional athletes, but any moms who are wanting to move and maintain health. Today we are going to talk about fitness in the fourth trimester with Beverly. So welcome!

 

Beverley Simpson  [2:04]

Hi, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited and happy to be here.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [2:10]

We are super excited to have you! I think this is information that a lot of moms out there are looking for, especially if they are just starting to think about, “Okay, I had this baby, I want to get my body back in shape. What am I supposed to be doing?”

 

There is a ton of misinformation and things.  I am hoping to clear that up for our audience today. I know specifically with this podcast of breastfeeding moms, they tend to have a lot of concerns about fitness and working out in general, where they might have this idea of sweating too much is really bad, might be detoxing too much, and is not going to get bad things into their milk for their baby. Or they think if they work out too hard, they might dry up their milk supply. I wondered if you could just speak to that?

 

Beverley Simpson  [2:56]

Yes! I would be happy to! Let us first dive in! There are so many myths, first of all, about breastfeeding and fitness, pretty much just in general. Whether or not you might think that you are going to work out a ton, you are scared too because the baby will all of a sudden not like the milk, or the baby will all of a sudden not want to have any of the breast milk or you might find that you are going to hurt your milk supply or sometimes moms and this was me, believe that if they breastfed they would just lose all the baby weight. Those are kind of the three main things I want to tackle.

 

First I will say when you are working out and whether you have an intense workout or any type of workout that you do. Intense or walking and you are worried about losing your milk supply, the truth of the matter and if you have been hanging here with Jacqueline, you already know this, but the truth is that your supply is determined by the demand of the baby.

 

We are not designed as human beings to work out and all of a sudden lose milk supply and nurse the baby. We will lose our life first before we stop nourishing and feeding the baby.  Your body will hold on to whatever energy it needs to hold on to so that you can produce enough milk and the amount of milk that you are creating in your body is going to be determined by how the baby is transferring and pulling the milk. That is one of the biggest things that you do not have to worry about you. If you are cutting your calories or you are not eating enough, or you are working out too hard or working out too much, it is going to affect mom. And it is going to affect mom dramatically more than it will hurt your milk supply. Does that make sense?

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [5:28]

Yes! I am so glad you said that. Milk supply is completely independent of what you are doing for your fitness routine. There are foods that support milk production, and all of that, for the most part, is absolutely determined by how well the milk is being removed from the breast and how often. I really glad you said that. I am glad it is not just me saying that!

 

Beverley Simpson  [5:50]

I know! For sure, of course, outside of extenuating circumstances. We are not talking about third-world countries, we are not talking about literal starvation, which is different than in terms of average fitness, it is not going to have that dramatic of an impact on the milk supply.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [6:12]

I think that we have to remind people too, that, if we are talking about, let us say, even third world countries, those moms are moving and hauling, buckets of water for miles across barren landscapes. Somehow they still produce enough milk to feed their babies. This idea that we have to be extra careful and sensitive, because we are breastfeeding is not really true. Definitely more precautions tend to be taken during pregnancy than breastfeeding.

 

Beverley Simpson  [6:44]

The other thing I do want to say, and this happens, and this does happen, and honestly, it depends on the temperament of the baby more so than anything, because a lot of people will say that there are a lot of moms who will say that their milk supply is affected. But really what is happening is that when you work out, or whenever you break up any ATP, which is basically energy in the body, you are going to create lactic acid. That can change the taste of the milk, it can change the taste of the milk to the baby.

 

So if the baby is very sensitive and has a very specific personality and decides that they do not like the taste of the milk and pushes mom out and says “no, no, no, I do not want that milk”, that will have an impact on the milk supply. But moms will get that information and say, “Oh, no working out is causing my milk supply to drop.” But that is not what happens. Working out might be changing the taste of the actual milk, and the baby does not like it. So the baby’s not eating it, therefore, that is causing the milk supply to drop. So that is what happens. And why do you get that myth that working out harms the milk supply?

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [8:07]

That is so common. I hear that all the time. Now. Is there anything that moms can do to help in their workout recovery so that they are not having that buildup of lactic acid as much?

 

Beverley Simpson  [8:18]

It is not soreness. Lactic acid is just something that is produced whenever you are using energy. So lactic acid is actually not soreness, soreness is caused by the free radicals that are floating around in the body. It is not necessarily lactic acid. The amount of working out is not going to be able to change how much lactic acid you are going to produce. The truth is, you could produce lactic acid just by doing extra housework in the house. Causation is not the same. We are talking about the difference between causation and correlation. You cannot really fix that.

 

What I do recommend to my breastfeeding moms who are working out that might have a baby that is a little bit more temperamental or a little bit more sensitive, I definitely tell them to nurse or to breastfeed right before they work out to make sure that they are emptying out their supply. And then if their baby does not want it, then I will have the mom pump after they eat or after they work out so that they do not hurt their milk supply. Give the baby a backup, whatever it is that they want to do, depending on how sensitive but I definitely make sure that the mom does not miss the next feed so that it does not hurt her supply.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [9:45]

That makes so much sense! I just learned that lactic acid is not the thing that makes you sore. I did not know that! I am probably not alone in that. I am really glad you shared that. I am curious. What are some of the biggest obstacles that postpartum moms face when they are looking at restarting their fitness routine or even just starting a new routine that maybe they did not have before?

 

Beverley Simpson  [10:10]

Oh, such a great question! We will definitely dive into that. But the other thing, too, that I wanted to say real quick about breastfeeding, and this also ties into is that the other flip side,  I talk a lot about hurting milk supply. That is only mostly because of my own personal experience and how I really struggled with transferring, so my milk supply was really low.

 

The other thing that happens that not a lot of people talk about is that you might overproduce. Then if you are wearing a bra or a workout, compression on breastfeeding boobs that does not give you any room that can cause pain and especially if you are overproducing or you already have sensitive ducts and you are usceptible to I always say this word wrong but mastitis?

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [11:17]

Mastitis. Yes! That is a good point. I was going to ask you about that too because our milk ducts are actually just very much like the veins on the back of our hand, and too much compression can cut off the flow ducts. Exercise a bit in general, you get this great lymphatic movement and drainage. But if you are wearing a sports bra that is too tight, maybe you have not bought a new one postpartum or something that is needed for a nursing mom or gives you a little more wiggle room. You can definitely risk plug ducts and mastitis. That does not have to do with working out, it is just actually a sports bra you might be wearing.

 

Beverley Simpson  [11:54]

This leads to what you were originally asking about. What should postpartum moms expect is that you are in this new body that maybe you did not even anticipate having. It is not a bad thing. It is just a new, different body. What happens is that moms will try and squeeze into a bra that they were using before they got pregnant because they think, “Oh, nothing changed up here. It is just my belly that changed or just my hips that changed”. Or whatever it is, or they are thinking, “Oh, you know what, I already lost all the weight that I gained.”

 

Some moms only will gain about 25 pounds. 25 to 35 pounds, and then will lose it after they give birth. They are already cleared. Then they are in this spot now where they can work out. But they do not recognize or realize that the body has completely shifted on the inside and maybe also on the outside. So they could be trying to get into a bra that just does not fit them in the same way that it used to.

 

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [13:07]

That is a really good point. Even things like your pelvis expand and widens. So you pull on that pair of pants, and you say to yourself: ” I am the same weight, but they are not really getting on the same way.” It is a whole new body. As you said, there is nothing wrong with that. That is expected! You gave birth to a baby. Now you are a mom, you have a mom bod, but it can still be a rockin mom bod!

 

We have to set ourselves up with maybe some different expectations or fewer expectations. That just because we are back at a certain weight does not mean our clothes are going to fit the same. Just speaking from the breastfeeding perspective, a lot of moms will ask me: “When is the best time to get fitted for nursing bras?” And there is this kind of conventional wisdom out there. Once you are at 37 weeks, that is a good time because your breasts really are not going to change in size. That is actually not true, by the way.

 

So, during the first two weeks postpartum, you want to have something really flexible on hand for right after birth. But do not go invest in a ton of nursing bras until about a couple of weeks in, just because your breasts generally get even bigger during that time, even beyond pregnancy. You want to make sure you have a comfortable fit, nothing that is too tight. Avoiding underwire is always a good call. Especially when you are working out as well.

 

Beverley Simpson  [14:27]

I do not have underwear. I also do not have underwear on when I am working out because I  want to have support. You just do not want the compression so tight. That you cannot breathe.  I have to say for me and just from my own personal experience, you are used to, especially in the third trimester, the second trimester, you are used to wearing that compression felt so good when you were pregnant, that it is almost an afterthought that you do not think: “Oh, maybe this compressions too tight”. Because your body is still figuring itself out in this season.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [15:07]

Yep, absolutely. That is so true.  I know for me, too, I think you gave some great advice about nursing the baby right before the workout because you do not want to go into a workout with super full breasts for them to be leaking all over the place. That might be TMI for some folks. But we are here to share it because that is a real thing.

 

The fuller your breasts are, the more it is going to fill out that bra that you are wearing and more potential for compression. Nurse or pump before you go to do your workout. Then you have some wiggle room there in terms of the fit of your bra and just feeling comfortable. The last thing you want to be thinking about when you are working out is your milk leaking or feeling like it is painful or too tight, and then you have to stop.

 

Beverley Simpson  [15:51]

Yes, for sure. To answer your question, what are some of the things that you want to be thinking about when you are returning to exercise? There are two main things. When moms come to me, and we are talking about this, I want to know what is their intention behind wanting to work out?  Because the truth of the matter is that all trainers and coaches are well-meaning, but not all exercise classes are treated equally.

 

What happens to most people, especially if you are a mom that is in the conventional health care system, is that the six weeks or eight weeks depending on whether you had a vaginal or Cesarean birth, is an arbitrary number. It is literally a one size fits all approach. We are so unique both on the inside and on the outside that every mom is going to have a different experience and a different recovery process. That is not to say, for the record that women are not resilient, we are resilient. We are designed to have babies and heal from birth. Not like, “Oh, you had a baby, that means you are delicate.

 

That means you are broken, that is not true.” Moms are resilient. And of course, you can go back to doing any type of athletics. If you were already doing intense, or you were not doing intense, or maybe you were not, and you want to, it does not matter. Whatever you want to do, you absolutely can do. The reason why I always go back to intention. And go back to the fact that not all classes are one size fits all is that moms are so desperate to get their body back, or they are so desperate to lose this weight that they have this mentality at any cost. Three things happen.

 

They get in the conventional system, the doctor does not even do an internal check. Especially if they had a cesarean, the doctor just says, “Oh, you are good to go. No problem.” That is arbitrary. The mom does not even know what the questions are to ask, especially if you were anything like me, who pretended that I was not pregnant.  I just said, “Okay, everything is going to just go back to normal.” And it was not until my sister had a call with me right before I was about to give birth. And she said, “Just so you know, you are still going to look pregnant after you give birth.” And I literally said to her, “Well, wait, why? The baby is out!

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [18:42]

Morons are taken by surprise.

 

Beverley Simpson  [18:46]

I would not have even known to if I did not know better. If I was not studying this stuff, I would not have even known to ask, “Oh, so should I be worried? Should I be concerned about this?”

 

This is not to say that our doctors are steering us wrong or bad. It is not true. And that goes back to the fact that you have resiliency, and most people you are going to heal, and most people are fine. But in the off chance that you are not fine, you do not know what to do. That is where moms can get into trouble. What happens is that they are so desperate to get their body back that they go join the most intense class that they can find some that are marketed as a mommy boot camp, but the well-meaning instructor does not even realize that there are different considerations. You just had a baby and six weeks postpartum or eight weeks, Mama that is early that is so early.

 

The physiology of your body has completely shifted. Your center of gravity was in a completely different spot for the last 40 weeks. So why do we think we are like a rubber band and we are going to snap back into it? Our center of gravity or our body knowing what to do, we have been patterned and moving in a certain way for so long. But it is going to be another period of readjustment. The only difference when you are pregnant is that you ramp up to it, the baby grows, but then the baby comes out. And then it is completely different. It is a huge change transition.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [20:29]

Physically and hormonally. So like you said, everything very gradually builds during pregnancy, and the baby comes out. It is a massive sudden shift.

 

Beverley Simpson  [20:37]

A massive Sonic shift! What happens is they go into these classes, they are jumping around, they are running, they are doing all these things. Then maybe they have experienced, like, “I cannot hold a plank,” because that is what these boot camps will do. It is not that the plank specifically is bad. But the teachers or the instructors do not know what it is that they are looking for to help a mom modify if they need to modify a movement. Then you have things like scary mommy, who is joking and laughing about the fact that people are peeing in their pants.

 

And we are told that “Oh, that is just what happens now.” In fact, that is actually not the case. You do not have to be peeing in your pants or be worried that you are going to sneeze or have this rush of urgency like, “Oh, I cannot work out. I am going to have to go to the bathroom”. Or feeling like sex is uncomfortable, or you cannot put a tampon in. There is a whole slew of things that can happen that can be a symptom. But moms do not know better. They are not taught or told that these are questions that they could be asking their doctor.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [21:51]

That is so true. One of the things that I refer out to a lot is pelvic floor physical therapists because moms think, “Oh, XYZ is normal.” And I go through their birth history, and they are not even ever informed that things like an epidural weaken your pelvic floor, just that alone! Not to mention you push for four hours during birth. There are all these different considerations. As you said, everyone is different. Everybody heals at a different rate, and all of that, but yes, it is like, normalize these jokes, right?

 

I remember we had a bounce house for my son’s birthday party at our house, and all the moms were in it. And they are like, ‘Oh, Pee is coming out! I am like, “Yes.” I said that does not happen to me. And they said, “Wait, what do you mean, that happens to every mom?” I said: ” Nope, it does not!” And maybe you should get that checked out.

 

Their kids are not babies anymore, you know? It is a really important topic to talk about. And I like what you said about modifications. You have to ease your way kind of into this stuff. If you do not have that core strength to hold the plank right now, it does not mean you cannot do the plank, but it just means there is a different way to go about doing it.

 

Beverley Simpson  [23:03]

Yes! The thing, too is that most trainers do not talk about and most moms, too, is they do not realize that when they are talking about core strength, your pelvic floor is included in that. Your core is the canister. What people also do not understand is that what is going to strengthen your core, you can literally do the second you give birth because it is your alignment, and it is your breathing. By alignment, I mean your posture alignment. You start focusing on those two things, those are what is going to help, or those are what are going to help to strengthen up that core, which also includes the pelvic floor.

 

What happens to a lot of moms is that they think, especially moms who are leaking they are thinking Kegel, Kegel, Kegel Kegel, right? Because everyone says you are going to Kegel, and that is how you are going to strengthen your pelvic floor. But that is like saying a car is going to move forward if only one wheel spinning. Right. But That is just not the case.

 

We know that a car moves forward or in reverse when all four wheels are going at the same time, and the same is true with your core. You have got your diaphragm, you have got your pelvic floor. You cannot see me because we are on a podcast, but I am using my hands right now. I have it right at the top of the canister, and you have got your pelvic floor at the bottom. Then you have your rectus abdominals in the front. Those are what people say are made in the kitchen. Those are your sexy abs!

 

They are attached to the linea alba. It is the connective tissue that runs from the sternum down to the top of your pubic bone. Then you have the transverse abdominals. Those are the strong abs. Those are the ones that help stabilize your lumbar spine. Then in the back, you have the multifidus muscles that are all working together synergistically to give you strength in the core. We are knowing that working on that is what is going to help with things like diastasis recti. What that is, is when your sexy abs, remember I told you it was inserted into that linea alba? It stretches. It is designed to stretch. It is supposed to stretch, but then it will come back.

 

The truth, I cannot remember the statistic right off my head, is that they say that the average is six to eight weeks, and it is recovered. But like I was saying earlier, that is every person is different. Moms desperate to get their bodies back will just do it at any cost, and then it is uncomfortable. It does not need to be uncomfortable. It was like the slowest fast mentality, in order to get to the type of intense working out that you want to do, it is just going to take a little bit of progression.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [26:17]

I am so glad you started talking about that! Because that leads me where I wanted to go next, which was to talk about breastfeeding and movement in general. You said something so important, that is just an awesome little soundbite about there are things that you can do right after you give birth to strengthen your core. This is one of the things I always teach my clients hands-on, especially if breastfeeding is a postural event for you and your baby. That is a whole other topic. I get it, I get it, ladies, I get it. You want the fancy nursing pillow, and you want to sit in the cute little nursing chair and all this stuff. But sitting all the time is incredibly bad for you.

 

Like Beverly said, you cannot see us. But I am actually standing right now while we are recording this podcast. Because that is important. Sitting too much is just a chronic problem for anybody in the developed world, especially postpartum moms. The other thing is a lot of moms with breastfeeding, especially with nursing pillows, I like nursing clothes, they have a time and a place, but depending on them and laying your baby on them and then hunching your back over to nurse them is not only bad for your posture, but you cannot breathe very well. You are cramping your diaphragm and all of that. You are stretching out your back muscles and compressing your abs. It is the wrong posture for anybody. Especially moms who had tears or episiotomies during their labor. They feel like this position is just really uncomfortable.

 

Moms are just kind of set up for failure all around. I am not saying that you should give birth and then start walking around and start nursing your baby two hours later. But I will say, though, that we are designed as a species to move and breastfeed our babies at the same time. Maybe in the first initial weeks, you are recovering. You are sitting down, you are nursing, or maybe you are getting the hang of it. But eventually, your baby should be able to hold on to the breast somewhat and hold on to your body somewhat. And you should be able to hold that baby with one arm or two and get up and walk around and go get yourself a glass of water or whatever it is, and not with the baby carrier.

 

A lot of moms are really shocked to hear that.  I cannot even imagine doing that just because they have not practiced it. But when we stand up, when we move, your baby was in the womb, in your body when you are pregnant. They move around in that amniotic fluid every time you are walking. They are used to moving. All of a sudden, they come out, and we put them in swaddles, and we sit down to breastfeed them. And then we wonder why they are kind of a little dysregulated in the world.

 

Well, your movement is also important for their movements. And again, it goes back to posture. So if you are always sitting down and hunched over, and this is a big thing that moms, I think I taught this to your group of people, was that you never really want to bring your breast to the baby because that is always going to encourage that hunched over posture. You want to try to bring the baby to your breast, which requires you to use your core and all those muscles and sit up straight and take deep breaths.

 

Also, when you breathe deeply, you do not have the same pain response. So for moms who are having nipple pain, or things like that, when they are shallow breathing, or they are holding their breath when they go to latch the baby, which is even worse when they are all crunched up in this little ball trying to nurse them. Your pain response is really heightened, and so if you are sitting up straight, If you take deep breaths, that is greatly diminished even by like 50%, which is really, really huge. So I am glad you touched on that because I really think it does not need to be going to the gym hardcore, we can do little things at home in our daily lives that are great for our health and fitness.

 

Beverley Simpson  [30:19]

Yes! There are two things that you brought up that I definitely too, wanted to expand upon. Which is that there are literally two phases, essentially of that fourth trimester. There is a difference between the first six to eight weeks because that is when you healing. That is when you might need the time to recover. That recovery does not have to look like you sitting hunched over. That recovery is you needing to get sleep because that is when your body is going to restore itself and start all the healing, which means it is going to be happening in sleep. That is not necessarily sitting down. And that is not going to be hunching over that baby and getting it to latch.

 

But listen, Mama, I have been there! So that is you right now. That was me, too. I literally agonized. I cried every day. I was beside myself, trying to get both of my babies to breastfeed. So it is not me throwing any stones. Let me tell you that I am definitely compassionate. And had I known Jacqueline back in those days, or years ago, I would have called her every day! I just wanted to say that you have got to do what you want to do, what you need to do. But remember, there is a better way.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [31:48]

I have been there too. I had a very, very rough birth with my first and just found out a lot about postpartum that no one had really told me. It was really rough.  I can hear the crackling going on now for moms going, “ha ha ha, sleep right!” Yeah. I get it I do!

 

Until about a March of last year. Six years straight of sleep deprivation for me. I have been there. I have totally been there. We are not saying do whatever you can to get more sleep. We are not telling you how to do that. But just go easy on yourself. If sleep is not happening in the way that you would like it to. Your recovery might be slower. It is okay to go gentle on yourself.

 

Beverley Simpson  [32:44]

Just like Jacqueline is saying. We are not saying: “Hey, get up, you need to be walking around.” That is not what we are saying. But just to gently remind you, or gently suggest, or even just put it in your mind to say, “Hey, this might speed up your recovery.” This is going to lead up to my second point is movement. We are not talking now about working out or hitting CrossFit or going to the Bootcamp classes. That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about blocking. I am talking about getting up like Jacqueline said to get a cup of water, thinking about your posture, and thinking about your breath, which by the way, the breath is the most undervalued component of core strength and fitness in general. And I think that is just because we do it on automation, and we do not even think about it. We can really put some attention on that and focus on that, which will help with recovery.

 

Moving and thinking about those three things. Getting a glass of water, standing, or going for a walk. It is going to also help your recovery because it also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is basically your autonomic nervous system or your fight or flight. The other component is stress. When you are under stress, you are going to have that fight or flight. The truth is that for many moms, whether or not you had a perfect easy delivery, you are having a massive transition by even adding a new human into your world, your body is going to respond in stress, while you might not have that adrenaline impact that you are going to have if you say a lion was standing in front of you. Your body is still responding in a stress state.

 

So your metabolism is acting according to your stress. So when you walk, when you move, you will activate the parasympathetic system, which basically is signaling to your body: “Hey! We are not dying, we are not in front of a lion, everything is fine, you can calm down!” And when you can calm the system down, even if you cannot sleep. If you can get the body to calm down, then your body can help heal, and you can recover faster because your body, even if you are stressed, even mentally, your body is going to act like, “Okay! We are dying, we need to survive, we need to survive, we need to survive. We do not care about recovery.”

 

This is any cost situation. But when you are calming down, how can you do that? By walking, deep breaths, a meditation. But I think sleep is hard, right? Try meditating with a screaming child, I get it. If you can just go to the bathroom for five seconds longer and take those five deep breaths that Jacqueline was talking about, this is going to help de-stress the body, help you recover faster, so that you can stand, work on your alignment, work on your breathing, to strengthen your core and help bring the baby to the breast help with the breastfeeding experience.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [36:17]

That is so true. It is so true. And really, really wonderful that you said all that because I think really this podcast also, I love to talk about mindset! And so, if you are in a panic state, sometimes it is more of just a physiological thing. And there are physiological things you can do to change your mental state, like you said, just even deep breaths.  Take a longer exhale than an inhale. We know that brings you into that parasympathetic state if you do that while you are sitting and nursing your baby. Hopefully, they are not screaming at you, and they do not latch!  Or while you are pumping.  Now you just took 15-30 minutes to calm yourself down. Which one will obviously help with your hormones? And there are hormones related to breastfeeding and recovery as well. But also your digestion. So if you are in this heightened state, you are not digesting your food well.

 

Then you might be looking at things like constipation, or you are not absorbing as many nutrients from your food. Then it is a vicious cycle. Or you are just feeling run down, you are not losing the weight, and we just snowball. And we want it to snowball in the opposite direction for you! So just little things like Beverly is saying, where maybe you are a couple of weeks postpartum. What can you focus on today, throughout your day, that are just little things to start moving your body more towards recovery, and peace and calm, to get ready to reengage in your fitness journey down the road? We are not saying get ready for that CrossFit thing. You cannot go from zero to 60. It just does not work like that. We are not Porsches! We are more like Priuses here. But the hybrid, by the way, so I get it!

 

You do not slam on the gas, if you are like me, you just slowly start speeding up and working your way up to it. The other thing I want to say is Beverly is obviously not a personal trainer for babies. But you, as a mom, are the personal trainer for your baby. And if you want your baby to be in a nice, calm, regulated state, everything Beverly just said about movement, and deep breathing for you is the exact same principle you want to apply to your baby.

 

If your baby is constantly swaddled, in a swing, or just confined and not able to get free movement of their body, this is why tummy time is so important. And their breathing is constructed, their nervous systems are heightened, and their body is not moving. So they have all this energy, and it has nowhere to go, and they end up being upset babies. So get that baby, do tummy time on your chest for the first couple of weeks.

 

And about two to three weeks, assuming a full-term healthy baby, you can start doing tummy time against gravity on a flat surface. This is one of the most important things when it comes to a baby that breastfeeds well because that has everything to do with their posture. If they do not breathe well, they do not breastfeed well. The same principles apply to really any human but especially postpartum moms and their babies.

 

Beverley Simpson  [39:32]

That is so good because babies are just little units. they are the same as you, just really little.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [39:39]

Like you said, moms are resilient. Our babies are not fragile unless the baby is a preemie in the NICU. They are not fragile. They were not born to be a part of this earth in this world. And to just constantly confine them. There is a time and a place, but it cannot be just 24/7 Your baby is just not designed for that in this world. Neither are you. We d not want you to be laying in bed for the next three months, just not doing anything productive with your body. And I am sure you can speak about this to Beverly. I know for me, with my first, I had a rough birth. And it was a long recovery period with my second, I had a toddler to chase around. So I got back in shape super fast. I did not mean to. But I felt mental so much better. And I wonder if that has to do with how much I was moving? And if you see that with moms you work with?

 

Beverley Simpson  [40:38]

Oh, yes, for sure. Oneof the founding principles is literally that the way that you were talking to yourself, the way you said that you talk about mindset on this podcast. But literally, what you are thinking about is what you are creating. So if you are constantly saying to yourself: ” I am weak. I cannot recover. I am fat. I cannot get my body back, I am broken.” All of those things have a huge impact on your recovery and on how fast you are going to be able to get into the shape that you want to. It has a massive impact on it.

 

We are constantly talking about what we are telling ourselves and what we you know, the self talk that we are going through and need to in the sense that when my second came, and I had the toddler running around, I did not have time to be thinking about what I look like, how did I feel, it was literally do or die! I was not focused on it in the same way that I was with my first. So it was just a whole completely different experience.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [41:53]

Yes! I am sure we have moms who are listening that. This is not their first baby, this is not their first rodeo at all. But I do think self-talk is so important. And you going through this process of recovery, which, again, even with the best, most amazing birth, your body is going through recovery. Right? And like Beverly said, your body knows how to heal. So do not doubt that! Do not tell yourself things like: ” I am just never going to get better. This bleeding is never going to stop. This tear is never going to heal. What if I always have this issue?”

 

Because remember, it is a gradual process, looking at things every moment of every day, it is sometimes hard to track your progress. But if you look at something from week to week, how much further are you now than you were a week ago? Right? And how much more are you capable of now? Or how much better are you feeling now?

 

Hopefully, you are going in that direction. If you are not, maybe you need some external help to help you get there. But what we tell ourselves about anything, when it comes to breastfeeding, obviously, if you say: “I cannot make enough milk, I cannot make enough milk.” Well, you just told your body that it could not make enough milk, and your body is listening to all the time. So if anybody is into Joe Dispenza and any of that kind of stuff, he talks about this really, really extensively.

 

And I think for me, the biggest thing that was important for me as a postpartum mom, and I will always be a postpartum mom, but a newly postpartum mom was just giving myself a ton of grace! Like: ” Hey, yep, this is a totally new body. I have never had these boobs before. I have never had this belly before. I have to learn how to live in this whole new flash.” And it is a learning process. It is not like memorization school, just to take a test. This is actual learning. You are going to learn how your body works in this new way. And sometimes it is even cooler than it was before. So better than you thought!

 

Beverley Simpson  [44:03]

Yeah! You started to say this a little bit in the early podcast, or when we first started was that I really pretended like I was not pregnant. And that was mostly just because I was in the strength and conditioning world. I had a huge emphasis. And then I realized now this is just me. And I mean, I am not the only one who suffers from this. But there was a huge emphasis on what my body looked like and the performance of my body. And so, it was almost as if I treated my pregnancy as this plague on my career.

 

I realize now that it is just a story and not true at all. But back then, I just felt like: “Oh! I cannot be pregnant. I cannot have a baby. I am not going to look at the part here. A lot of trainers talk about that. So because of that, because I had that underlining belief  and because I just pretended I was not pregnant, I wanted to have a vaginal birth, and I wanted to be able to breastfeed because I wanted to get my body back faster.

 

I had those deep beliefs that that was going to happen. I did not get either, but I was going to die on the table. I was literally like, “Okay, I would rather die and get my body back than have an emergency cesarean and bring my baby into the world, and everything is okay.” Of course, that did not happen. And I had a cesarean, and I did struggle to breastfeed. It was a very challenging time for me. But when I look back as to why I wanted those two things, it was because I just wanted to get my body back faster. And glad now that I did get those two experiences, because now I can help moms who might be going through the same type of thing. And the truth of the matter is that my body does not need to come back, it never left. And it is a better, stronger, healthier body than it was back then. So I am happy to have this body now!

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [46:08]

I love that that is just amazing. I wish every mom could just use that as a mantra to just remember that solidify that in her mind. Because that is so important. There is no getting your body back. Unless you are Justin Timberlake, you can’t bring sexy back!

 

Beverley Simpson  [46:28]

Well, sexy never left, it is still here. It never left!

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [46:32]

And what is not sexy about bigger boobs and hips, right? I mean, that is like, what are all these workouts now about making it bigger?  So you got it going on, Mama!

 

Beverley Simpson  [46:43]

I know, right?!

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [46:45]

For sure, for sure. Oh, well. That is fantastic. Beverly, thank you for that.

 

Beverley Simpson  [46:51]

I just want to also touch on the fact that if you have, because I said I was going to talk about this at the beginning of the podcast, which is if you are holding on to this belief that you need to breastfeed because you need to get your body back, you are going to lose all of your baby weight if you breastfeed. Because I do not know if you have ever seen it, but you see those shirts that are like breastfeeding my cardio. Right? Can we just talk briefly about how that is not true for everyone. And it most certainly was not true for me.

 

That is mostly because there are three things that you want to be thinking about when it comes to weight loss.  Number one is the law of thermodynamics, calories in versus calories out. Now, most people will start to get into the all or nothing mentality, or they start to think that more is better, and what I mean by more is better, meaning that they cut their calories so low that all of a sudden, and then they start working out harder, but then they plateau, or they feel like it hurts their milk, but it is not hurting their supply, this goes back to the fact that it is not hurting their supply. It is hurting the well being of mom.

 

And when you hurt the well being of mom, it will have an impact on your supply. So it is not because your body is designed to protect you and just feed that baby. This leads me to number two, which is your hormone profile. So your hormones also have a huge impact on weight loss. And you did bring this up as well as that breastfeeding, you have things like prolactin that are in place, which is the hormone that is going to help you produce milk, especially in the early, early stages before the baby takes over for the supply, which is going to have an impact on your progesterone and your estrogen, which are huge components of balancing your hormone profile, so that you can release the energy that is stored in your body, that excess fat.

 

And then the third is, of course, your gut health. So those are the three things that you want to be thinking about when you are working on fat loss. What happens and the reason why so many moms or a lot of moms will lose weight when they are breastfeeding is that breastfeeding, the experience, is a huge caloric energy expenditure.

 

You think that you are not doing a lot, but you are! You are creating the milk, you are feeding the baby, it takes a lot of energy. So when your hormones are lined up, when your gut health feels good, when you are not feeling stressed, when you are recovering well, when you are feeling good, and you are also in a Goldilocks calorie deficit, meaning that perfect calorie deficit where our bodies are not perfect, that is the wrong word but in a good, safe spot where your body feels like:  “Okay, I can use this energy up.” You will lose the fat, or you will lose the weight.

 

But if you are putting so much stress, and remember earlier, we were talking about how it is not just survival stress. It is the mental stress that puts your metabolism in a stressful place, your body is the smartest organism on the planet. It is not going to be like, “Oh, calorie deficit, that means she wants to lose weight.” No, the body is like, “Okay, we got to feed this baby, we are in survival mode”. We need to start slowing down the organs of moms not sleeping.

 

It is just such a complex system that is happening in the body, the body is going to feed that baby at any cost. And so the other thing too, what happens is when you have that larger than expenditure of energy, your body is stressed, they will be like, “Feed, feed, feed!” And constantly send you urges to eat because you are hungry. And if you are in a spot where you are not taking care of yourself, like cutting your calories too low, not managing your stress, not eating vegetables and protein, your body is just going to tell you to eat. And that is what happened to me. So I  gained way more weight in my fourth trimester than I did during my whole pregnancy because I was so stressed trying to breastfeed.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [51:13]

I am so glad you said that. And it makes me think of there was a guy in one of my classes in college who was a ranger in the army. And he had said how they were taught that you need to maintain your energy in two ways sleep or eating. So if you have a sleep deficit, you got to eat more, and vice versa. And I see that with postpartum moms all the time.

 

And there is this idea out there, though, that you read all this stuff like that T-shirt, you mentioned, breastfeeding is my cardio. Breastfeeding burns another 800,000 calories a day. Well, okay, it can. But actually, breastfeeding is not designed to work that way. And you should not need that many more calories in your diet to make breastfeeding work.

 

You really should not need many more than you needed during pregnancy, which is only a few 100 calories a day. But moms who are breastfeeding tend to also eat a lot of convenience foods, right? So you are nursing around the clock, and just grabbing that quick snack, right, that quick sandwich or that granola bar or whatever. But these might be processed really high carb foods, which are not going to keep you full for very long, and you are going to have a crash and feel tired. And all that kind of stuff. So there is that.

 

I see moms overeating during breastfeeding to, as you said, try to maintain their energy. Absolutely. And it is never a good way to go. And I would say,  for moms out there who are like, “Whoa, what is happening?” That is one of those vital signs that your body is trying to send you, like, “Wait, why am I putting on more weight now?” That kind of seems like it is not normal. Let us do check-in and review things were are talking about in this episode. Because there is a missing piece there somewhere. And if your hormones are that off, chances are your hormones are also off enough to affect your milk production as well. So eating more calories is not going to make you make more milk, and drinking more water is not going to make you make more milk.

 

 

Eating the right things and drinking enough water is going to help take care of you. But like Beverly touched on, your body is like, “Yeah, no, we got to help this baby survive. That is  absolutely the priority.” So it will put what it needs into the milk. But the milk pulls the things it needs in the milk from your body. If you do not put those things back in your body. You are the one who suffers, not your baby. So it is really, really important. I think the big message we are trying to tell everybody here is basically just taken really good care of yourself because it is so important.

 

And everybody who hears this saying: “Oh, right. I know, put the oxygen mask on me first. Yeah, and then my child.” No, it is not something to roll your eyes at. Because truly, you cannot take care of yourself, and you cannot be the best mom that you want to be and show up in the world we want to unless you are taking care of yourself. And the level of sacrifice, the level of martyrdom that you take on, does not make you a better mom. That is not what your baby wants from you. It is not what your partner wants from you. It is not what your employer wants for you. Nobody wants that from you. You do not get a medal of honor because you gave the most sacrifice for your body and your child. So can you please stop that whole idea? You know, and I mean, I have never even seen that T-shirt, by the way. Breastfeeding is my cardio!

 

Beverley Simpson  [54:28]

I just want to reiterate and just push: you are 100% right on that is that taking care of yourself is the best possible thing that you can do for your family. I noticed it in myself as well. My kids are so much better off when my needs are taken care of. And for the record for all my moms who love to be a martyr because I get you I feel you. There is still going to be plenty of things that you are going to be sacrificing.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [54:59]

Yes!

 

Beverley Simpson  [55:01]

Plenty of opportunities to put your kids first. And to be a martyr for them! Do not get it twisted. I am not saying be selfish. That is not what I am saying. But self-care is not selfish, it is essential. In fact, if you do not take care of yourself, it will be better. It will be better for the baby and for your whole family, put yourself first.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [55:25]

Yeah, and self-care is not sexy, right. So I want to just make that differentiation, we can kind of wrap up here. So self-care is not like, I am going to do a facial tonight. And a pedicure” That is great! But self-care is actually just a way of life. It is self-love, really. And so if you do those little things, like make it a point to stand up straight, and breathe deeply during the day, and be conscious of your posture, that is what self-love looks like, not hitting CrossFit and just wrecking yourself for the next hour of your life. That is not self-love. That is actually the complete opposite of self-love.

 

Now, that does not mean CrossFit is bad. It just means you have got to work your way up to that, right? So that can be, but that is not, at least postpartum, probably the thing you should be doing. So these little things like taking a nap during the day when you need it. That is what helps your recovery, not just sitting on the couch all day watching Netflix, right? Not that you cannot do that, you can totally do that. Maybe that is your way of like self-care today because that is all you are able to do. And please go do that. But I think people get this idea of, “Oh, I have to go get a massage or do these things.

 

Beverley Simpson  [56:37]

You are totally right.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [56:38]

It is all the everyday little things. And it is momentum, and you just build on them. And again, it is not sexy. It is just progressional. So one step forward, one day at a time, and then ultimately, you do get your body back. So that is really the key. It is not fancy, high tech, we are not selling you anything really here. We are not selling you a crazy gym membership or anything like that. Now, there are realistic, healthy ways to go about doing this.

 

Beverley Simpson  [57:09]

And sometimes self care just looks like asking for help. Like your friends and your family. They love you, and they want to help you. And you doing it all yourself does not make you a better mom.  You ask for help when you need it. Even if it is, “Hey, I am going spend five extra seconds in the bathroom taking five deep breaths, can you hold the baby a little bit longer?” They want to do that they just do not know how to help you. Sometimes they do not know how to help you. But they want to.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [57:37]

Yeah, and this is the time in your life when pretty much everybody just wants to help you. So you should really milk it. Because 20 years from now, when you are asking for that help, people say: “Oh, sorry, why? Because nothing new happens in your life. But when you bring a baby into the world, people converge, right? And they are like, “What can we do?” And maybe self-care is not letting someone hold the baby either. Maybe you are really trying to work on breastfeeding. But it is them folding your laundry or bringing you a meal, pitching in getting money towards a house cleaner, or taking your older kids to the park for you all these other things. It does not have to be people like too often, you know, do something for the baby, right? Because babies need clothes. But how about a nursing bra or a gift card to Target. They have great nursing stuff a lot of the time. We need to remember that it is somewhat our responsibility until there is a big cultural shift to ask for that help and support.

 

Beverley Simpson  [58:43]

Motherhood is a sisterhood no matter where you have come from or any type of walks of life. No matter how you brought the baby in. We all know what are the transitions like bringing a human into this into your family and into this world.

 

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [59:00]

Yes, absolutely. That’s so true. Well, I think this is a phenomenal place to stop because we have given our listeners so much Beverly, You are a gold mine. I want any listener here who has really felt touched by what you have shared today to be able to reach out to you follow you. Where can people find you online and connect with you?

 

Beverley Simpson  [59:23]

That is great. Thank you so much for having me. And so the best place to find me is I am literally B. Simpson fitness on all platforms. So Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [59:35]

Awesome. And you guys should definitely check out. I am big on Instagram and YouTube. She has got some amazing stuff up there. And specifically, she is helping postpartum moms with their fitness and their nutrition and everything. So thank you so much, Beverly, for being here. It is truly an honor. Do you have any last words that you want to leave with our audience? Any last thoughts?

 

Beverley Simpson  [59:59]

No. That is it. You just take care of yourself, Mom, it is going to be okay. It is going to be okay. I love that if I could just go back, my kids are older too now. And it does not seem that long ago, but it feels like a long time ago, that fourth trimester Beverly if I could just hug her and tell her one thing, it would be to just breathe and to give her a big hug. And I would say to her, focus on your stress.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [1:00:32]

That is a really good one. That is amazing. Well, thank you so much, and I will talk to you soon.

 

Thank you so much, Mama, for tuning in all the way to the end. We had an incredibly JAM PACKED episode here with Beverly Simpson, and I am going to make sure we link up all of her stuff on social media so you can go connect with her. And speaking of which, if you learned something new today, if you found this episode helpful, we would love for you to go head over to Instagram at B Simpson fitness. Leave Beverley a little love note letting her know how her interview and her message impacted you in your fourth trimester or breastfeeding journey!

In today’s episode, Beverley Simpson joins us to talk about all things fitness for the postpartum body. She’s a personal trainer in Manhattan and creator of the 30 Minute Method. We are talking about the things that every mom should know about movement, fitness, and weight loss after having a baby.

If you enjoy this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, post it to your Instagram Stories and tag me @holisticlactation

I’ve got a special gift for all my listeners and it’s 38 powerful breastfeeding affirmations to support you on your breastfeeding journey, so go get that free audio now at https://jacquelinekincer.com/mantras

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • The biggest myths about getting back into (or starting) a fitness routine after baby
  • How working out affects breastfeeding and what to do about it
  • How soon after birth you can expect to get into shape
  • Why you might not lose the baby weight just because you’re breastfeeding

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