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    Postpartum Exercise: What to Know About Exercising After Pregnancy


    Postpartum Exercise: What to Know About Exercising After Pregnancy

    Updated on 28 February 2024

    Medically Reviewed by

    Varsha Juvekar

    Conception, Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga, Garbhasanskar - QCI Certified Yoga Trainer

    View Profile

    By choosing the smart combination of a healthy diet and postpartum exercise you can easily bring your body back in shape after delivery. It will not be an easy task to bounce back but you can take help from a certified nutritionist/dietician and an expert fitness trainer. The road to postpartum recovery and exercise will be easier if you never stopped working out during your pregnancy.

    When to Start Exercising Postpartum?

    Depending on what kind of delivery you had, it is important to consult with your gynecologist before starting your postpartum exercise regime. Your doctor will recommend that you begin exercising gradually and you must honestly tell the doctor if you feel any discomfort when you exercise after pregnancy.

    If you had a normal vaginal delivery then you can start to exercise after pregnancy within six weeks. Opt for a walk, yoga, light stretching, squatting, a few pelvic floor exercises, and many more. If you had C-section, then you might have to wait a little longer to start exercising because your body wants time to heal and it takes eight weeks to recover from all those stitches and pains.

    You may also like: When Can I Start Bending After C-Section: Expert Insights on C-Section Recovery

    Types of Exercises to Try After Pregnancy

    Here are some exercises you can include in your post-pregnancy exercise regime including postpartum exercises after C-section:

    1. Breathing Exercises

    You must have done plenty of breathing exercises throughout your labor. But these exercises are great to try after pregnancy as well. Try belly breathing to re-coordinate breathing throughout your core.

    2. Pelvic Tilt

    If you were working out during pregnancy, you might be familiar with pelvic tilts. Doing pelvic tilts regularly can help strengthen your abdominal muscles. Start gradually and work your way up to 10-20 repetitions.

    3. Kegel Exercise

    Kegel exercises can help strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles, which support your uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. Start gradually and work your way up to three sets of 10 repetitions a day.

    4. Happy Baby Yoga Pose

    Pelvic muscles tend to tighten and cause pain after childbirth. The happy baby yoga pose can help relax your pelvic muscles and relieve pain. It is a great postpartum exercise as it will help loosen your tight pelvic floor muscles.

    You may also like: Postpartum Diet Plan: Your Postpartum Nutrition Guide

    Types of Activities to Try After Pregnancy

    In addition to the above postpartum exercise, here are some activities you can try after pregnancy:

    1. Moderate - Intense Activities

    Moderate-intensity activities are those which raise your heart rate and cause sweating. Some of the moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking and bicycle riding.

    2. Vigorous - Intense Activities

    Vigorous-intensity activities are those which leave you gasping for breath. You should start these exercises only after your doctor’s approval. If you engaged in such exercises before pregnancy, you may be able to resume them quickly after childbirth as well.

    3. Muscle Strengthening Activities

    Muscle strengthening activities engage your body’s major muscle groups like legs, arms and hips. Examples of such activities are Yoga, Pilates, lifting weights, sit-ups, push-ups and Kegel exercises. You should do muscle-strengthening activities for at least 2 days a week.

    You may also like: Effective Post Pregnancy Weight Loss Exercises to Get Back in Shape

    Tips to Start a Postpartum Workout

    Before starting any postpartum exercises, you must keep in mind that it's not a one-day task and you must not over-exercise. You should begin exercising with a 10-minute exercise session and gradually increase the time. Your doctor will also recommend that you walk at once if you had a normal delivery. If you feel any uncomfortable feelings like headache, bleeding, or exerted body, you must speak to your gynecologist.

    You must prepare yourself by setting up an exercise routine and keep these points in mind:

    • Choose comfortable and superior-quality athleisure wear.
    • To avoid any kind of discomfort you must feed your baby or express the breastmilk before going for a workout session.
    • Choose the perfect size of maternity bra and a sports bra that can support your breasts well.
    • Keep your body hydrated all the time. Drink plenty of fluids and always carry a sipper bottle handy.
    • Stretching and warm-up session of at least 10 minutes is important prior to exercise.
    • Breathe deeply and stay motivated.
    • Do not put much stress on your abdominal muscles and just do as your trainer guides you to do it.

    You may also like: How Much Time Does It Take To Get Back Into Old Shape After Delivery With a Diet Plan?

    Final Thoughts

    With patience, consistency and determination, you will be able to build a regular postpartum exercise routine that will help boost your physical and mental health. Whether your goal is to return to your pre-pregnancy shape or accelerate your postpartum recovery, you must exercise after pregnancy.

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    Medically Reviewed by

    Varsha Juvekar

    Conception, Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga, Garbhasanskar - QCI Certified Yoga Trainer

    View Profile

    Written by

    Anupama Chadha

    Anupama Chadha, born and raised in Delhi is a content writer who has written extensively for industries such as HR, Healthcare, Finance, Retail and Tech.

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