When Can I Exercise Again After Giving Birth?

Life after having a baby is often markedly different from what you’re used to. It’s a wonderful time for the family and having a new baby around is always reason to celebrate. One of the things that new moms might be wondering is, how soon can you exercise again after giving birth? This is especially true if you’ve always had an active lifestyle, working out in gyms like Gold’s a few times weekly. You want to get back to being fit again ASAP, right? Not so fast.

Pregnancy and childbirth can trigger some changes in a woman’s body. Many women, after giving birth, are eager to go back to exercising in order to get rid of the excess weight they acquired during pregnancy.

Exercise after giving birth offers a handful of benefits as well.

  • You’ll feel more energized.
  • You’ll be able to sleep better.
  • It will help you manage stress more effectively.
  • You’ll lose weight.
  • It will strengthen your abdominal muscles.

One important thing to note as well as that regular exercise can help ward off postpartum depression, which some women tend to suffer after pregnancy.

Take note however that your workouts may seem different than what you’ve been accustomed to, for at least a few weeks. That’s because your body is still healing and slowly regaining strength in the muscles.

Like most things revolving around exercise, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how soon you can start. It depends on whether or not your pregnancy was normal or if there were any complications. If yours was an uncomplicated pregnancy, you can start doing light exercises a few days after childbirth.

On the other hand, if you had a cesarean section or experienced any complications, your body will likely need more time to heal and recover.

Going back to the topic of “light exercise,” remember that regardless of your pre-pregnancy fitness level, it’s crucial for you to start slow and easy, and listen to your body. The biological changes that happen during pregnancy don’t simply go away as soon as you give birth. Over-exertion after pregnancy can result in pelvic discomfort, urine or feces leakages, and injury.

Start with for low-impact exercises like walking instead of doing an HIIT workout. Over time, you can slowly increase your intensity levels and switch up to more challenging workouts.

Post-Partum Exercises

After pregnancy, you’ll first need to regain strength in your abdominal and pelvic muscles, and postpartum exercises are a way to do that. Here is a list of post-partum exercises you can do:

  • Pelvic tilt exercise
  • Kegel exercise
  • Belly breathing
  • Happy baby pose
  • Walking
Young pregnant mother mom exercising on fitness mat with her little small kid son, giving high five. Sport, working out yoga with children. Future mother, pre-natal period, expecting a baby concept

Exercising While Breastfeeding

After giving birth, you should avoid any strenuous exercises like those that entail running, jumping and weightlifting. Once you’ve spent a few weeks doing the post-partum exercises we’ve outlined above, you can then assess if whether or not you’re ready to level up your workout routine. Now the question you probably have in your mind is, does exercise affect breastfeeding?

A common misconception is that you should pump before exercising, as high-intensity exercise can trigger the release of lactic acid in breast milk and will discourage your baby to feed. While it could happen, such an occurrence is very rare. Doctors recommend pumping before a workout only because your breasts can get painful when exercising if it’s filled with milk.

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