How to Ease Back Into Your Fitness Routine After Giving Birth

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women doing headstand with baby sitting on floor next to her

Every new mommy wants to get back to their old life and exercise routines after delivery. This is even more important for mommies because they feel like their bodies changed too much after giving birth. Embracing that isn’t a bad thing. It just means you have to ease into this a little more thoughtfully, and that’s what you’re going to learn about here.

Take it Easy

When a mom gives birth, all sorts of things could happen, including diastasis recti. If you’re wondering what is diastasis recti, know that it’s an injury in your abdominal wall. In essence, your six-pack muscles split during pregnancy. This creates a strange pooch that causes back pain, urinary incontinence, painful sex, or even problems going to the restroom.

You can examine yourself for this if you are dealing with postpartum pain. You can get on your back and bend those knees. Your feet should be flat on the floor while you do this. Place one hand on your belly while making sure your fingers are on your belly button. Gently press on that area while you slightly lift your head. Keep your shoulders firmly on the ground. Feel for the muscles in that area; they shouldn’t be separated by more than two to three fingers. Talk to your health professional if you notice a problem.

Consult With Your Doctor

Even if you don’t feel anything wrong in particular, you should still talk to your doctor or schedule a follow-up appointment. This is especially true if you had a C-section. The doctor will tell you how you’re healing and if it’s okay to start your exercise routine. Sometimes, even a slow start might be too much if you are still recovering.

The first step is to just talk to your doctor and find out how long you need to wait before you start exerting yourself. Of course, you should not do anything too strenuous if you’re still bleeding or experiencing other complications. If you injure yourself trying to do a routine too early, you could set yourself back even further. Remember that it’s okay to stick to simple movements if that’s all you can handle.

No Jerky Movements

The female body does a lot of wonderful and magical things for you when you’re pregnant. One of those things is it produces a hormone called relaxin, which sounds like a hormone that’s going to help you relax. The truth is that your body uses this hormone to help soften many parts of your body, like ligaments and joints. This happens because you are going to be growing during pregnancy and giving birth. Everything in your body needs to be more flexible.

Your body knows this and prepares for it with this hormone. The problem is that this hormone stays in your body up to six months after giving birth. This means your joints could still be loose, along with many other parts of your body. This could make you susceptible to major injury if you put too much pressure on yourself. If you are going to exercise, make sure you avoid any exercise that forces you to jerk your body around in sudden movements.

Stick to Postpartum Exercises

The next thing you want to do is stick to exercises that are safe for you. Walking is a safe thing to do after giving birth. A light walk should be more than enough for you. Depending on your pregnancy, you might not be able to do anything too intense for a while. For example, if the pregnancy caused some pelvic floor issues, you may have a longer recovery period before you are able to perform certain exercises.

Sometimes, the only thing you can do is swim, which is one of the most gentle types of exercise for women who just gave birth. Swimming offers enough resistance to give you a good workout but is also quite gentle on your body, muscles, and joints, which is what you need right now. Exercise is a good thing. It helps to strengthen your body, but it is important to follow the physical ques your body is signaling you.

Rest and sleep are vital at this time. Your body recovers when you are sleeping. If you want to do this right, make sure you add plenty of sleep to your post-birth fitness routine, because it’ll make you feel better in the long run. Hopefully, you can use some of these suggestions to ease back into a fitness routine that’s safe for you.

Thanks to Eve Anderson

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