Most women after the six-week postpartum check-up are enable to begin exercising again, but six weeks is likely to be an arbitrary number.
According to Dr. Kelly Kasper, a board-certified OB-GYN at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, six weeks might become an advice based on when some women come back to exercise, it might also have come years ago when breastfeeding wasn’t as popular as it is nowadays and immune system of an infant wasn’t strong enough to take them out in public.
#1: Visit your doctor.
Before exercising again, talking to a doctor is necessary, especially if you weren’t active before and during pregnancy. You can also do a pelvic exam, so the health specialist can make sure your pelvic floor muscles are strong enough before you start exercising.
#2: Start slow.
Even though your specialist may have given you a very clear guideline, you should start slowly and upgrade gradually to your pre–pregnancy level.
Before six weeks, you can do gentle abdominal exercises in order to reactivate the muscles; pelvic floor muscles, postural exercises to realign the chest over the pelvis, and breathing exercises to reinforce the diaphragm, according to said Marianne Ryan, a physical therapist in New York City and author of “Baby Bod: Turn Flab to Fab in 12 Weeks Flat.”
#3: Keep a steady pace.
Your workout’s intensity relies on how active you were during your pregnancy. Exercises lasting 20-30 minutes are ideal, but you might warm up with a jog and then work up to your pre-pregnancy pace when your body is ready.
#4: Jump test.
Jumping 20 times on a full bladder is a good way to help your pelvic floor be ready for a workout. If you feel comfortable with your organs bounce or don’t have any discomfort and urine leakage, your body is probably good to start exercising.
#5: Lift lightly.
If you lift weights and see your belly bulge, it might separate the abdominal muscles or even make your existing diastasis recti worse. Lifting heavy weights is not good as it could disrupt a perineum recovery or cesarean sutures.
#6: Drink much water.
If you’re in breastfeeding period, make sure you drink enough water to avoid dehydration and remain your energy levels.
#7: Get adequate sleep
When having a baby, a good sleep may be hard to come, yet it’s necessary to make sure you’re taking enough rest and your workouts are not also cutting into that time.
#8: Listen to your body.
If you feel exhausted or sore instead of feeling invigorated, you’d better stop your workout. If somewhere in body feel painful or your perineum has pressure placed on, see your doctor. Even though it’s normal when your bleeding after giving birth increases when you’re more active, it’s better to call your doctor if the situation become worse than a period or you’re having to change to pad every hour.