Getting back into shape after giving birth can be hard, but postpartum workout plans make it easier.
Postpartum fitness is a big topic that has many different opinions on the best way to get back in shape. In this blog post I am going to outline four postpartum exercises for you and what they entail, so that you can decide which one will work best for your lifestyle.
Benefits of Postpartum Exercise
There are many benefits of postpartum exercise that you may not have considered. Some people think that it’s best to wait until your baby is older to start putting in the hard work, but a postpartum fitness routine can help with:
- Postnatal depression and anxiety
- Improving blood circulation
- Supporting breastfeeding relationships (post-pregnancy)
- Increasing milk supply
- Improving sleep quality
Exercise will also give you more energy for when you return home from a long day at work or play! You’ll feel better overall if these postpartum workout plans become part of your life.
Related Post: The 4 Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore When It Comes to Postpartum Depression
When to Start a Postpartum Fitness Routine
It’s important to talk with your postpartum workout trainer or healthcare provider before you start any postnatal exercise routine. They will be able to tell how far along you are in the post-pregnancy recovery process and make recommendations on what postpartum exercises may work best for you based on that information.
It is never a good idea to push yourself too hard or try something new when first starting out, so heed their advice!
Though the postpartum workout plan may be challenging at this stage of life, it will give you much needed energy and help prevent further weight gain after pregnancy. When a workout plan is not started early, it often leads women further back into a slump of making unhealthy lifestyle and diet choices.
Things to Consider before You Start a Postpartum Workout Plan
It’s best not to jump into an exercise routine without first having a plan. There are things you need to consider before starting the workout plans.
What’s your fitness level?
Postpartum exercise routines vary in intensity to accommodate postnatal fitness levels and it’s important that you do too. Remember that your fitness level may be different from what it was both pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy, depending on how quickly you have recovered.
Risks of exercising too soon postpartum
Some postpartum fitness experts recommend waiting until your doctor clears you before beginning a postnatal exercise routine. The reason is that exercising too soon post-pregnancy can result in delayed recovery, heavy bleeding, pelvic organ prolapse, or damage to the uterus and bladder.
Are you breastfeeding?
As postpartum workout plans can have an impact on breastfeeding, it’s important to talk with your Postnatal fitness trainer and doctor about whether or not an exercise routine is a good choice for you. Often, women report that once they begin their exercise routine, they may notice a drop in their milk supply.
Related Post: How to lose weight while breastfeeding with a low carb diet
The key is to find a postpartum workout plan that works best for everyday life while also hitting the big three: sleep, diet and exercise. The benefits of postnatal exercise will be worth all the effort once they integrate into your daily routine!
Fitness After Postpartum: Four Postpartum Workout Routines
There are many postpartum workout plans out there, and you’ll want to choose one that will work best with your schedule. Postnatal exercise is essential for not only physical health but mental health as well.
Here are four different Post-pregnancy workouts so that you can decide which would be right for you!
The first Postpartum workout routine is Yoga. Yoga has long been used in many cultures to help new mothers get back into shape and it has recently grown as a postpartum workout.
While prenatal yoga is focused more on pregnancy itself, during postnatal workouts you can focus on stretching your body and strength training after delivery.
2. Pilates Exercises
The second postpartum workout routine is pilates exercises. Pilates is designed to strengthen core muscles while aiding in posture correction.
This type of exercise would not only improve abdominal muscles but also those around your pelvic floor.
Postnatal Pilates exercises are a popular way to regain core strength and make your body feel more balanced. It helps to focus on control of the breath, stability in movement, concentration, and posture alignment.
3. Walking or Running
Walking or running will be best for someone who had an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth with no restrictions. This type of postpartum workout can help you maintain cardiovascular fitness as well as get back some leg muscle tone that may have been diminished from the postpartum body.
This post-pregnancy exercise can help boost overall mood and energy levels through endorphins released during this aerobic workout.
Check out some of the best shock absorbing treadmills if you want to take your running routine inside.
4. Weight Lifting
Weights are a great way to restore some muscle tone (including abdominal muscles) and increase strength during post-pregnancy recovery. This type of workout can help you get back into shape fast while also restoring your body’s natural hormone levels that may have been thrown off after pregnancy.
Postpartum Exercise Pro Tips : Easing Into a Fitness Routine After Birth
Whether you’re taking postnatal exercise to lose the baby weight or just want a healthier way of life, it’s always good to prepare your body for a postpartum workout plan.
1. Start postpartum workouts slowly
Start slow and gradually build up to more intense workouts. Begin with simple exercises like walking around the block or doing some light housework.
If you have back pain from giving birth, it would be best not to do any exercise that puts too much strain on your lower back until you heal fully – this includes activities such as Pilates.
Your post-pregnancy body might also feel sore and stiff when first working out again. This could lead people to feel discouraged about continuing.
Postpartum exercise is not for everyone, with some mothers-to-be even suffering from Postnatal depression. If you’re feeling discouraged or are experiencing Postnatal depression it might be best to talk to your doctor before continuing.
2. Wait for the bleeding to stop
Bleeding after Postpartum workouts can be caused by hemorrhoids or other issues, so it’s best to wait until the bleeding stops before starting.
Some postpartum workouts might include high-intensity exercises which could lead to blood loss if your uterus is still in a post baby state of healing.
3. Take it easy if breastfeeding
If you’re working out during breastfeeding, it’s important to take it easy as exercise could lead to decreased milk production.
Breastfeeding can also increase a woman’s need for calcium and these workouts may effect how your body processes these nutrients and vitamins.
4. Evaluate your pelvic floor
Some routines might involve pelvic floor exercises that could cause pelvic floor muscle weakness. If you suspect this is the case then talk to your doctor about which post-pregnancy workouts are safe for your pelvic floor and how often they should be done.
Evaluating your pelvic floor before starting any postpartum workout will help ensure a healthy start to staying fit after childbirth.
5. Repair Diastasis Recti
Postpartum workouts might also include exercises for core strengthening which can help the body heal postpartum. There are certain core exercises that you won’t be able to do with a diastasic recti tear.
If you experience a diastasis recti during pregnancy, there may be an increased risk of abdominal separation or other complications in the future.
6. Mind your wobbly Joints
Pregnancy causes joints and ligaments to loosen. When post-pregnancy joints are still wobbly, you’ll have to be extra careful as this could lead to injury.
Some Postpartum workouts involve a lot of impact which can put stress on your body and cause injuries such as pelvic instability or even incontinence.
7. Stay hydrated
Postnatal workouts can be dehydrating so try drinking plenty of water, electrolyte drinks, or other fluids. Your body needs water to recover, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
The key is being realistic with your body. It’s not worth overdoing it at the expense of weight loss because the last thing you want is to become injured while caring for your baby.
If you’re considering a postpartum workout plan, talk about them with your doctor first for advice on what is safe for you.