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Getting back into exercise postpartum

Your body goes through a lot during your pregnancy and childbirth with many different stages of change. For most women who go through it, it can be a shock to see just how impactful it can be on your strength and fitness.

Getting back into exercise postpartum

And every women is different. There are many factors that dictate how fast your recovery will be and the position your body is in following child birth, but a couple of these key factors include:

  • Level of exercise pre-pregnancy

  • Level of exercise during pregnancy

  • Type of childbirth experienced

  • Your baby (i.e. size, sleeping habits)

  • Mother's mental health

  • Family support

  • Abdominal separation

It's important to understand where your body is at before you venture into any exercise and when you do, start slowly and be gentle on your body.

There are three great places to start when you and your healthcare professionals are ready for you to commence exercise again.

Re-engaging your core

Your core takes a hiding during pregnancy and it's not uncommon for abdominal separation to occur. Start of slow by relearning how to engage your core. Try sitting on a seat or an exercise ball and try to pull your belly button towards your spine, holding it for a couple of seconds before releasing it. Repeat this several times a day and work up to a point where you are able to hold your core for 10 seconds at a time.

Re-strengthening your pelvic floor

Much the same as your core, your pelvic floor is weakened during pregnancy and child birth. While in a comfortable position, lift your pelvic floor and try to hold for a couple of seconds before releasing again. Repeat this several times a day and work up to a point where you are able to hold your pelvic floor for 10 seconds at a time.

Re-introducing breathing

This might sound stupid to say but often times you need to retrain yourself on how to breath properly after pregnancy. Your diaphragm is altered during pregnancy as you will have found your breathing patterns went through some large changes, often becoming more shallow and more difficult the more pregnant you became. Start by lying in a comfortable position with your hands below your chest and focus on taking nice, slow, deep breaths in, feeling your chest expand, and releasing nice, long breaths out, feeling your lungs empty. Do this for a couple of minutes per day until you notice it becomes your norm again.

Once you've mastered these and your healthcare professionals agree the time is right, then you can start re-introducing yourself to some light cardio and strength training.

Ready for that journey? HGF are running an EmpowerMum 8 week class-based programme where we gently take you through the journey of reintroduction. By the end of the 8 weeks you will be ready to take on mainstream exercise safely.

Want to find out more or sign up? Click here for all the details.

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