Some have said that giving birth is like running a marathon. It’s a grueling endurance event, but then you get the beautiful baby at the finish line and pretty much forget what you just went through. Well, maybe not right away, but it doesn’t take too long to forget what the pain really felt like.
Just like with an endurance race, your body is tired and wore out and needs some time to recover and you will have to take it slow until your healthcare practitioner gives you the go ahead on getting back to exercise. Once you have been given your health provider’s approval you will be able to exercise to shed some baby weight but also, consistent exercise is a great health benefit to new moms. Renewing fitness activity can have both physical and mental well benefits to the well-being of new moms:
- Boosts energy
- Deters postpartum depression
- Restores muscle tone
- Conditions abdominal muscles
- Prevents lower back pain
When you can get back to working out largely depends on what type of childbirth you experience. It used to be standard to wait six weeks, but now it is believed if you had an uncomplicated natural childbirth you can probably start gentle exercise a few days after your baby is born. A C-section would absolutely depend on when your doctor says it’s safe to exercise and although it might be a bit tougher, it’s not impossible.
These tips can help to keep you safe and motivated as your work your way back to an active lifestyle with your baby.
Nursing moms need to wear supportive bras and time your feedings to be comfortable during workout sessions. If you can, try to feed your baby or pump right before exercising so you are less likely to leak, your body is more comfortable and your mind is more at ease.
Easy Does It
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Start with 10 minutes than 15, then 20 and gradually increase the length of your workouts, intensity, and resistance. Most importantly – be reasonable! Don’t expect to start a new hour-long workout routine that you didn’t do during your pregnancy. Ease into a good workout habit, or back into the old one, whichever applies.
Exercise with Baby
Don’t wait till you until you have someone to care for your baby to exercise. You can go for walks and push your new love in the stroller or put him next to you when you stretch or do core work.
Find another mom who is just getting back to exercise after a new baby. Having a workout buddy will give you accountability and will bring enjoyment to your time. Be sure you warm up and cool down completely have the workouts.
Everyone needs to stay hydrated throughout every day, but especially before, during and after you exercise, and most especially if you are breastfeeding.
Change up your workout to help you stay interested. Long walks are great, Pilates classes, Beachbody on Demand and strength training are all great. You are going to need strength training and resistance exercises to help you with the stiff necks, poor posture and weak arms that can accompany carrying, nursing and continually hold a new baby.
Again, be patient with yourself. You just proved that you can endure the most grueling marathon there is, childbirth! You are recovering from that marathon while being sleep deprived, caring for a new human and then all the hormonal changes! Consistency is important so if it’s 10 minutes a day every day to start with, be consistent. Grow from there with whatever you can consistently maintain. Move your beautiful body around and improve your mood, your outlook, and your future health!