Hilaria Baldwin looks insanely good for a woman who gave birth to a nearly eight pound baby girl not five weeks ago. She may not yet have her abs of steel back, but her core’s already in good enough shape to rock a belly button ring, as Hilaria happily confided in us when we caught up with the yogi at Physique 57. If you check out her Instagram, you’ll even see a flick of the new mom’s first postnatal headstand.
Not too shabby, and not too surprising, either, for a woman who began teaching yoga at age 21 and was once a professional ballroom dancer. These days, you’ll already find Baldwin leading classes at New York’s Yoga Vida, one of two studios she co-founded. For Hilaria, there’s no maternity leave when it comes to fitness. And all that hard work definitely paid off. Despite her slight frame the 29-year-old mama pushed out baby Carmen in around 45 minutes—and that was no easy feat. “She was a big baby for my frame. When I was born, I was six to six and a half pounds. My baby was almost eight pounds. I look at my husband and I should’ve known that deciding to have a baby with someone that big…I was going to have a bigger baby.”
To what does this mama credit the relative ease of her pregnancy and delivery? Her yoga skills definitely helped, but so did her frequent classes at Physique 57, which boasts the “best prenatal workout” according to New York Magazine and the Extra TV correspondent. Physique is a low impact, barre-based workout that uses your own body weight for resistance. Routines are tailored to improve posture, decrease lower back pain, increase pelvic stability, boost circulation, and strengthen the pelvic floor.
What did the Mrs. Baldwin enjoy most about the workout? Well, three things. “One of the things that I really liked about Physique was that it allowed for modification throughout. If I was having a day where I was really exhausted, or during the first three months when I was nauseous, I could just be there, and I’d modify. I figured doing something was better than sitting on my butt at home and doing nothing. Further along in my pregnancy, I had to learn to follow Carmen’s lead. You’re on this wedge and you have your legs up and she would kick every time I brought my legs up. Like ‘That’s enough! Don’t do that!’” Exercise, but always listen to your body, your baby, and your doctor, of course.
But most of all, Physique lets you get your kegels in without boring yourself to death. Want to push your baby out in record time? Take a few classes. “I was really grateful for all the yoga and all the Physique I had done because I could feel the muscles I needed in order to push. Even if you’re not doing the core work, you’re still using your pelvic muscles…if you’re doing it properly. And those are the exact muscles that you need to deliver the baby. I wasn’t somebody who was sitting around and doing my kegels…I don’t have that kind of discipline. But if I am in class and I’m taking Physique, I’m doing my kegel muscles throughout…and that works better for my attention span.”
Plus, the class does wonders for your circulation. “One of the really great things about my pregnancy was that I didn’t have swollen ankles, joints, or legs. I think that’s because the main thing that I got out of the workouts was increased circulation. I was uncomfortable at the end, but hey, everyone’s uncomfortable at the end.” Anyone else strongly reminded of Kate Middleton’s perfect birth story?
When asked how she and second-time daddy Alec managing the transition (and readjustment, respectively) to parenthood, along with Hilaria’s jam-packed fitness and work routine, Hilaria chuckled. “Everyone always asks that! People would be surprised. Alec is a good daddy.” He’s totally stepped up to the plate, and not just for diaper duty. He wakes up for feedings at all hours, and is happy to chaffeur his girls. A few weeks ago, he drove the family to Hilaria’s first post-baby Physique session in the Hamptons: “I had my phone with me the entire time. We made it 45 minutes before Carmen had a meltdown and I had to come out.”
Click through the slideshow above for Hilaria’s favorite prenatal beauty products and Carmen’s favorite baby toys. And, if you’re in the market for a great at-home workout, check out the yogi mom’s DVD, @Home With Hilaria Baldwin: Fit Mommy-to-Be Prenatal Yoga. Prepare to see some seriously adorable footage of Hilaria and Alec doing partner stretches.