Okay, new mum. Are you ready to sweat? Here is the lowdown on the types of exercises that mothers can do after giving birth, what works well and how to fit it all in!
Once women have given birth to their babies, they’re often anxious to get back to their old form. While this is totally normal, it’s important to remember to take it slow. A woman’s body goes through a lot during the nine months of pregnancy (not to mention the actual birth), and getting back in shape will take some time, but you’ll get there! To help you get started, try this guide on exercise for new mums.
When you can start exercising
In most cases, it is recommended to wait at least four weeks after giving birth before beginning heavy exercise for new mums. If you had a ceaserean delivery, weight until six weeks to start strenuous exercises. Remember, your body needs time to rest after all it has been through, and you don’t want to injure yourself in any way!
What you should start with
Begin with a 15-minute stretching program to improve flexibility in your joints and tendons. Make sure you really stretch your lower back, hips and inner thighs. You can also try some sit-ups and star jumps. Pay extra attention to your posture and that you’re not overexerting yourself in any way.
Gradually add aerobic exercise to your stretching program. Begin with five minutes of aerobic exercise. After two weeks, add another 10 minutes.
Walking is great and can be done with your infant in a stroller or baby jogger. If you have home-exercise equipment, use a treadmill, exercise bike or even a step to do the aerobic portion of your exercise regimen. When your stamina is up, dust off the old running shoes and go for a jog. If you start to feel any pain, stop immediately, and take a breather!
Exercising and breastfeeding
Moderate exercise does not usually interfere with breastfeeding. Have a balance of exercise and rest, and be sure you drink plenty of fluids, especially if you’ve been sweating.
While uncommon, some babies don’t like the taste of milk right after vigorous exercise. If your baby refuses the breast at that stage, just make sure you feed just before your work-out and not again until you’ve cooled down.
Also be sure to wear a supportive bra. You may find that feeding bras are not supportive enough and you need to wear a sports bra while exercising. You may also need to wear breast pads.
When you’ll see results
Women lose approximately half of the weight they gain during pregnancy when they deliver their baby. Most of the remaining weight is retained fluid, which women usually lose over the next few weeks through increased urination and perspiration.
The rest of the weight is stored fat calories for milk production. How you shed the final pounds depends on how much weight you gained during pregnancy and your postpartum nutrition and exercise program. Most women return to their normal weight before pregnancy within about nine months to a year after giving birth.
Do you have your own exercising tips for new moms? Share with us in the comments section below.