Post - Pregnancy Exercise
You have just given birth to your child. Congratulations on becoming a mother! By now, you must be feeling that your body is recovering well from your child's birth. At this stage, most mothers still have a pregnancy tummy and feel like their pelvic floor is weak.
After six weeks, if you have mostly stayed indoors, you would be quite eager to get out and move. You might also be ready for some light exercises.
In any case, check with your doctor first if you -
- have had a caesarean section
- have experienced any complications since giving birth to your baby
- are still finding it hard to do your pelvic floor exercises
- are experiencing back pain or pain in the pelvic region
- are leaking while exercising
You can also discuss with your doctor about your body after birth.
Exercise After Pregnancy
The important thing is to choose something that you enjoy and feel comfortable with. Then, it is more likely that you would continue with it. You could also join a class and start doing yoga or pilates. Swimming is another great choice of exercise for new mothers. But if you don't feel like going to a yoga class or go out for swimming leaving your baby behind, then you can consider going for a brisk walk along with your baby.
If you want to tone your muscles as well as shed weight, exercise till you are completely out of breath and your heart rate increases. This is referred to as cardiovascular exercise. Try to exercise 5 times a week with each session lasting about 30 minutes. If you don't feel ready right away, try and work up to it rate gradually. Try to exercise with moderate intensity without being too hard on yourself.
Exercises to be Avoided After Pregnancy
After your pregnancy, don't attempt aerobics or running for the first 3 months because you need to allow your muscles and joints to recover fully from pregnancy and birth. If you are an athlete, you can probably start earlier. But in any case, consult your doctor first.
Don't go swimming until at least a week after your lochia (postnatal bleeding) has stopped since there is a risk of getting infected.
If you have decided to go to an exercise class that is not specifically designed for new mothers, then make sure that the instructor knows that you have had a baby recently. While exercising, take care of your back and avoid any exercises that might cause damage to it.
Remember to start slowly and increase the amount of exercise gradually while closely following your body's reaction. If you feel any pain, stop exercising immediately and do not commence until you have seen a doctor or a physiotherapist.
If you had undergone a caesarean section, consult your doctor before you start exercising. It is safe to exercise while you are breastfeeding and exercise will have no impact on it.