Sia Cooper’s post-baby body transformation is nothing short of incredible.
The super-fit mom was back to having a toned tummy just days after giving birth to her daughter thanks to her commitment to exercising throughout her pregnancy – even up to the day she delivered her baby!
“The day I went into labor, I actually did incline training for an hour along with dumbbell curls and barbell squats,” Cooper, 27, tells PEOPLE. “I got a great last workout in before my daughter decided to make her grand appearance!”
No makeup. No filters. No photoshop. Just sleepy ole me. While some may say I snapped back rather quickly, my body is still very soft, but I absolutely am loving my postpartum body because it grew and birthed a human being! How cool is that? Muscle memory is also an amazing thing and proof that hard work really does pay off during pregnancy-even when you're feeling as big as a house. 😂 I have a long way to go, but I'll get there. I've been focusing on a clean postpartum diet, but also taking in an insane number of calories to nurse a toddler and a newborn. I have to admit that I miss my pregnant belly so much. There are no words to describe those little kicks on the inside and I cannot believe that my daughter is already 6 days old. But to have her here on the outside has been such a sweet experience. Nursing sports bra: @belabumbum #backtomybelabumbum
Cooper believes that exercising helped make her labor easier.
“I credit weighted squats for helping me to push my daughter out in two pushes,” she says. “With my last pregnancy, I did not lift weights very often and it took two hours to push my son out. A big difference!”
The mom-of-two – who still had defined ab muscles while 8 months pregnant – wanted to stay fit throughout her pregnancy for the health of herself and her baby.
“Cardio shows to have huge positive effects on the heart of a growing fetus that lasts throughout their childhood,” she says. “Also, I wanted to remain in the healthy weight gain range that doctors recommend. I ended up gaining 30 lbs. total, just as with my last pregnancy. Staying fit also encourages muscle memory which helps you to ‘bounce back’ faster without trying.”
RELATED VIDEO: Pregnancy Is Different for EveryoneAnd the Diary of a Fit Mommy blogger has definitely bounced back!
“I woke up with a six-pack again one week post-partum,” she says. “It shocked me because I have not done anything but sit on the couch and breastfeed during the whole week. My body just knew to go back to how it began because I chose to put forth the hard work of taking extra good care of it during pregnancy.”
Now she is easing back into a regular workout routine.
“Starting this week, I will be doing light walks outdoors with my daughter in her stroller while wearing my toddler,” says Cooper. “This will be a good way for my body to ease back into light cardio while adding a little bit of resistance to the mix.”
Postpartum photo update. 10 days PP, 4lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight. Feeling great and ready to start up my workouts again. For the last several days, clean eating has been my focus, but I did a light workout today to ease me back into my fitness regimen. I will be starting my Fit For Life workout program in a couple of weeks! Click the link inside my bio to view it.
But she won’t be rushing into any heavy strength training until her body is ready.
“As far as lifting goes, I will be listening to my body and slowly starting with bodyweight moves first, and then add light weights as I feel more comfortable,” she says. “According to new ACOG guidelines, it is not 100 percent necessary to wait until your 6-week postpartum check up, as some exercises can really benefit your pelvic floor and any ab separation during the postpartum period.”
Cooper hopes to encourage other women to stay active throughout their pregnancies.
“We do not have to let ourselves go during pregnancy,” she says. “If you can help it, help it. You owe it to yourself and your growing baby.”