A mum has opened up about being shamed for exercising four weeks after giving birth, even though she had a very important reason to do so.
Most new mums miss their pre-baby body, and getting back in back in shape is their number one reason for getting back into exercising.
But that wasn’t the case for Massy Arias, a well known personal trainer in the US. The mum went back to the gym four weeks after welcoming her first child, even though the recommended recovery period is usually six weeks.
After revealing she was back to her workout regime, the mum was criticised on social media for working out too soon after welcoming her baby, but now she’s opened up about why she needed to exercise – and getting her pre-baby body back was not her top priority.
The mum, who welcomed daughter Indi last year, revealed that she was suffering from anxiety and depression, which she’d suffered from before, so she knew exercise would make her feel better.
She told Parents magazine: ‘I had struggled with depression and anxiety before, so I knew what was happening. But I couldn’t do what I knew I needed to do to get better: exercise.’
‘I did start again four weeks postpartum, but some followers wrote things like, “Oh Massy, you are supposed to be resting, not getting your body back.” But I wasn’t worried about my body; I needed to feel better. Comments implying I wasn’t doing what was best for Indi messed with my head.’
‘The postpartum period was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through, made worse because I was determined to breastfeed but my nipples were a bleeding mess.
‘Those first weeks, I would forget to eat. I would forget to bathe. It was all Indi, Indi, Indi. If she napped, I couldn’t sleep because I’d have to check to make sure she was breathing. I had so much anxiety. “Am I doing this right? Why is she crying so much? Those frickin’ hiccups, when will they go away?” I was crying every single day. I was losing it.’
The mum then went on to say that as well as exercise, she found that opening up about her worries with her family also helped her overcome the difficult postpartum period.
‘The best thing I did was to communicate how I was feeling to my mom and [Arias’ husband] Stefan,’ she says.
‘If you bottle it up, you will be in trouble. It’s important to remember that he only knew I needed help because I told him’, the mum says about her husband.