My name is Brittany and I am 7 months postpartum after the vaginal delivery of my first (and likely, only) child, a beautiful baby girl named Freyja. I’m nearly 23 years old and although I’m young, my pregnancy unplanned, I feel that I came into my situation informed and prepared to do what I need to do to have a healthy pregnancy and minimally traumatizing birth and postpartum period. I was active before conceiving, spending at least 45 mins, 3 days a week at the gym. I planned my daily meals with a focus on the amount of calories and types of food my growing baby and I needed (an extra 300 calories a day, give or take) with some wiggle room for the occasional treat. Prior to baby strength training was my game and I won’t lie that I was a bit disheartened with the conventional wisdom that now that I was pregnant that would need to stop. Thankfully my ob-gyn was a fitness fanatic and mother as well, and she informed me that while I would have to be conservative with the weights, I would by no means need to stop. I simply switched from pushing the limits each session to doing a lot of reps with a comfortable to lighter weight. I still squatted, lifted and even benched up until the 9th month of pregnancy. I trained abs vehemently with a special focus on gentle exercises that would not strain them as I had a mild diastasis. The 9th month I cut down to moderate cardio only and found that the typical aches and pains of being pregnant were lessened by this moderate amount of activity, though getting off the couch to do so was a struggle indeed. 4 days before my eventual labour I could feel that it was indeed time to rest. The labour itself (though I have nothing to compare it to) was relatively easy. It was a vaginal delivery, no tearing. I had the fitness and muscle tone I needed to push out my baby in only 45 mins. Kegels were indeed my friend. Past the soreness and muscle trauma of the actual birth and I am completely back to normal in terms of pelvic floor function. I don’t pee when I sneeze or otherwise. I’m now almost 7 months post-partum and I have my body back. It took work, but I’m back to lifting heavy and I feel great and grateful every day that I was surrounded with the right people to help me make this milestone in my life one that hasn’t left me feeling poorly about myself. I’m not being a neglectful mother by taking that 45 mins to work on myself, I’m an example to my daughter that hard work and a healthy lifestyle will pay off every day of your life. When the stress of motherhood mounts it’s a needed release and I truly feel that it makes me a more energetic and attentive parent. My body is my own, it’s the only one I will ever have and as long as I’m able I will treat it kindly.