Postpartum Fitness

Postpartum Fitness

After carrying and delivering a baby, your body has undergone serious changes and will continue to during the postpartum phase. As you long to get some me time and feel like yourself again, exercise might be what you crave. Whether you crave it or not, it’s a healthy outlet for women. Most women need to wait at least 6 weeks after giving birth to return to exercise, but some exercises can be started sooner. Before starting postpartum exercise, clear it with your doctor. So, where do you start your postpartum exercise journey, and what are the best postpartum exercises? Keep reading to learn our best tips for a safe and successful postpartum fitness journey.

What is postpartum fitness?

Postpartum is the phase after giving birth. Therefore, postpartum exercise is exercise that takes place after giving birth. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is just as important postpartum as it is during pregnancy. However, the two journeys look different. Pregnancy can take a toll on your pelvic floor, which can impact your bladder control. During pregnancy and postpartum, pelvic floor or kegel exercises can offer benefits. This can be a good place to start your postpartum journey as soon as 24 hours after giving birth, but check with your doctor first. As for returning for a full workout routine or high-impact exercise, you will need to wait until after your 6-week postnatal check-up. If you exercised regularly before and during pregnancy, you may be able to return sooner, but you’ll need to check with your doctor. 

When should I start postpartum fitness?

There are various factors that can impact when it’s safe to return to exercise. The intensity of the planned exercise can also play a role. Before returning to high-impact postpartum exercises such as power walking or moderate strength training, you should wait until after your 6-week postnatal check-up. Gentle postpartum exercises, such as pelvic floor exercises or walking, may be safe to resume much sooner. Ask your doctor what’s recommended based on the circumstances. If you had complications during delivery, it may take longer to recover and return to exercise. 

What is the timeline for postpartum exercise?

The timeline for returning to exercise postpartum depends on the intensity of the workout and the circumstances. Once cleared by your doctor, which usually happens around 6-weeks postpartum, you can return to exercise when you feel ready. 

  • Immediately after delivery: After giving birth, you’ll need to recover. If your delivery went smoothly, recovery should be pretty quick. Soon, you’ll be caring for a newborn, which can feel like an exercise in itself. You may want to start some postpartum pelvic floor exercises or afternoon walks, which might be safe, but ask your doctor first.
  • 6-weeks postpartum: Most women have a 6-week postnatal checkup. After this appointment, you can be cleared to return to exercise if you’re ready. While you may want to start slow, listen to your body. What you’re ready for can also depend on what your body is used to. If you exercised before and during pregnancy, you may be able to get back to more intense exercise sooner. 
  • 12-weeks postpartum: By 12 weeks postpartum, you should be ready to return to all kinds of exercise, from running to strength training. 

    When it’s time to return to exercise after having a baby, start slow and let your body rebuild strength. Things may feel different, and there are some exercises you’ll want to avoid, such as intense abdominal exercise or extreme weight lifting. 

    What are the best postpartum exercises?

    Postpartum journeys can look different depending on the individual. Working with a professional for personalized advice tailored to your postpartum journey can be beneficial. This might not be an option for everyone, though, and exercise is better than no exercise (as long as it’s safe). Here are some postpartum exercises you might want to try.

    • Pelvic floor exercises: During pregnancy and childbirth, the pelvic floor is weakened. It’s important to focus on the pelvic floor to keep these muscles strong. This can help you maintain more control over your bladder, which can be attractive enough to make you find time to work your pelvic floor. Pelvic floor or kegel exercises include hip bridges, bird dogs, assisted heal drops, and more. Some women can start pelvic floor exercises 24-hours after delivery. Talk to your doctor and listen to your body. 
    • Yoga: Yoga can offer many benefits for the body, and it can help strengthen the pelvic floor. If you’re looking to exercise and a mental escape, yoga might be your new go-to. 
    • Walking or running: Walking is unavoidable, but walking for exercise is optional. Walking can be extremely beneficial and can be started very soon after delivery for most women. It can help keep our blow flowing and minds clear, along with other benefits. Walking can be a great gateway to running as well. 
    • Strength training: You’ll need to be strong to care for your baby. When it’s safe, you can incorporate strength training into your workout routine. Start slow and build up. 

      When can you start doing any type of exercise after pregnancy?

      If your pregnancy and delivery went smoothly, you might be able to start a low-impact exercise within a few days. Be kind to your body, and don’t push yourself if you don’t feel ready. 

      Our tips for postpartum exercise:

      1. Listen to your body: You might be eager to get back in shape, but if your body doesn’t feel ready, don’t push it. 
      2. Focus on diet, too: Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. Give your body the fuel it needs to recover and keep up with life with a baby. 
      3. Stay hydrated: As you up your exercise regimen, ensure you are hydrated. After all, your body is still recovering.
      4. Prepare for leaks: From bladder leaks to nipple leaks, dress appropriately. 

        Conclusion

        The postpartum journey is full of excitement and change. To navigate this time, you’ll need adequate sleep. Before you laugh and think that’s not possible, try our weighted sleep solutions, proven to help babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. While waking up every few hours may be unavoidable with a newborn, when it’s time to sleep, you’ll want to make the most of that time for you and your baby.

        Our weighted sleep solutions are designed with CoverCalm® Technology that ensures even weight distribution from your baby’s shoulders to toes to naturally reduce stress while giving your baby the feeling of security and comfort. In addition to ensuring your baby is calm and comfortable, you’ll want to set the ambiance.

        Dress them in breathable and soft Bamboo Baby Pajamas and turn on the Dream Sound Machine. Turn the lights off and rest up for a new day of postpartum life with a baby. 

        Discover better sleep for your baby (and you) and expedite your postpartum recovery journey. Shop Dreamland today!

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