Are you just waiting to start with your post pregnancy exercising? Or do you cover your ears and close your eyes?
I’m sure it all depends on how exhausted you are. And on how desperate you are to get back in shape.
If you are thinking about starting to exercise, here are some tips on the when, how and why.
If you already decided to start working out, you’ll find som good exercises for the post pregnancy body here.
Post Pregnancy Exercising Tips
- When To Start
- What To Do
- The Benefits
- How Long Will It Take To Get Back?
- Breastfeeding And Exercising
- Finding Time
- Warning Signs
- How To Get Started
When to start
The general recommendation is to wait with exercising until you stopped bleeding after giving birth and until you’ve done your postpartum checkup. If you had a C-section, you should also wait until the wound has healed.
However, the question is of course what you mean with exercising. Taking a walk is an excellent way to get started with post pregnancy exercise. This you can of course do almost immediately. Just walk slowly, stay close to home and listen carefully to your body in the beginning.
What to do
Do something you really like! As you’ll notice, you won’t have all that much time to working out, so focus on doing things you really enjoy.
(Plus do situps – I haven’t met anyone yet who really enjoys doing situps, but I also haven’t met a new mom who doesn’t need them…)
Walking is great post pregnancy exercise, and especially during the first few months, your baby is likely to sleep well in the stroller. Go to a park, bring your favorite music, the diaper bag, put on a good nursing bra and a nursing top (if you breastfeed) and don’t forget to bring some water.
Another great form of post pregnancy exercising is yoga. You can either perform post pregnancy yoga at home or by attending a class or some regular form of yoga once your body has healed.
I attended a post pregnancy yoga class when our daughter was newborn. I started already when she was 5 weeks old. Big mistake! I sat through most of the classes breastfeeding!
Don’t be too ambitious with attending classes early on. You’ve got time! The mothers who had slightly older babies, 8-10 weeks old or so, were much better off than I was.
If you want more physical challenge, my personal favorite is Ashtanga yoga. I do it at home, close to my baby, who actually enjoys watching me. Buy a DVD and get going.
If you have a lot of self-discipline, you can of course just put together a few exercises that you can do at home. Situps, tightening the vaginal muscles, push ups and some stretching of your back should be among your exercises.
OK, so it doesn’t take Einstein to figure out the benefits of post pregnancy exercise. But they may still be worth repeating:
- You get your body back faster, through both weight loss and muscle build up
- It helps preventing or reduce back and neck pain, which is really common among new moms
- It makes you feel less tired
- It can help you fall asleep easier in the evening (well, I suppose that is not a big problem for most new, exhausted moms…)
- It may help you become more motivated to eat healthy and thereby loose that annoying extra weight faster
- It may help you if you feel moody
- It forces you to give yourself some you time, something that is very easy forget when you are a new mom
- And – did I mention getting your body back faster and being less tired…
How long will it take to get back?
Well, it took nine months to get there, allow at least nine months to get back in shape. And that is if you exercise regularly! If not, it is likely to take even more time.
Breastfeeding and exercising
There is nothing wrong with exercising if you breastfeed. There are however two things to think about:
- You really need a sturdy bra. Your boobs are working hard just to produce and carry all the milk, don’t put extra strain on the tissue, by exercising without a good bra.
- You need to drink a lot of water. Just by breastfeeding, if you do that, you need quite a bit of extra fluid. If you exercise, you’ll need even more. If you neglect to drink water, your milk production may suffer and you will most definitely suffer from headaches.
Finding the time
When I can’t even find the time to get dressed – how on earth do you expect me to find time for post pregnancy exercise…???
When it comes to exercising, the best you can do is probably to focus on types of exercising that your baby can take part in one way or the other. A stair machine is probably not such a good idea, unless you can carry your baby in a sling or baby carrier at the same time.
But walking, doing exercises on the floor next to your baby or attending a mom and baby yoga or aerobics class, might work perfectly. Also, using your baby as your free weights when exercising is also likely to be fun for your baby. Dance with him, lift him into the air, put him on your stomach for sit ups and so on. Use your imagination.
Also, don’t expect to be able to use a full hour or even half an hour without interruption. 10 minutes twice a day is also great! You can also try our free mini-course to help you set goals and remove all obstacle to getting started.
Pain. Pain is a very important sign to listen to when you gave birth recently. If something hurts, stop doing it. And if you have a back or pelvis pain, talk to your midwife or physical therapist before starting to exercise. There might be special exercises that will help you.
Bleeding. If you do start exercising before your postnatal bleeding stops, pay attention to any increased bleeding. While it may not be a problem, you should consult a doctor for advice if it happens.
Feeling bad. If you start feeling stressed about exercising, take a break! Remember that sleeping and bonding with your baby is much more important than forcing yourself to exercise. While some self discipline is always good and will pay off later, the first year with your new baby is only now. Enjoy your time as much as you can! If you don’t really feel like initiating some ambitious post pregnancy exercise program, then don’t.
Let me tell you a secrete – you are not alone in cheating a little bit… ;-D
Life with a new baby should be made as easy and happy as possible, remember?
How To Get Started
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