Congratulations, new mama! You have officially brought a beautiful new human being into the world. Hurrah!
But, let’s be honest; it’s not all cuddles and new baby smell over there in new mama world …
Amidst diapers and puke, there’s the reality that your body isn’t quite what she used to be. The burden of pregnancy and birth impacts everyone differently but suffice to say: You’re in healing mode right now.
And while you’re eager to jump straight in and begin exercising so you can rebuild your body beyond birth, you’re equally worried about rushing in too soon (or too late!)
So, when is the best time to start your postnatal exercise?
Great question! Here are our thoughts.
Postnatal exercises you’ve had a vaginal delivery …
Trust your body and begin exercising as soon as your nether regions feel up to it.
Becky couldn’t even walk properly for two-weeks following her first vaginal delivery, because her cha cha was so bruised and swollen! And exercise was too uncomfortable for about a month. After her second vaginal delivery though, she was doing postnatal Pilates eight days later … and feelin’ the goods!
You’ll know you’re ready to exercise after birth, if:
- Your doctor has given you the green light!
- You feel like you’re healing nicely.
- Light exercise (like walking or shopping) feels comfortable.
- You’re feeling more energetic.
Post-birth, your exercises should focus on gentle pelvic floor contractions and low-impact exercise like Pilates in the BBB program.
Postnatal exercises if you’ve had a C-section …
Your body needs time to heal the incision, so you’ll need to wait for your postnatal check-up (at around the six-week mark) to get the all clear from your doctor or midwife.
Again, even after you’ve gotten the green light, make sure you check in with your body and make sure you’re mentally and physically ready.
Start with short five-minute walks and slowly build up your stamina.
After a C-section, it’s awesome to hit the ground running with core abdominal strengthening, to help that scar tissue heal in a mobile way, as opposed to being stuck in one spot just around your scar.
But, er, what specific exercises are you meant to be doing?
Another great question!
In fact, this question forms the foundation of our postnatal exercise programs here at Body Beyond Birth!
We’ve created a series of postnatal exercise programs to guide you in rebuilding your body beyond birth.
Learn more and get to know the BBB programs here