Like any new parent, former Australian netball captain Laura Geitz struggled to find the time to remain active around her son Barney’s schedule. Returning to work and fitness is possible following childbirth but is still a challenge, even for an elite athlete. But Laura believes that it’s well worth it.
We sat down with the Aussie champ to discuss the challenges she faced with sleep as a new mum, and her best advice for getting back to peak physical fitness postpartum.
Tell us a little about your sporting career and returning to the top of your game as a new mum?
Returning to netball definitely took some time to reach the point of knowing that’s what I wanted to do. In the early stages of motherhood, I wasn’t in any position to make big decisions and was just living in the baby bubble. After things settled a little I knew I wasn’t completely done with my career hence my decision to return to the game. I love a challenge and I was excited by another wonderful opportunity.
Has anything from your career as a professional athlete prepared you for motherhood in a way you didn’t expect?
Time management and routine were probably the two biggest parts of my life as an athlete that helped me transition into motherhood.
Did you have an exercise routine during pregnancy? How did you balance fitness and health with a baby on the way?
I remained fairly active during my entire pregnancy with Barney and realised how lucky I was to do so. I am a huge fan of pilates and yoga so would do anywhere from 4-5 sessions a week up until the end of my pregnancy.
Do you have any tips for other mums who are trying to get back into an exercise routine postpartum?
My belief is everyone has a different journey and at the end of the day you need to do what is right for you. My only advice is to be kind to yourself, but also know that when we are sleep deprived exercise is sometimes the last thing on our mind. A quick walk with the pram is enough to get the endorphins running and make you feel reenergized so I believe it’s important to take this time for yourself!
Why is sleep important for both professional athletes and new mums?
Sleep is the number one recovery method! Enough said… we need it to function and keep up with our busy lives! Since sleeping on my new Sealy I realise the comfort and restful sleep that we have been depriving ourselves of. My back pain during the night and upon waking has magically disappeared.
How have you dealt with sleep struggles – both with Barney and for yourself – since becoming a mother?
It comes as a big shock when you don’t get a restful night’s sleep. Barney was a pretty good baby for us but I did struggle a little in those early days. My biggest lesson was taking the time to sleep when he was sleeping and forget about loads of washing and thousands of other jobs you can be doing.
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