How Soon Can I Work Out After Birth? – Solly Baby

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How Soon Can I Work Out After Birth?

How Soon Can I Work Out After Birth?

No matter what kind of labor and delivery you had, healing from birth takes time. It could take six weeks or six months, but eventually you’ll feel both physically and emotionally ready to begin exercising again.

When you do, it’s normal to experience a whole range of emotions as you adjust to the way your body feels postpartum. Don’t be discouraged—your body has just accomplished something truly incredible, and you’ll find that strength looks like so much more than getting back to your pre-pregnancy workout routine.

As you consider beginning postpartum workouts, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Woman working out while babywearing in the Bloom Solly Wrap

Benefits of Postpartum Workouts
First things first, let’s clarify the purpose of postpartum workouts. It is not to “bounce back” or to get back down to your pre-pregnancy weight as soon as possible. News flash: You’re just as lovable whether you fit into your old jeans or not. On the contrary, postpartum workouts should be viewed as a tool for physical
and mental wellness. With that said, here are some of the benefits of postpartum workouts:

  • Increased energy. When you’re taking care of tiny human 24/7, you need all the energy you can get. Exercise not only makes you feel more energized throughout the day, but it also promotes better sleep at night—great news for sleep-deprived new parents. 
  • Reduced risk of postpartum depression. Exercise among new moms has been shown to effectively reduce the symptoms of postpartum depression.
  • Strength for everyday parenting. New parenthood is physically demanding—requiring you to pick up, rock, and carry baby for extended periods. Having strong muscles to carry out those tasks day after day is essential.
  • Alleviate specific postpartum issues. Sixty percent of women experience diastasis recti (the separation of their abdominal muscles) postpartum. Up to fifty percent show signs of a weakened pelvic floor. Exercises that target those areas can help rebuild strength and help with common postpartum problems such as incontinence.

How Soon Can I Workout After Giving Birth?
In general, doctors typically recommend waiting at least six weeks after birth before resuming intense physical activity. Prior to that, light activity such as an easy walk outside or gentle pelvic floor exercises are great ways to get in some movement without overdoing it. 

Your activity level prior to and during pregnancy, as well as your delivery method, will be factors in determining when you can resume more vigorous exercise. Mothers who deliver via C-section have undergone major surgery and therefore require more time for recovery. They won’t be able to lift anything heavy for several weeks and should avoid intense core exercises. If you had a vaginal delivery, any vaginal tears should be taken into consideration and pelvic floor exercises should be prioritized.

If you were active prior to and during pregnancy and did not experience extenuating circumstances while giving birth, you may be able to begin more intense exercises before that six week mark. Each person and circumstance is different, so it’s best to check in with your doctor to determine the best timeline for you specifically.  

Once you are ready to workout again, it’s suggested to start with light and low impact workouts. 

How to Determine If You’re Ready for Postpartum Exercise
Even if your doctor has given you the go-ahead to start postpartum workouts, it’s helpful to check in with yourself to determine whether or not you feel ready to start again. Here are some questions to ask yourself before jumping back into exercise:

1. What’s motivating my desire to exercise? If it’s genuine excitement about moving your body, that’s great! If it’s because you feel pressure to look a certain way or hit a number on the scale, it might be best to reframe the way you’re thinking about postpartum exercise before you start again.

2. Am I looking forward to exercising? New parenthood demands a lot from you. If the thought of working out feels overwhelming or exhausting, give yourself grace and wait a little longer to begin. Prioritize activities that fill you up during this season.

3. Do I feel physically ready? You know your body best. Take note of the way your body feels regularly—whether you feel rested enough to exercise and whether you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort. If any workouts cause sharp or consistent pain, reach out to your doctor right away.

Postpartum Workout Expectations
Once you begin working out again, it’s helpful to set realistic expectations for your body. After all, it’s gone through a lot over the last 9+ months. It deserves all of your kindness. 

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