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Being pregnant and giving birth will change your life forever in a way you can’t even start to imagine, and soon you will be talking about your life in terms of “before having kids” and “after having kids.” This does not mean that you can’t be fit and look gorgeous soon after giving birth, though. Even if you feel your body has transformed a lot, do not exaggerate with exercising after pregnancy.
Pregnancy and delivery are all different:
Each pregnancy is different, and the way our bodies react after pregnancy is different from person to person, or even from pregnancy to pregnancy of the same person. Be kind with yourself, listen to your body needs, and try to accommodate to the new circumstances. Before starting a new workout routine, or even return to your old routine, consult with your OB doctor or a professional health consultant. Six weeks after giving birth, your body will be intensively recovering, so don’t push your limits too hard, whether you had a vaginal birth or a cesarean (C-Section).
But why is it essential to start a workout routine?
I can’t even stress the importance of exercising after giving birth. First of all, it will help your body recover faster. Your abdominal muscles were separated by the pregnancy and need to return to the natural position. The extra weight and the pregnancy hormones affected your joints and ligaments, so pay extra attention to the way you move around. You may experience back pain after vaginal birth, so this is another reason for concern. The pelvic floor is weakened during pregnancy. Although some of these issues will resolve by themselves with time, some will not, and it is better to support this process through light exercises.
Another reason why it is essential to workout is that it will give you a mental wellbeing sentiment.
The endorphins will be pumped into your body, it will boost your self-confidence, and it is a very efficient method to keep postpartum depression at bay. Most women experience a certain degree of depression after giving birth due to all their body and mind go through. If the issue is not addressed, the consequences might turn out very serious for her and the family.
What can you do, and better not do?
There are many workouts suitable for new mothers that do not strain the delicate parts affected by pregnancy and giving birth. The most accessible and most available exercise is walking. Take the pram and walk around the park. You will see that in the first days you will be able to walk for about 10 to 15 minutes, at a slow pace. But it will help you ease the back pains and strengthen your abdomen muscles. Increase gradually up to 30 minutes a day, in a more alert pace. You can try to contract your abdomen or your buttocks while walking. But do not carry weights during this walk. The weight of the pregnancy is enough for you now.
You might also try some gentle yoga routines or even some Pilates if you are used to it. There are also specially designed workouts for new moms. The important thing is to battle the tendency to stay only inside and doze off every time the baby sleeps. Rest is essential, of course, but try to reserve at least 30 minutes to boost your energy through a workout.
Exercises to avoid initially:
It is better to avoid swimming in the first six weeks after giving birth, pulling weights, and hard workouts that involve sudden movements or make you feel pain in any part of the body. If there is still pain, your body is not ready for the workout. Sometimes you will experience bladder leaks. Talk to your General Practioner (GP/MD) about this, and there is no reason for embarrassment, they are all too natural for you at this phase.
Even if at this point, exercising is the least appealing thing you would want to do, due to lack of sleep and being tired, the results will amaze you. Try to introduce some structure and schedule back into your life, get fit to have strength for all that you and the baby need in the future period.
Guest Post By Sultan Florentina
I’m a multitasking woman, working hard to achieve what I propose to myself. I’m a web developer building websites, but in my free time, I’m curing my beauty and lifestyle blog.
I love to have my own time to visit my favorite beauty salon to “build” me as a woman. I love to travel and see new places every year. I like to go to the gym at least once a week, if not, I prefer to do exercises at home.
Such a great article! I waited 2 years to start exercising again after babies and I definitely regret that!
This is such an awesome post! For first time moms, there are so many unknowns about what happens to the female body afterward. The biggest question always is, “will my body ever be the same?” And for some, they see very little changes, but the answer will always be no, no it will never be the same. And that’s ok! This was super helpful! I have 4 kids now, so my body, well I’ll just leave it at that. But I know I wish I would have done things differently after I had my 1st child, maybe it would have taken me so long to lose that baby weight. I learned though!
It is not easy to get back to a workout routine after pregnancy!