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Old 05-19-2008, 11:01 AM   #1
Russell Mueller
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Feminine Wisdom Requested Re: Postpartum Beginner

A beginner at Crossfit, not at being postpartum, that is...
I have searched the forums and read everything I could find on the subject, but I would still appreciate ladies' input.

A bit of background:
My wife is about three weeks postpartum from an easy and fast (her words) delivery of our third child. During her pregnancy she was under doctor's orders to avoid exercise (which she did). Before this pregnancy she was active as a half-marathon runner (lots of long-slow-distance, never strength or metcon). About four months ago I started Crossfit and she has been really pleased with the results Now she'd like to get started herself. I am trying to help without being overbearing (if I can pull it off). To get her started I wanted to give her something that would both show her how ramped up the intensity can get, but at the same time not (a) overtax her still-healing body; or (b) be overly technical and scare her off. She isn't able to do either pull-ups or push-ups, yet.

My first inclination is to have to try a modified Cindy using ring-rows to sub the pull-ups and incline push-ups to sub the rx'd pushups. Another option is Tabata Something Else -- with the same subs.

The goal will be to slowly move her in to the standard flow (didn't want to start with today's WOD, it's a beast). Any thoughts, either for specific WOD's that might be good introductions or otherwise -- any advice to me as I attempt to not be a Pain in the A$$ and push too hard?
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:08 PM   #2
Lenora Galitz-Pfeffer
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Re: Feminine Wisdom Requested Re: Postpartum Beginner

Definately go easy on this. She is still healing. Subbing body rows for pullups and doing incline pushups are a good sub there also. If her back and knees are good, body-weight squats are also good. Check out the Brand-X starter wods. She would do well to pace herself so as not to become sore or injure herself. She also needs her energy. If she does Cindy, keep it an easy-paced Cindy. That is potentially a crazy met-con. Tabata Something Else is also a good way to time things. I wouldn't introduce situps yet.
She is both postpartum and a beginner at cf. That's twice the reasons to pace this.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:32 PM   #3
Veronica Carpenter
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Re: Feminine Wisdom Requested Re: Postpartum Beginner

I'd stay away from heavy metcons or ME for at least another month. Definitely take it easy, keep a watch on the lochia. Increased bleeding probably means she's working a bit too hard.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:07 PM   #4
Russell Mueller
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Re: Feminine Wisdom Requested Re: Postpartum Beginner

Yes, excellent point on the bleeding. Fortunately, this isn't our first rodeo (although it is our last). That's good advice. With our other child she started running too early and probably impeded her recovery.

Any suggestions on introducing Iron? She is not a fan.

I so very much appreciate your thoughtful replies to a question that you probably feel has been beat to death. This community on these boards is 70% of the reason I stuck with CrossFit when I first got started. Come for the fitness, stay for the pie (paleo pie, that is).
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:26 AM   #5
Natalie Dent
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Re: Feminine Wisdom Requested Re: Postpartum Beginner

Take it very easy right now. Let this be the time for her to "learn" what its all about and maybe just go through the motions, maybe give her a broomstick and work on form? Be very careful with deep squats, all the ligaments in the pelvis are VERY loose and I hurt myself trying to do too much after my last baby. Sometimes I still feel it when I am doing cleans Running too soon can also hurt her ligaments.

Good luck and congrats on the new baby!
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:54 AM   #6
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Feminine Wisdom Requested Re: Postpartum Beginner

Issues with intensity and postpartum:

1. Lack of sleep: getting up at night with an infant means interrupted sleep, which means it's harder to recover from intensity. You can deal with this by keeping the amount of work less---fewer rounds/fewer reps/lower weights. Probably even more important is reduced frequency of workouts to provide adequte recovery time.

2. I wouldn't advise taking supplemental iron unless your wife is actually iron-deficient. A diet that includes animal protein with a couple of servings of red meat per week, is adequate in the absence of deficiency. Even if she is nursing, her blood volume will contract in the postpartum period.

3. Be careful with full squats. The joints soften for childbirth due to hyaluronic acid, and weighted squats can actually result in a separated symphysis pubic, very painful. That joint instability can take up to a year to fully resolve.

4. If your wife is nursing your child, she needs more calories (in the form of healthy fats and protein) to sustain a milk supply, as well as extra hydration. Add exercise into the mix, and you have to drink a lot of water!

Congratulations on the new addition to your family.

Susie
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:16 AM   #7
Gavin Harrison
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Re: Feminine Wisdom Requested Re: Postpartum Beginner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Rosenberg View Post
2. I wouldn't advise taking supplemental iron unless your wife is actually iron-deficient. A diet that includes animal protein with a couple of servings of red meat per week, is adequate in the absence of deficiency. Even if she is nursing, her blood volume will contract in the postpartum period.
I'm guessing he was talking about barbells, not pills (I think...)
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:49 AM   #8
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Feminine Wisdom Requested Re: Postpartum Beginner

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I'm guessing he was talking about barbells, not pills (I think...)
I'm really a very bright woman. Really.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:51 AM   #9
Russell Mueller
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Re: Feminine Wisdom Requested Re: Postpartum Beginner

Ha! Yes, iron as in weights and lifting. There's no danger of eating too little red meat in our family...

Excellent point on the squats, thanks. Anyone else thought about the almost transcendental nature of birthing? Creation and destruction, all in the same moment....
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:02 PM   #10
Veronica Carpenter
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Re: Feminine Wisdom Requested Re: Postpartum Beginner

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Originally Posted by Susie Rosenberg View Post
I'm really a very bright woman. Really.
We all know you are!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Mueller View Post
Ha! Yes, iron as in weights and lifting. There's no danger of eating too little red meat in our family...

Excellent point on the squats, thanks. Anyone else thought about the almost transcendental nature of birthing? Creation and destruction, all in the same moment....
Regarding the "black iron" don't forget that your own bodyweight is also weight, use it first. Then as exercises get progressively easier you introduce some iron to "step it up to the next level" Many of the exercises in the CF wods will probably need to be scaled anyway - so you can introduce strength training without ever really saying "lifting weights" ie - pullups, pushups, air squats, lunges, box jumps, rope climbs, broomstick OHS.
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