Exercise is perhaps the last thing on the minds of most new moms after childbirth. However, once you’ve settled into the routine of caring for your baby, it’s logical that you may be excited about working out again. Equally, it’s also logical if exercise isn’t among your top priorities especially after giving birth to a bouncing baby. The truth is that getting back to exercise helps to speed up your body recovery following the exertions of labour. Moreover, it also helps you to relax and reenergize by allowing you time to focus on yourself. For mothers are in confinement period, it is best to start small.
Some new moms are able to restart exercise soon after childbirth. However, this does not mean you have a problem if you have to take some time before you can get back to working out again. As it turns out, it differs from individual to individual. It depends on the type of delivery, the fitness level, and the general feeling of the new mom. Read on for more insight.
Six-week postnatal check-up
While some women may be out there working out again in a week, most women would require around a month or so. Generally, new moms are advised to wait for up to six weeks before they can resume physical activity. After six weeks, the medical doctor will perform a postnatal check-up to ascertain that the new mother is medically safe and has no complications before issuing the green light to resume exercising again.
However, women who have gone through a C-section have to wait for longer (perhaps 10 weeks) before they can get back to exercising. C-section is a delicate surgery which requires more recuperation time. Before resuming exercises, a number of things should be determined by your medical provider. The new mom should be pain-free and without nausea, able to control muscle function and their motor skills and have steady vital signs. By this time, most have already stopped their confinement meals.
Too much too soon
Approximately one-third of women become overweight after giving birth despite the fact they had normal weight prior to pregnancy. Most of these people did not follow a strict Chinese confinement plan. This explains why women are eager to get back to their normal weight after childbirth. However, doing high intensity works outs too soon may be disastrous rather than beneficial. The hormone relaxin relaxes the ligaments that bind together the pelvic bones and muscles, as well as the abdominal muscles during pregnancy. High-intensity workouts before the six weeks or full recovery is likely to cause pelvic organ prolapse as well as urinary incontinence.
Before the six-week postpartum period has elapsed, you can engage in moderate abdominal exercises to stimulate the muscles, inhalation exercises to toughen the diaphragm and Kegels. Kegel exercises, for instance, are highly recommended after childbirth. Kegel involves contracting your vagina muscles for up to ten seconds. You can repeat this exercise several times a day. It helps to encourage blood flow to your genital areas, thus promoting body healing from swelling, tearing, or bruising. Moreover, it tones and strengthens the vagina muscles and control the leak of urine, a condition that some women struggle with postpartum.
Low impact exercises
After six weeks, women can take part in low impact workouts such as walking and cycling if they feel like. Swimming may also be a good alternative. Other exercises include pushing your buggy briskly and squatting instead of stooping which helps to build up your thigh muscles.
It’s recommended that you wait until 3 months before you can attempt high-intensity workouts. After childbirth, your abdominal muscles, ligaments, and joints are likely to be weaker, increasing the danger of your pelvis, knees, ankles, and spine crumpling under high pressure. Furthermore, your pelvic floor will also be severely weakened due to the weight of your baby, so any sprinting or jumping exercises add to the pressure applied to these muscles resulting in stress incontinence.
In closing, medical providers stress the essence of listening to your body. If you experience unrelenting bleeding or become fatigued easily, chances are your body is not yet ready for that particular exercise. However, if you’re upbeat and your provider has given you the green light, go for it. Get a new sports bra because your breasts require support during workouts. Not only does a well-fitted bra reduce the threat of stretch marks but also help with your upper body posture as well as back pain. Avoid going for a bra that’s too tight as it can cause your breasts to become sore and swollen.