So, you are concerned about your postnatal fitness and you think you are ready for postnatal exercises?
Now that the labor of delivery is over and you’ve gotten a few days (weeks?) rest, you are starting to wonder about exercise and what to do about getting your pre-pregnancy body back. But first, Miss Fitness-Diva-Knows wants to congratulate you on the birth of
your new baby!
So cute and precious…can we get a baby sniff?
All right now, don’t panic, weight gain during pregnancy is a healthy and natural occurrence. And embarking on a postnatal fitness program can be an extraordinary help in weight loss, control of the pelvic floor muscles, strengthening your back and flattening your abdominals. Postnatal exercise is essential for women to recuperate both mentally and physically. Exercise during the postpartum period is most effective when it is done consistently, however I would caution you, doing too much too soon may cause long-term damage so check with your physician first, before starting your exercise program.
Give your body time to heal. After nine long months of carrying your precious baby and bearing that extra weight, you’re probably ready to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. Start slowly, and give your body time to heal. Generally speaking, any postnatal fitness routine should be moderate in the first six weeks following your baby’s birth. New moms should use their exercise program to get some personal time and a sense of control of their routine.
Gradually increase the frequency and the duration or intensity of your exercise routine to 30 minutes to one hour of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise three to six days per week. Two or three days of muscle toning will round out your program nicely. Take extra precautions if you’ve had a C-section, you have to allow your incision to heal. You will be able to gradually increase activity over the weeks to come. Consult your obstetrician about routine activity and postnatal exercise to get advice tailored for your needs in protecting yourself from injury while these muscles heal.
Remember, you are not living the life of the rich and famous like these high-profile celebrity new moms who just bounce back from their pregnancy with a model-perfect shape instantly! These babes can just about employ a village to pump and primp and nourish them into postnatal fitness and successful post baby weight loss. Meowrrrr!!!
See the American Council of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for more information about safe guidelines.
I have some exercise recommendations to get you started on your postnatal fitness program. But first, let's take a look at the effects of childbirth on your abdominal region.
Childbirth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles and cause problems, such as incontinence, or falling of your uterus later in life. It is important to rebuild your pelvic floor so that you can cough, sneeze, jump or laugh, without fear of wetting your pants. Postnatal exercises are specifically designed to get the muscles of the abdomen and pelvic floor back to normal and help your body return to its pre-baby shape in the weeks following childbirth.