Many women question how soon they can start exercising postpartum soon after delivering their babies. For some women, it’s getting back into a familiar routine; for some women, it’s a time to clear their heads and de-stress; for some women it’s about losing baby weight. But no matter the reason, most women want to get back to some kind of fitness postpartum. For many years, we’ve heard that the 6-week checkup is your “all-clear” to resume activities as normal. Your doctor gives you the green light to go from 0-100 as far as activity goes. But is this the best approach? I would contend that there is a measured approach to returning to fitness postpartum that could work much better.
1-2 Weeks Postpartum
The early days and weeks postpartum are a great time to start reconnecting with your body. You will probably feel like you don’t even recognize the body that you’re living in! Taking time – even when lying in bed, watching tv, or feeding your baby – to do some gentle breathing exercises to reconnect your mind to your body and reestablish that connection with your core can be a great way to jumpstart your postpartum healing.
3-4 Weeks Postpartum
Barring any complications or major dysfunctions early after delivery, this is when you can start doing some walking or other gentle exercise to get yourself up and moving again. It’s healthy for both your mind and body to start being active again. You can get out of the house and get moving and you’ll notice that as your body is getting exercise, your mind gets cleared as well. You have a lot of stress and worry as a new mom and getting in some gentle exercise can be a great way to alleviate some of that.
5-6 Weeks Postpartum
Continuing with your breathing and gentle exercise, at 5-6 weeks, you can begin to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Whether you delivered vaginally or through a C-section, your pelvic floor has been through a lot and needs to be strengthened. There are lots of exercises you can do that are safe for the early weeks postpartum that will help make those pelvic floor muscles strong!
This week, I’ll be discussing fitness strategies for early postpartum recovery. Keep an eye out for videos coming your way this week!