When women get pregnant, the only thing society seems to care about is our post-baby body. ‘Cause that’s exactly what a new mom needs to do: worry about the few pounds she gained while creating another human being. Regardless of what society expects us to look like days after giving birth, it’s still beneficial to both mom and baby for the mom to continue her fitness regimen after childbirth. Just because you’re responsible for another human being doesn’t mean you are no longer responsible for yourself. In comes Sia Cooper, the ultimate women’s fitness specialist who designs workouts specifically for the struggling mama.
On Sia’s blog and Instagram, she’s also very upfront about her past and current struggles so her followers can relate to her and not just see a new mother with a six-pack – a sight very intimidating to many new moms.
Sia took less than two weeks after giving birth to get back to her pre-baby weight. So we asked her for her best tips for taking care of your body during and after your pregnancy as well as how she handled the social media backlash to her quick weight loss. Because you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Q&A with Sia Cooper
In the beginning, you created your blog to hold you accountable for your weight loss journey. How has it evolved since?
It began as just a simple hobby to help me track my own fitness goals and evolved to me quitting my nursing career to become a certified personal trainer to help others with their fitness goals. I never expected it, but once I put myself out there and opened up my life and journey with everyone, the response was overwhelming and therefore I saw a need to fulfill.
There’s a lot of pressure on women to lose weight quickly after giving birth. Why do you think that is?
I think it is the media and how they portray women. Now, I think the media can be used as a good as well, but often times you see models and celebs as being fit or even on the skinnier side and larger women seem to be taunted. When my story made headlines, so many women automatically responded with hate because they felt pressure within themselves to try to be like me, which was never what I meant to do. I never said, ‘hey, you must bounce back tomorrow’ or anything like that. But I have done countless interviews since and I can see how some media outlets will twist words for shock value, to cause a controversy. If a woman feels threatened, you bet there will be controversy involved! Ha!
If women have trouble losing weight after giving birth is it usually because of their genes, diet, or lack of exercise before giving birth?
I have found that the number one factor that determines how quickly one bounces back after pregnancy is how well she took care of herself during the entire pregnancy (diet and exercise). If a woman gains more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy, it will be a lot harder for her to kick those extra pounds after birth. Genes play a role to some extent, but I hate using them as an excuse to not get fit. Diet and lack of exercise prior to giving birth also play an important role which is why I recommend my clients to get fit BEFORE pregnancy so that they will have that muscle memory to fall back on once baby is born.
Many people were surprised how quickly you bounced back. How were you able to get into great condition just two weeks after you gave birth?
First and foremost, I bounced back quickly due to five-day-a-week workouts and eating clean during my entire pregnancy. There were days when I just wanted to curl up on the couch, but I stayed motivated to complete each and every workout that I scheduled myself.
Secondly, I used a product called Belly Bandit which is a postpartum girdle that I strapped on my tummy within 2 hours after giving birth. This dramatically helped to reduce my tummy pooch! I wore one with my first two pregnancies and you bet I will wear it again for my next.