You might be thinking about when your baby belly will go away. Well,
there's no right timeframe to regain your pre-pregnancy body, as each
woman's pregnancy experience and body is unique. You can go back to your
previous self with the right mindset, some hard work, and the right tools.
Today we have an overview of postpartum exercise.
Yes, you can! If you had a healthy pregnancy and normal
vaginal delivery go ahead and start some physical activity as soon as you
feel ready. Even a few days after giving birth is okay!
Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider if you had a c-section or
any complications before exercising again.
TRUE! Exercise not only can help you lose your
baby weight and benefit your physical health but also
can improve your mental health by helping to prevent postpartum
Here are some more benefits from postpartum exercise:
Strengthen and tone your abdominal and core
Boost your energy level
Promote improvement in sleep
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology ( ACOG) suggests
at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every
This activity does not have to be intense. Basically, move your muscles so
that your heart rate increases and you start sweating. How do you know it’s
moderate intensity? Basically, you should be able to talk but not sing
during the activity.
Remember you can decide how you want to divide these
Five 30-minute workouts per week or three 10-minute walks
daily. Choose what works best for you!
FALSE! Strength training activities are just as
important postpartum especially to regain the strength of your core muscles
including your pelvic floor!
You don’t need to start bench pressing or doing deadlifts. Just using your
body weight or some light weight is enough. Going too hard early can
actually be harmful.
Try activities include yoga, pilates, walking upstairs or hills,
squats or push-ups as ways to strengthen your muscles at least 2 days a
Your pelvic floor has special exercise called kegels that can help
strengthen and tone muscles in that area.
You can start Kegel’s within 24 hours postpartum!
Start small with two or three minutes per day to strengthen your pelvic
Pregnancy is not kind to the pelvic floor muscles. Pregnancy and labor
stretch the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, debilitating them. These
activities serve to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the
bladder, uterus, and rectum, and they are beneficial both before and after
NO! Regular aerobic exercise in postpartum women
does not affect milk production, composition, or babies’ growth.
Here are some exercise tips if you are breastfeeding or pumping:
If you are nursing or pumping, consider feeding your baby or
expressing milk before exercising to avoid discomfort of engorged
Hydrate before and during exercise- remember you need more water
intake when you are breastfeeding!
Where loose fitting clothing and supportive bras are comfortable.
NO! While planks are usually considered one of the best
core exercises, they are not the best option when you are newly postpartum.
They demand too much from an already recovering core, so they
could induce abdominal muscle separation (diastasis recti ) or
make it worse if you already have it.
So which “core” exercising can you do? Keep it easy at the start
and begin with:
Abdominal or belly breathing
Aim to stay active for 20–30 minutes a day.
Start with simple exercises to strengthen abdominal, pelvic and
back muscles (Kegels, pelvic tilts, belly breathing) .
Gradually add moderate-intensity exercise. Even 10 minutes of
exercise is good for you!
Work up to vigorous-intensity activity for those who have exercised
vigorously before pregnancy or for competitive athletes.
Remember, stop exercising if you feel pain.
So go ahead and start! Many benefits to postpartum
exercise for both your physical and mental wellness. Start small. Add in 10
minutes of walking one week and kegels. Next week add in 20 minutes of
walking and pelvic tilts with kegels and build up from there!
But always listen to your body! Stop if you feel any
distress or pain. If you have any doubts or worries about how your body is
adapting to an exercise regimen, talk to your healthcare provider.
As always feel free to reach out to MaternalWell text support for any
general questions or consultation with our postpartum physical therapist
for any specific questions/ concerns or recommendations.