Being a new mom can make you so busy that you might think you won’t be able to work out anymore. But it's important to listen to your body and think about your postpartum health. You’d be happy to know that post natal exercises provide several health benefits — such as quicker recovery of your uterus size and pre-pregnancy body, management of postpartum depression and stress, and increase in energy and immune strength. Hopefully, that’s enough to motivate you to start working out again, slowly but surely. Here are some of the best post natal exercises you can easily get started with.
Maintaining your pelvic floor health is not only good for general sexual health, but also for postpartum health. Urinary incontinence usually begins during pregnancy but can extend until after birth, and part of the treatment are Kegel exercises. If you’ve been doing this exercise during pregnancy, just continue doing it even after giving birth so your pelvic floor muscles can regain strength faster. Just tighten those pelvic floor muscles the same way you’d hold pee and hold for 10 seconds, and repeat throughout the day.
A good exercise you can do with your baby is walking. It’s also a good start to easing back into jogging eventually. Take your baby out on a stroller maybe for an hour, depending on your comfort and if the weather is nice. You can stop every 10 or 15 minutes to do a few bodyweight squats. Or for a bigger challenge, carry your baby as you squat for a better backside boost. Find some uphill streets you can push the stroller on for some glute strengthening as well.
Yoga is another exercise new moms can try at least six weeks after giving birth, though you might need to wait for a bit longer if you had a cesarean. Aside from being on the gentler side when it comes to workouts, yoga has plenty of mind-body benefits, such as better sleep, improved flexibility, pain relief, and stress reduction. That said, see your doctor or midwife first to check if you have diastasis recti, or abdominal separation, which is common after pregnancy. Once you’ve been given the go signal, you may start doing yoga once or twice a week.
If you’re attending classes, make sure you tell the yoga instructor that you’ve given birth recently, so she can make the necessary adjustments for you. You can also do some short yoga sequences at home on your own, like stretches for nursing moms or some warrior poses. Always start slowly. Listen to your body and adapt poses when necessary.
A great low-impact exercise you can do at least a week after post natal bleeding is swimming. It’s also a good opportunity for you to chill out either on your own or with your baby. Just make sure to have your doctor’s go signal before heading back to the pool. Once you’re good to go, you can start with easy swim exercises that target belly strength, such as kickboard kicks, pikes, tic-tocs, flutter kicks, dolphin kicks, and freestyle swimming with a buoy.
Remember, you have to be extra kind to your body postpartum. So don’t rush any exercise. Stop when there’s discomfort, pain, or bleeding. Always listen to your body. Take care of yourself first so you can take care of your baby.
Specially written for UNDERCOVERMama.com
By: Rayna Jaycie