Pregnancy is never a piece of cake for any woman. It brings a massive toll on your body and brings tremendous changes in your life. We do understand your fear of not looking the same or not being able to lose weight after delivery. Most women tend to gain considerable weight after giving birth; some settle with the change, but it becomes a problem for many. However, just like it took nine months to develop that tummy, it will take time to recover from pregnancy and get back into pre-pregnancy shape.
After giving birth, you may start exercising again. However, thinking about exercising may give you a moment of anxiety as your body just handles a torment as big as giving birth to a living human. You must remain realistic to your expectations, do not be surprised if you cannot run the treadmill like earlier. It will take time for your body to return to the earlier routine.
Is it safe to exercise after delivery?
After your sixth week marks up, contact your doctor to take a heads up for performing exercises. Make sure you no longer experience any complications after giving birth. While most aerobic exercises are approved at the sixth week postpartum, it is often recommended to watch until twelve weeks to return to more intense activities, like weight-lifting or running.
However, it is indispensable to heed a gradual routine and work back up to pre-pregnancy activities. A lengthier wait period may be advised for cesarean delivery or for people who experience complications, like excessive scar tissue or improper healing of the abdominal muscle.
We do, though, suggest wearing a postpartum abdominal binder while performing these activities, as you can pleasantly move around without straining the stitches. Also, before starting any physical activity, discuss them with your doctor and take their green signal to avoid any unforeseen complications.
How Do I Know If I Am Ready To Exercise After Giving Birth?
The exact time of starting your workout routine again after delivery is up to you. It is necessary to pay attention to your body signals and start exercising again when you feel ready. It is okay if your original goal to resume exercising changes due to the weariness that comes with caring for a newborn child. Right now, only you can meet the requirements of your baby.
It might be a good idea to consider your pre-pregnancy exercise practice, start with a less strenuous exercise, and gauge how you feel. You must not repeat any movements if they hurt or appear too challenging.
What Type of Postpartum Exercises Can I Try?
You can start with a variety of exercises that are safe for your body, but only after getting clearance from your doctor. A postpartum fitness schedule should emphasize aerobic activities and regaining the strength of any muscles that may have been compromised during pregnancy and delivery.
Walking is a simple workout that prepares your body for more strenuous activity. It helps promote positive blood circulation, preventing blood clots, improve your mood swings and reduce postpartum swelling. You can start with a stroll and progress brisk walking over a few days. Try to progressively increase your walking time by initiating walking for 15 minutes per day for at least five days per week. You can also bring your child in a stroller!
Pelvic Muscle Exercises
Kegel exercises or pelvic muscle exercises are more beneficial than you may realize. They assist in lowering the risk of urine incontinence and strengthening the pelvic and vaginal muscles. Additionally, it supports to tone the vaginal wall to improve orgasms and avoid pelvic organ collapse.
To perform this exercise, contract your pelvic floor muscles and keep the pelvis still. You may feel your lower belly tighten as you breathe. Lift the pelvic floor muscle toward your head, hold it for five seconds, and relax. You may notice your pelvic floor "drop" down as if you were urinating.
The diaphragm becomes compressed and has a terrible time expanding sufficiently in the later months of your pregnancy. Recovering your diaphragm after birth will help to strengthen your pelvic and core muscles. The diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles work together to ensure that blood is accurately oxygenated.
To begin diaphragmatic breathing, take a deep inhale through your nose while keeping your mouth shut. Your stomach should rise, and the ribcage should spread out to each side of your abdomen when you inhale through your nose. It helps to visualize blowing out birthday candles when exhaling. Make sure your exhale is slow and not too rapid.
Pelvic Floor Tilt
Your abdominal muscles can be sustained by performing pelvic floor tilt exercises. Bend your knees while lying on your back to perform a pelvic tilt. Then, with your back flat against the floor, rotate and tilt your pelvis while contracting your abdominal muscles. Hold each inclination for ten seconds and give the next ten seconds a release. Perform up to 20 repeats. If you are unable to complete 20 repetitions, it is acceptable; as your strength increases, try to reach 20. Practice this exercise up to five times.
Can Exercising Affect Your Breast Milk If You Are Lactating?
Your exercises may not involve jumping, jogging, weightlifting, or anything else strenuous during the initial few weeks after delivery. However, as you process getting to a healthy fitness level with your workout getting you to move better, you may wonder if exercising affects breastfeeding.
There is a misunderstanding that you should breastfeed or pump out before working out, as high-intensity exercises might induce lactic acid accumulation in your breast milk that a newborn might not eat. Though, this is quite uncommon. However, doctors still recommend pumping out before working out, as it may become uncomfortable to exercise with your breast full. Here are some do’s and don’ts of exercising while you are lactating:
- Drink more water!
- Put on an appropriate-fitting, supporting bra.
- Slowly increase your activity level.
- Do not exercise with full breasts.
- Do not overdo as stress and exhaustion decrease breast milk production and increase the risk of breast infection.