As a woman, your body goes through a lot during and after pregnancy regardless if it is your first, second, or third experience. Staying fit and healthy is important during your pregnancy. It’s the same after you’ve given birth.
Studies show that doing regular exercise early after you give birth is beneficial to your overall health. This will also help restore your muscles, reduce your stress, enable you to sleep better, and most importantly avoid postpartum depression (PPD).
Women have different experiences during delivery and they will be the basis for your exercise guidelines. For your safety and to avoid any complications, it’s best to check with your doctor and wait until they give you a go signal before starting any post-pregnancy workout program.
To give you more ideas, here are eight tips that will help you to get back in shape.
1. Check if the bleeding has stopped
You might be looking forward to getting back into your prenatal jeans and starting a workout routine to get away from your postpartum body. This process will require your patience and perseverance.
Above all else, you need to put in mind that you should evaluate yourself and start small. You can try out simple activities after your sixth week postpartum, just like what other moms do, but you need to pay attention to your body’s response since not all moms are alike.
Most women find themselves bleeding after engaging in strenuous activities. You will notice vaginal discharge – this is called lochia. If the discharge becomes more pinkish or flows heavier, take that as a hint that your body needs more time to heal and you need to move more slowly.
2. Evaluate your pelvic floor
It’s normal that your uterus grows larger during pregnancy because it gives space for your baby and there might be a chance that it will weaken.
It will be challenging if your pelvic floor is still weak since it supports your other organs such as your bladder, urethra, uterus, rectum and it controls your urination.
You can’t put too much pressure on it because it might lead to the prolapsing of your organs and slow down your healing. So make sure to follow a kegel exercise routine to tighten your pelvic muscles.
3. Start a gentle exercise
You can start your routine with a gentle exercise, and you can even perform this with your baby.
Have a brisk stroll to build a good foundation without being too hard on your body. Strap your baby in front of a carrier or lounge in a stroller for a 10-minute walk a day. If you notice any bleeding, stop and immediately consult with your doctor.
If you do not see any complications, it means that you are starting to build up your stamina. In your second month, you can increase your walking time to a 100-minute stroll for a week. You may try brisk walking in a few months to help you burn your excess calories and normalize your heart rate.
Do not overwork yourself because it might delay your body’s recovery. Always listen to your body and take a break if you feel the need to.
4. Heal diastasis
Do not be surprised if you will feel a separation of your abdominal muscles – this is called diastasis. You should not worry because there are various steps that you can take to get closer to your ideal body and to achieve the weight that your doctor recommends.
If you are still suffering from diastasis, you can do some fitness exercises that will concentrate on bringing your abs together. However, be mindful that your movements should not bother you and must help you heal in a safe way.
You can perform gentle hip bridges. Avoid doing activities such as planking, crushing, back bending, or any routine that will cause your abdomen to stretch out.
If you are stressed out since you gained a lot of weight in your postnatal stage but are still healing from diastasis, you may try red light therapy as well. This is a safe and non-invasive option to achieve your dream of getting back to your pre-baby figure.
The wavelengths of red light will help you get rid of wanted fat and toxins through sweating. Red light also helps reduce hunger and cravings.
5. Maintain a healthy diet
The food that you eat plays an important role in your fitness. Make sure to eat the right food that will boost your energy especially if you are a breastfeeding mom and executing some workout routines.
You may consult a dietary specialist to guide you or you may browse some recipes online to help you plan and stick to a clean and healthy diet.
6. Rest well
Your workout should not exhaust you. Take a break from time to time to replenish your energy from your workout. Grab the chance to sleep if you can while your baby is also sleeping. If you will feel well-rested and you have restored your energy properly, you’ll have more to offer for your next exercise.
7. Stay hydrated
While doing a postpartum exercise, keep yourself hydrated especially if you are a breastfeeding mom. This is crucial for you and for your baby. If you’ll be out for a stroll with your little one, make sure to bring a tumbler of water with you.
8. Explore different postnatal exercises
Trying to get back in your shape does not require you to attend a scheduled class. You can try these recommended postpartum exercises by yourself:
- Brisk walking
- Aqua aerobics
- Diaphragmatic breathing
Regardless of the exercise don’t forget to consult your doctor before performing it.
Out of all the tips that have been mentioned, you should not disregard your doctor’s recommendation because your doctor is well-equipped with knowledge on what’s best for your body.
It may be hard to achieve your goal at first, but always remember that your patience and consistency will bring you closer to your dream body.