Postpartum Exercise

Postpartum Exercise

Several reports indicate women’s level of exercise goes down after childbirth leading to overweight and obesity.

You’re not surprised! You probably just rolled your eyes or you want to throat punch me. I get it.

You just went through an amazing metamorphosis – your breast are sore, your sleep is interrupted.

So why am I recommending exercise in the postpartum period?

  • It boosts energy.⠀

  • It may help prevent postpartum depression.⠀

  • It promotes better sleep.

  • It relieves stress.

  • It strengthens and tones abdominal muscles.⠀

  • It can help you lose the extra weight that you may have gained during pregnancy.

As soon as you are medically cleared, depending on mode of delivery (vaginal or cesarean birth), you can ease back into exercise routines you enjoy.⠀ ⠀

Listen to your body.⠀ ⠀

If you had a healthy pregnancy and vaginal delivery without complications, you should be able to resume physical activities days after delivery. Start with taking baby for a stroll 10 minutes. If you had a cesarean delivery or other complications, ask your health care professional when it is safe to begin exercising again.

Goals to work towards:

  • 20-30 minutes a day. ⠀

  • Keep it simple.

  • Core strength training to strengthen major muscle groups, including abdominal and back muscles (yoga and pilates are great for this).⠀

  • Gradually add moderate intensity exercise.⠀

  • Even 10 minutes of exercise benefits your body.

  • If you’re a trained athlete, you can work up to vigorous-intensity exercises.⠀ ⠀

  • Stop exercising if you feel pain.

But where to begin?

  • Pelvic floor exercises, like Kegels, can be done immediately postpartum.

  • Walking.

  • Abdominal exercises, like crunches and a drawing-in exercise, a maneuver that increases abdominal pressure by pulling in the abdominal wall muscles, have been shown to decrease incidence of diastasis recti abdominus and decreased the inter-rectus distance in women regardless of delivery route.

  • Figure out what motivates you and how to consistently show up for yourself.

Take the first step. You've go this mom