After giving birth, many new moms feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Others would like to return to regular exercise, especially if they were active before and during pregnancy.
Of course, many experience all these emotions (and more) at the same time. Regardless of how you’re feeling, a postpartum exercise plan can help you feel better physically and emotionally.
Exercise After Childbirth
After pregnancy and after your gynaecologist has given you permission to exercise, it’s time to get moving. Post-pregnancy physical activity not only improves the health of your heart and lungs, but research shows it can improve your mood as well.
Perhaps you can practice walking the baby regularly with the stroller, but a strength program can seem like an overkill, especially when you don’t know where to start. Constant fatigue, time constraints, and a lack of activities can lead to significant barriers to getting fit after childbirth.
This is where short workouts come in and requires minimal equipment (just two dumbbells and a mat if desired). It’s also only 10 minutes long, so you can squeeze it in at nap time, prone position, or whenever your schedule allows.
While more exercise involves more low-key walking and prenatal yoga are a great option, especially if you are suffering from fatigue or nausea. In such case, there is no need to stick to gentle exercises during pregnancy. More demanding routines, such as bodyweight strength exercises, are also fine if your doctor gives you the green light and uses pregnancy-safe modifications as needed.
Benefits of Exercising After Childbirth
Although it can be difficult to find time to exercise while caring for a new-born, exercise plays an important part of your life. They are –
- Exercise can help reduce stress.
- It can improve blood circulation.
- Moving the body gives you energy.
- It can also improve sleep quality.
- Exercise can help prevent postpartum depression
Breastfeeding and Exercise
Studies have shown that regular or vigorous exercise has no adverse effect on a mother’s ability to successfully breastfeed if fluid and calorie intake are maintained. However, some research suggests that high-intensity physical activity can cause lactic acid to build up in breast milk, creating a sour taste that babies dislike. If you’re breastfeeding, you can prevent this potential problem by engaging in low- to moderate-intensity physical activity and drinking plenty of fluids during and after exercise.
When to Start Exercise After Childbirth
It is important that you consult your doctor before exercising and try to obtain a medical clearance, especially if you have had a caesarean section or suffered a complication during pregnancy or childbirth. Women who have had normal vaginal deliveries should usually be able to begin light exercise, such as walking, a few days after delivery. However, only do this if you feel ready.
It is common for doctors to clear women for normal pre-pregnancy activities, including exercise, at their six-week postpartum check-up. If you would like to increase your exercise prior to this examination, speak to your doctor first.
If postpartum bleeding or pain increases after exercise, you may be overexerting. In any case, start slowly and gradually work your way up to more exercise. Also remember to drink water when you are thirsty. Also, be sure to eat plenty of healthy snacks, especially if you’re breastfeeding (which requires extra calories).
Make Time for Exercise After Birth
When caring for a new-born, finding time for physical activity can be a challenge. Some days you might just feel too tired for a full workout. That doesn’t mean you should put physical activity on the back burner. Give your best. Suggestions include:
- Seek support from your partner, family, and friends.
- Work out with a friend to stay motivated.
- Walking is a great way to get fit. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes. It’s free and you can do it almost anywhere, anytime. You can also carry your baby.
- Include your baby lying on the floor next to you while you do abdominal exercises.
Exercising for 10 minutes is fine. We know that 150 minutes at a time seems like a long time, but you don’t have to do everything at once. Not only is it better to spread out your activities throughout the week, but you can also break them up into smaller chunks of time throughout the day.
Don’t be too hard on yourself when your fitness plans go awry. Just do your best and remember that as your baby settles into a predictable routine, you will have more time to yourself. Ab and pelvic floor exercises can be performed while sitting or standing and while doing other tasks. As a reminder, try to do the exercises every time you do certain things, e.g., B. Breastfeeding or driving.
Take a walk with your baby in the stroller instead of using the car for a short trip. Consider creating a home library of exercise DVDs. It might be a good idea to include some treadmills that also offer shorter workouts (like 15 or 30 minutes) so you don’t always have to spend a full hour or more on the workout.
The Prenatal Strength Circuit Tones Your Entire Body
1) Stretching the Neck
Breastfeeding and holding the baby can make your neck stiff. Make sure to relax your neck several times a day.
- Gently let your neck fall forward and let the weight of your head pull and stretch your neck, hold it at 5 to 10 seconds.
- Repeat on the left side.
- Once again, return to the centre and relax carefully return. Look up and hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
2) Core & Basic Exercises
Although many women are particularly focused after childbirth are on your tummy after birth (it went through some amazing changes growing up as a baby), it’s not a good idea to start straight away with many of the traditional abdominal exercises like crunches, planks, and crunches. Many women experience some degree of diastasis recti because of pregnancy, when the tissue between the abdominal muscles thins and separates to make room for the growing uterus.
To prevent the condition from becoming permanent, it’s important to be mindful about your abdominal training. Many basic exercises can aggravate the condition by causing the centre of your abdomen to “taper” or bulge. Recreational strengthening exercises, along with the curl -Upward progression (detailed in the next section), for the central placenta and pelvic floor. Try to spend 5 to 15 minutes a day doing these exercises.
3) 4-Point Thoracic Rotation
Start on all fours with knees under hips and hands under the back. Maintain a neutral spine and engage your core. Place your right hand on the back of your head and move your shoulder blades down and back. Keeping your lower body still, rotate your upper body to bring your right elbow toward your left elbow.
This is your starting position. As you inhale, slowly twist your torso to open your chest and point your elbow up towards the ceiling as far as possible. Maintain a neutral spine and keep your lower body still. Wait while you count from three to five and remember to take deep breaths. Exhaling, rotate your torso toward your left elbow to return to the starting position. Hold for a count of three to five and breathe deeply throughout the process.
4) Romanian Deadlift
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing toward your body in front of your legs, both feet on the floor shoulder width apart. Roll your shoulder blades down and back to push your chest slightly outward. Gently bring the pubic bone closer to the navel (to touch the pelvic floor). This is your starting position. Inhaling, bend your knees slightly. Bend forward from the hips, without changing the angle of the knees, and let the dumbbells run down the thighs and to the middle of the shins. Keep your chest “proud”. Your head should be an extension of your spine. Exhale.
Push through your heels and tighten your glutes and hamstrings to straighten your knees and hips to return to the starting position. The dumbbells should remain in contact with the legs throughout the movement. Repeat 10 times.
5) Glute Bridge
Lie on your back, bend your knees, and lower the feet. on the floor, hip-width apart and spine in neutral position. Your arms should rest at your sides. This is your starting position.
Inhale. As you exhale, bring your ribs toward your hips to engage your core. Press your heels into the floor and tighten your glutes to lift your pelvis off the floor until your body is in a straight line from chin to knee and your weight is resting on your shoulders and feet. Inhaling, lower your pelvis to return to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds.
6) Abdominal Curls
Start on your back in a relaxed, neutral spine position. Gently tighten your abs (imagine you’re about to be punched in the stomach and need to tighten your muscles to protect yourself).
Reduce the distance between the rib cage and hip bones. Imagine yourself trying to get your entire spine on the floor. Hold the position for a few seconds while continuing to breathe normally. Relax and then repeat 10 times.
7) Deep Belly Breathing
Your breathing is likely to feel different for the first few days after giving birth as your organs return to their former positions. Deep breathing can help in your physical and emotional recovery from childbirth.
Place your hands low on your abdomen and practice slowly breathing in until you can feel your hands move. Then, slowly exhale. Repeat 5 to 8 times
8) Bent-Leg Toe Tap
Lie flat on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are on the floor, with hips and knees together. Imprint your spine into the floor and bring your legs into a tabletop position with knees stacked over your hips, toes pointed, and shins parallel to the floor. This is the starting position. Inhale.
Exhaling with your spine imprinted in the floor, draw your ribs toward your hips and lower your right leg until your right toes just touch the floor, maintaining the angle of your knees and keeping your left shin parallel to the floor. (If your spine lifts from the floor, lower your leg only as far as you can while keeping your spine on the floor.) Inhaling, return your right leg to start and repeat on the other side. Repeat 10 times on each side.
9) Shoulder Press
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Holding the dumbbells with palms facing away from your body, extend both arms overhead. This is the starting position. Inhaling, bend your elbows to lower dumbbells down to chin height. Exhaling, use the muscles in your shoulder and arm to extend back to the start position. (Try not to “shrug” your shoulders.) Repeat 10 times. This exercise can be done without dumbbells using bodyweight only.
10) Abdominal Bracing
Begin on your back in a relaxed, neutral spine position. Gently contract your abdominal muscles (imagine you’re about to get punched in the stomach and you need to tense your muscles for protection).
Decrease the space between your rib cage and hip bones. Visualize trying to glue your entire spine to the ground. Hold for several seconds while continuing to breathe normally. Relax, then repeat 10 times.
Safe postpartum exercise is incredibly valuable for your physical and mental health while you recover from pregnancy and childbirth. Take some time to get to know and appreciate your body after childbirth.
You may look and feel different than your pre-pregnancy body, but never forget that it’s because you did something amazing — you managed to grow and deliver your baby. As you recover from childbirth and adjust to parenthood, use exercise to support your strong and healthy body and mind.