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!”
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.”
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And 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.”
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.”