Postnatal Exercise: 6 weeks after your little one’s arrival
Most of the time, it's best to wait until your six-week check-up after giving birth to get back to high-impact exercises like running or your favourite Zumba class.
The type of exercise will depend on how often you worked out before you got pregnant and how your little one was born. For instance, if you had a caesarean section, it might take you longer to get better.
If your pelvic floor muscles are weak, you might want to try a different kind of exercise. Talk to your midwife, health visitor, or doctor if you're not sure if the exercise you're doing is safe.
But don't worry too much about it! It's great to start exercising again after having a baby. There are a lot of good reasons to work out, like keeping your mind and body healthy. So just do it and have fun with it.
There are other postnatal exercise classes that you can join, such as Buggy Fit or Postnatal Yoga. Some of these classes let you work out while holding your little one, which isn't as crazy as it sounds! Especially with a new baby who will often sleep through it all.
Some even have you work out with your baby and their buggy. Plus, they often take place outside in parks, which is a nice bonus! Make sure to tell the teacher that you just had a baby if you're going to a class that isn't specifically for new mums.
In the months after you give birth, your ligaments and joints are much more flexible, so keep that in mind. It's easier for new mums to hurt themselves by stretching or twisting too much than it was before they had children.
Because of a group of hormones called "relaxin", you are more likely to get hurt. In the early stages of pregnancy, your body relaxes to make the ligaments in your body more flexible.
The negative aspect of Relaxin is that it can induce back pain and other issues. Plus, the effects on the joints may continue for up to five months after delivery.
You might be doing too much if you are in pain or if your postpartum bleeding (lochia) gets heavier or changes colour (turns pink or red) after you work out.
So, what types of exercise can I do at home?
Even if you don't have much time to do specific exercises after giving birth, you can still do a lot. Here we have some other postnatal exercises that you can try.
Try to push the buggy quickly. Make sure the handles are at the right height for you and that your elbows are bent at a right angle. Try to keep your arms bent and your back straight.
If you have older children, play games with them that will get you up and moving.
You could walk instead of taking the car to get somewhere, for example.
When you pick things up, bend your knees instead of your back. This will make your thigh muscles stronger and keep you from hurting your back.
We will be sharing some more tips on exercise in the next coming weeks!
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