Benefits of Postnatal Exercises
Immediately after childbirth is a time to allow your body to heal and recover. Your body needs healing. You are adjusting to having a beautiful little baby rule your life. It’s tough! Including postnatal exercises into your daily routine may be something you’re not even thinking about.
When you are ready, and after you have received approval from your doctor, you can start thinking about getting back into an appropriate exercise program. But not just any workout. And not one that you did pre-pregnancy. It must be a program designed by a postpartum exercise specialist who understands the body changes associated with pregnancy and recovery.
This is me each week during my 7 week postpartum recovery. I benefited greatly from working out throughout my pregnancy and after several weeks of rest I was ready to start my Core Rehab program.
You Need to Look after YOU!
The benefits of postnatal exercises to a new mother during this period can be life changing.
You are tired and often exhausted as you get little sleep. Yes, you are experiencing a range of emotions.
You are so excited about having a beautiful little baby but your body will be going through a whole lot of changes. And and you may have lost confidence in the way it functions.
You’re not alone!
The last thing on your mind is exercising. You will be much better off if you can participate in an approved postnatal exercise program.
Whether you can make it to a class, or join our PregActive community for our online workouts, it is important you also dedicate some time to your recovery post-birth.
I encourage active recovery and participating in safe postnatal exercises to help you recover both physically and mentally.
The following postnatal exercises and guidelines are just ‘guidelines.’ They form the basis for re-commencing a postnatal exercise and recovery program. But ONLY after you have been given approval by your doctor.
Benefits to Participating in Safe Postnatal Exercises
- Improves overall well-being.
Your body has undergone some pretty amazing changes. You may be experiencing some unpleasant and embarrassing changes. Now is the time to look after yourself as you look after baby.
Participating in an appropriate postpartum exercise program will help you re-gain strength and body confidence.
2. Restore muscle strength.
When you feel stronger you feel better. You will be less likely to suffer an injury. At a time when you need to carry baby around along with all the required essentials, you need to strengthen your core.
3. Boost energy levels.
You’re tired and exhausted. You may not be eating as well. Your energy levels are low. I get it. But trust me, you will see an improvement in your energy levels if you workout.
4. Improve your mood.
Studies show that exercise can boost your mood. At a time when you may be battling some mental health issues post-birth, this boost can be just what you need.
5. Helps heal Diastasis recti (abdominal separation).
Experiencing abdominal separation is common. It takes time to heal and there are no wonder exercises. But there are some correct exercises to do and some you must avoid.
6. Relieve stress.
Having a newborn is stressful. Your anxiety is at peak levels in trying to care for this new little demanding person in your life. exercise can help relieve some stress and give you a break for some ‘alone time.’
7. Assist you to feel normal again.
You will experience more ups and downs with your body, how it changes and also your mindset when pregnant. And also during your postpartum recovery. Doing something for yourself helps you to do something you may enjoy.
8. Improve cardiovascular fitness.
9. Strengthen your pelvic floor.
Are you experiencing unwanted leakage? Continuing to do your pelvic floor exercises will help you.
Every postpartum recovery program should include these exercises into your workouts.
Breastfeeding and Exercise
Studies that have shown that regular exercise does not have adverse effects on a mother’s ability to successfully breastfeed as long as fluid and caloric intake are maintained.
However; there has been some research that suggests high-intensity physical activity can cause lactic acid to accumulate in breast milk and produce a sour taste a baby might not like.
My online postnatal recovery program avoids any high-intensity exercise or movements so if you are breastfeeding this should not be a problem.
When Should I Start Postnatal Exercises?
You will most likely remain in hospital for several days (longer if you had a caesarean). Your nurse will assist you to gradually get out of bed and be active with short walks or gentle exercises.
If you had a caesarean your recovery will be quite different. You should speak to your doctor with regards to when you can consider starting a postnatal exercise program.
For most women without complications, six weeks after giving birth is a time when most of the changes that occur during pregnancy will have returned to normal.
If you did not exercise during your pregnancy then you will need to progress at a slower rate.
You should avoid any sudden twisting, high-impact movements or over-stretching as your ligaments and joints are more supple and pliable.
Recommended Postnatal Exercises and Activities
1. Pregactive online postnatal workouts.
How Can I Find the Time for Postnatal Exercise?
When you are a new mother you will likely be sleep-deprived, tired, exhausted and will struggle to find the time for any exercise or activity.
This is why my postnatal program includes videos ranging in workout time from 5 minutes and upwards.
I wanted to create program that our amazing new mothers can do from the comfort of their own home. When going to the gym is not an option, what better way to exercise from the privacy of your own home.
Taking five or ten minutes out of your busy schedule for yourself will provide some great benefits to you both physically and mentally.
I love walking! Getting out for a walk as you push your pram around is a great way to get some fresh air, walk with a friend and also be active.
Here are some tips:
1. Always be guided by your doctor.
2. Be kind to yourself! You are not trying to set any personal bests during this postnatal period. It is all about healing and recovering!
3. Communicate with your partner, family and friends your need to get some time to yourself so you can participate in a postnatal session.
4. Walking your baby is also a good way to get some exercise and fresh air.
5. You can always have your baby near you as you perform some pelvic floor exercises or a short video workout.
6. Start off slowly and if possible progress to getting 30 minutes a day of activity.
7. Wear an appropriate bra that offers good support.
8. Stop immediately if you experience any pain or discomfort.
Be kind to yourself! You are in a recovery stage after a major life-changing experience of carrying a baby, giving birth and now dealing with a set of new body changes.
Your workouts are not about losing weight at this stage. they are about recovery. Healing. And re-building your body confidence.
My 12 week postpartum recovery program has been specifically designed to help you during this post childbirth stage. Your health matters. you deserve this!