Just Had A Baby And Wondering How You Can Get Back Into Working Out Peter Levidis A Certified Athletic Therapist Has Your Answer
Now, let’s backtrack: For about 40 weeks, you carried an extra 20 to 60 pounds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This put a dramatic load on your lower and upper back, pelvis and hips. Your muscles and ligaments even changed accordingly to accommodate your baby. Then you went into labour, where contractions and pushes put further strain on those muscles and ligaments. You may have also experienced tears during the delivery. All of these factors helped to weaken and destabilize your body.
So, what can you do to offset that incredible strain on your body and get back into shape?
First, enlist the help of the pros. Start by discussing your goals with your gynecologist or physician and ask them for guidance in your recovery process. How soon you can start exercising depends on the details of your birth, such as whether it was a C-section and if there were complications, and should be discussed with your doctor. Once you’ve been given the OK to begin, I suggest consulting with a fitness professional who specializes in postpartum exercise. There are definite dos and don’ts that you need to follow, and this pro should be able to help you rebuild your strength safely.
Another common issue with postpartum exercise? Diastasis recti.
Make your return to the gym something to look forward to because it will make you stronger and more capable of the physical and mental tasks that you will face as a parent every day.
Peter Levidis is a certified athletic therapist at Sport Specialists.
Here Are Some Important Things To Remember When Exercising During The 6 Week Postpartum Period
- Now is not the time to start an exercise routine if you are new to exercise. If you were an avid exercise before and during pregnancy then it is okay to talk to your doctor about resuming early. If you are new to exercise all together, I would suggest waiting until your checkup!
- Start with a gentle from of exercise such as walking just to see how your body feels
- Remember the pregnancy hormone relaxin stays in your system for a few months, leaving you prone to overstretching injury, so take it easy!
- Stay hydrated
- Make sure you are eating enough
- Monitor your bleeding, if it worsens of course stop. I personally waited for the bleeding to stop before I began strengthening .
- If you are recovering from a C-section or episiotomy, give yourself extra time to heal
- Always stop and consult your doctor if you experience any pain or abnormal symptoms
Meet The Motherly Hospital Ready Bag We Packed All The Cozy Thoughtful And Comforting Must
- The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama to help empower you through labor and support you through the fourth trimester
- A fluffy, never-want-to-take-it-off robe from Sunday Citizen because you deserve coziness now more than ever
- The multi-tasking Nipple + Lip Rescue Balmfrom Hatch that soothes and saves cracked, chapped skin
- A simple “Here We Go” journal for documenting this incredible journey
- A set of Thank You cards for your support team
- Comforting compression socks from the pregnancy support pros at Belly Bandit to improve circulation and keep swelling to a minimum
- An adorable “bébé” bodysuit for your brand new bundle
- Tasty postpartum Milkmaid Tea from Earth Mama Organics to help promote healthy lactation
- Delicious plant-based Nunona Mama Balls made from all-natural ingredients like to keep your energy and milk on the up and up
- A sleek ” Like A Mother” water bottle to keep you hydrated through the marathon of birth and baby care
- A delicate “I Am Brave” cuff bracelet from Motherly that reminds you of your strength and resilience
- All packed up into a sturdy mauve-colored duffel that you’ll reach for long after your baby arrives
Together, these equal over a $400 value for $300! The Motherly Hospital Ready Bag is also available in two more curated versions with some of these essentials.
With car seats, strollers and travel systems designed to help you confidently get out and go on family adventures, Maxi-Cosi gives you the support you need to make the memories you want.
If Youre Worried Exercise Will Affect Breastfeeding Nurse Or Pump Before
There is not much research on the influence of exercise on human milk. But Dr. Artal said that there’s no good evidence that exercise is bad for breast milk or breastfeeding in general. However, he advised that if a mother is worried about the effects of exercise on her milk supply or quality, she can simply nurse or pump before exercise. This has the added benefit of being more comfortable, said Clinton: You don’t want to get engorged while you’re out on a walk.
Postpartum Timeline: What You’ll Be Able To Do When After Giving Birth
Wondering when you’ll be able to drive/drink wine/take a bath after baby makes his or her grand arrival? Consider this your ultimate postpartum timeline.
While no two delivery stories are the same, the postpartum timeline is a bit more predictable. It’s always advised to ease into your new routine with help from family and friends because you’ll be sore right after the birth. Prepare to limit trips up and down the stairs, avoid long walks, and wait to exercise until you’ve gotten the go-ahead from your doctor.
“You need sufficient rest for the muscles and ligaments that hold your uterus in place to regain their strength,” says Coralie Macqueen, a certified nurse-midwife in private practice in New York City. And in the case of a C-section, an even longer period of rest is required for your body to heal from a major abdominal surgery.
As for the specifics? After your baby’s born, here’s when you can expect to get the green light for nursing, showering, driving, and more during your postpartum recovery.
You’re Likely Too Tired To Have Sex But Also Too Hormonal To Want It
You’re probably exhausted. Maybe you feel sore—and sex isn’t pleasurable at the moment. Maybe you’re worried about changes to your body or getting pregnant again. Or maybe you’re just touched out and feel like the only thing you have control over is your body.
But underneath all of these perfectly legitimate reasons is a current of raging and waning hormones that have an even more powerful impact on your sex drive.
When you’re pregnant, the levels of your reproductive hormones are at time 1000 times higher than when you are not pregnant. And once you give birth, those hormones come crashing down to menopausal levels. The low estrogen that results can cause uncomfortable vaginal dryness—especially if you are breastfeeding—and a loss of sex drive.
This is how evolution ensures that you “don’t want it” while you are healing and investing your energy into keeping your new baby alive before you start to work on the next.
If You Delivered Vaginally You Can Start Gentle Exercise Immediately
Dr. Raul Artal, M.D., chairman emeritus of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health at St. Louis University, and author of the postpartum exercise guidelines for The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said that if you’ve had a vaginal birth, “one could return to exercise at her own pace — in consultation with a medical provider — the day after delivery.” The benefits of exercise postpartum are similar to the benefits at any other time of life: It promotes better sleep, can increase energy and relieves stress. In the postpartum period in particular, exercise can help strengthen abdominal muscles, which are weakened by pregnancy and birth.
The degree of trauma you experienced giving birth will determine the kind of exercise you do, just as the degree of trauma with any other injury would affect your exercise program. “A man who fell down on his buttocks and has trauma on his buttocks and perineum — they will get the same advice,” Dr. Artal said.
If you have severe anemia, high blood pressure, a heart or kidney condition or diabetes, you may need to delay the start of an exercise routine, said Dr. Julia Jaffe, M.D., a clinical assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center. Always check with your doctor before you begin.
Exercises That Can Be Done During The 6 Week Postpartum Wait Period
*This post may contain affiliate links, all opinions are my very own*
The picture above is me two weeks postpartum. My best advice during the 6 week postpartum wait period is to listen to your body and talk to your doctor. If you do not feel ready or you had complications during labor then I think it’s important to wait. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is a great resource for guidelines on returning to exercise postpartum. Research is now indicating that it is not always necessary to wait 6 weeks to return to exercise but always consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially after giving birth. I never pushed myself to exercise every day during those first 6-8 weeks after labor, I honestly just listened to my body. There were days where the sleep deprivation kicked in so hard that it was all I could do to just nurse my daughter. Then there were other days where I felt great; I would go for a walk with Piper and get a little yoga session in while she napped.
That being said, there are some really great benefits to resuming exercises shorty after having your baby during that 6 week postpartum wait. Some of these benefits of exercise include:
- Stronger pelvic floor
- Improved mood
- Helps assist with weight loss/muscle memory
Here is a progress picture of me at 6 weeks postpartum!
Here Are 10 Exercises You Can Do During The 6 Weeks Postpartum Wait
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Learn Some Safe And Gentle Postpartum Yoga Poses For Brand New Moms
People have known for centuries that doing yoga on a regular basis has some great physical and mental health benefits.
Doing yoga brings together breathing exercises, poses, and meditation to reduce stress and encourage physical and mental wellbeing.
The benefits of yoga are even greater for new mothers.
But, one thing you might be wondering is if doing any type of exercise right after giving birth is a good thing or not.
Here are ten amazing postpartum yoga poses that are gentle and safe for you to do, even if you have had a cesarean section.
Which Is The Best Time To Start Yoga For Mothers After Childbirth
Are you wondering which is the best time to start yoga for new mothers?
As stressful as new members of your growing family can be, you need to work on the stress relieving techniques for your body, mind, and soul.
Yoga can be a great method to help deal with stress while providing a great deal of exercise at the same time. Together, we will be going over when you should be starting yoga, the best exercises to do, and any possible dangers of doing yoga too soon after pregnancies.
It is not only crucial to release stress but to also stretch certain body parts and muscles that may have been sore during the pregnancy. Finding the right resources may be difficult since the last thing you want to be doing is working out and you can’t put too much pressure on your muscles.
Let’s take you through our guide and provide you with a fun yoga lifestyle.
Things I Wish Id Known About Postpartum Yoga And Diastasis Recti
I knew it in my heart before I knew it in my mind. Yoga is hurting me.
I was so excited to begin practicing again at 8 weeks postpartum. I’d spent 10 months modifying for pregnancy, and 8 weeks healing from my daughter’s beautiful, painful birth. The idea of moving again thrilled me.
And move I did. Nothing crazy. My body was still mending. A simple, straightforward flow of basic yoga postures. Sun salutations to get the blood moving. Twists to move energy through my spine. Gentle backbends to open up my heart which, despite being so full of love for my daughter, was completely closed off from the endless hours of nursing.
Little did I know, these “simple” poses were hurting more than healing.
After the first session, it was easy to dismiss the physical signs that something was wrong. The twinge in my low back. The feeling that things were even more discombobulated “down there” than when I started.
I’d just had a baby, after all. I didn’t expect it to feel perfect.
But I continued to dismiss those signs for months. I couldn’t believe that my beloved yoga practice could hurt me. For someone who’s spent much of her life listening to her body on a yoga mat, I was surprisingly good at ignoring my body’s whispers.
But just like a toddler you ignore, those whispers eventually became a yell.
It hit me at 6 months postpartum. Half a year after I’d delivered my baby, I was suffering more than I had in the weeks after delivery.
A self-check confirmed it-I had one.
Things To Know Before Getting Back Into Yoga After Having A Baby
Getting back into yoga after having a baby can be exciting, so here are some things to know about postnatal yoga.
Postnatal yoga can be really rewarding. It can be that one thing that can help a mom start feeling like herself again after entering a new chapter of her life as a parent. The period directly following birth has commonly become known as the “fourth trimester,” as this is a time in which both mother and baby need time to bond, and for the former, time to heal.
Yoga can help. If a mom is concerned about how different things will be, or just curious about what postnatal exercise will entail, check out this list of 10 things to know before getting back into yoga after baby.
Postpartum Exercise: Easing Into A Fitness Routine After Birth
This post-pregnancy workout plan will help you safely return to your pre-baby exercise habits.
About a month before my due date, I remember chatting with a friend about my postpartum exercise routine. At that time, I was an avid morning gym goer — 6:30 am spin classes. I was under the great delusion that I would miss a couple of weeks and then be right back into my fitness regimen.
Reality struck me rather quickly after giving birth, and I realized that it would take more time to ease back into physical shape than I had estimated. My pelvic floor needed work, I was hopelessly looking for any sign that I still had core muscles, and I was downright tired and delirious from sleep deprivation. Many of the mothers I talked to experienced a similar awakening. We all had been somewhat surprised by the postpartum body compared to that of pregnancy. The shared experience was atrophied muscles, bad posture, an achy body, and general fatigue.
To get back into a postpartum exercise routine, new mothers should always be realistic and patient. It took around 40 weeks to form the pregnant body, and it could take nearly as long to fully return to your pre-pregnancy self. No matter if your labor is quick, long, or surgical, the body undergoes a huge transformation to expel a baby.
Though you’ll need to wait until your doctor gives you the OK to start postpartum exercise, you can brainstorm your post-pregnancy workout plan now, following these nine important steps.
Buggy Fit Postnatal Yoga And Other Postnatal Exercise Classes
Some postnatal classes let you do the exercise class with your baby at your side, which isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds. Especially with a newborn who’ll often snooze through the whole thing.
Some even include your baby and their pram or buggy as part of the workout. Plus they’re often outdoors in local parks, which is a nice bonus.
If you’re going to a class that isn’t a special postnatal class, make sure you tell the instructor that you’ve recently had a baby.
Effective Yoga Poses To Lose Weight After Having A Baby
Our hectic lif style and busy schedule often leaves us stressed out and tired. Yoga is a centuries old way of relieving stress and improving strength and flexibility so that we can have a healthy body and mind in the long run. It helps in harmonizing our inner being with the world and bringing forth peace and tranquility. At physical level, it helps in improving posture, toning and strengthening the muscles, relieving stress and reducing the risk of diseases. Yoga also helps in improving the health of would-be mothers and reduces pregnancy complications. It also helps in quickening the recovery after delivery, relieving post-partum complications and pain and promoting weight loss in a healthy way.
Are There Any Dangers To Exercising Too Much Too Soon
One of the biggest worries doing yoga for new mothers may be serious physical complication to their bodies. As stated above, doctors suggest a recovery period of six weeks post vaginal birth or potentially even longer after a getting a C-section.
If you’re extra eager to get back to exercising, ask your midwife or doctor to perform an abdominal separation check to see how much more recovery time you need.
When you get the OK and experience no major health problems after your pregnancy, you can get back to doing yoga and normal exercising again. One of the key elements of prenatal yoga is listening to your body.
Even after pregnancy, that is instrumental to keeping a healthy body. Never perform yoga poses that may seem too dangerous.
Slowly ease back into exercising. Never do too much at once.
Too much stress to your body after giving birth can cause complications with your body’s healing process.
Seek medical help if any of this occurs:
- – Vaginal discharge becomes more inflamed than usual and flows more often
- – Experience any pain
Stop and break from working out if you:
- – Feel more tired than usual
- – Muscles feel shaky or feel more tired than usual
- – Morning heart rate is ten beats per minute higher than usual
As a general rule of health with exercising after pregnancy, always keep a record of your pulse when you wake up to see any sudden changes that might require medical attention. And above all, be safe.
How Soon Did You Start Exercising After Giving Birth
I would like to get fit again as soon as i can. Do you have to wait six weeks?
When did you give birth?I shall resume exercising when the children have left home. Maybe.
I havnt yet i am actually due next week
What kind of exercise are you wanting to do?Pushing the pram and carrying the baby all day are quite good exercise!
I do like walking/cycling perhaps light weights, the sort of stuff I was doing up to about 6.5 months. Was wondering when the uterus has gone back to normal, dont want to overdo things and regret it. I suppose it is the tummy exercises i am mainly concerned with.
Try and speak to a physio at the hospital if possible to advise on exercise for tummy etc – midwives will give you leaflets about it which are helpful. There are lots of things you can do from the begginning e.g. pelvic tilts which will start getting your tummy back together, but if you were quite fit you might have separated abdominal muscles so you need to be careful how you go about doing things. As far as cycling etc. is concerned you probably will be too tired to do that kind of thing and frankly after a vagical birth you might be worried about losing your bike seat. Walking with pram is great – gets you and baby out and you can walk as fast as you can manage!Good luck, I hope it goes well.
You really should wait till your 6 wk check, as doing too much excercise too soon can cause heavy bleeding!
Will My Vagina Stay Stretched Out After Giving Birth
Among the so many things that you have to worry about while your due date gets nearer and nearer by the day is if your situation down there will ever be the same. Is giving birth really the end of your sex life? Well, here are the sad truth ladies, there will be some changes down there and it’s not pretty!
Postnatal Yoga: 10 Tips For Doing Yoga After Birth
Take your time.
You spent 9 months growing a baby inside of your body. There were many dramatic changes, but they happened somewhat gradually over many months. Then, you gave birth.. and it’s a big giant change all at once It’s going to take some time to get to know your new body, figure out how to make time for your yoga practice, and some experimenting once you do get on your mat to figure out what works for you.
Increase your time and difficulty gradually.
When you’re feeling ready to introduce some movement back into your routine, start with just a few minutes a day. Try it while your baby is napping or getting in some Tummy Time.
Gradually increase the amount of time you spend practicing asanas and gradually add more difficulty, too. If you try to do too much too soon, you’re more likely to get injured or, perhaps a bigger concern, have a hard time fitting it into your new lifestyle.
How Soon Can You Start Driving After Having A Baby
Driving right after giving birth is not easy and not recommended. This is because the act of driving uses many of the same muscles that a woman uses during the labour and delivery of her baby. This is why it is highly important for you to heal properly before you start driving again. Two weeks is the minimal healing time during which you must abstain from driving, lifting heavy objects, and cleaning the house. However, this is still a short time and only applies to women who have had an easy delivery. Depending on the type of delivery, whether it is a normal delivery or a C-section, you can determine how many weeks you should give a rest before you drive again. Let’s see the cases below: