Congrats on having a baby! After nine months of taking care of themselves and the baby within, mothers will be looking forward to shedding all that weight they would have put on. Apart from getting back to shape, exercise after delivery also helps the body to recover from childbirth, improve the mood and make you feel stronger. Since no two women are the same and no two pregnancies are the same exercise after delivery should be done only after due diligence.
Benefits of Exercise after Delivery
Regular exercise at every stage of life is important. But exercise after pregnancy is a must as it helps to
- Improve mood
- Reduce the extra weight that was added during pregnancy
- Decrease stress
- Boost energy
- Strengthen and tone abdominal muscles
- Improves sleep quality
- Boosts overall health
Exercise after Delivery: Rules to Follow
The return to exercise after delivery is dependent on your fitness before the delivery and how the baby was delivered. Listed below are a few guidelines:
- Type of delivery: The delivery type and type are the main considerations for starting your fitness routine. If you have had a normal delivery and a healthy pregnancy then you can start when you are ready. That may be a week after giving birth! Moreover, simple yoga after pregnancy can be done anytime after delivery
- If it was a C-section or a complicated delivery then speak to your doctor about when it is safe to start. Generally, it is best to wait for a few weeks after birth to do exercise after pregnancy.
- Start with low impact activity: Start with low impact activities like walking for about 20 to 30 minutes before you hit the gym. Once you feel ready to start exercising the major muscle groups and strengthen the abdominal muscles. Increase the intensity when you feel stronger and better.
- Do not overtrain: The body needs to recover after childbirth. A minimum of 6 weeks after the birth of a child is needed for recovery. Also, do not overtrain to get back to your old shape it will take time and effort to get there. Do simple stretches of yoga after pregnancy as it is not strenuous.
- Is your bladder leaky: Before you start any high-impact exercises check for urine leakage by coughing or jumping. If it leaks then you are not ready for them. Those who do yoga for pregnancy start kegel exercises early but it is never too late.
List of Exercise after Delivery that can be done at Home
The main goal of postpartum exercises should be to make your body move well and also strengthen the core. Some of the exercises that can be done at home are:
Walking is one of the best Post Pregnancy Exercises as it sets up the body for a more intense workout. To begin with, start with a stroll and then move to a brisker pace. Initially, 15 minutes a day of walking is good enough and you can gradually increase the time and speed. The best part of this is that you can take your baby too in a stroller!
Once you have got used to basic walking, the next thing is to start with basic stretching. This exercise after normal delivery can be done after a week of childbirth. That will help in toning as well as strengthening the muscles and prepare for a more intense workout. Ultimately this exercise after pregnancy to reduce stomach will be beneficial in the long run.
If you are looking for some Post Pregnancy Exercise for the mind and body there is nothing better than yoga. It is also considered a great way to reduce belly fat. Performing this early in the morning helps in rejuvenation as well as energizing yourself. These can be done from the comfort of your home or by attending Yoga for weight loss classes.
It is the best way to tone muscles, lose weight and also feel refreshed and energized. It is also among the ideal post-pregnancy belly exercises. To prevent any infection it is advised that you do so after 2 months of delivery.
It is a good exercise after delivery for flat stomach as it helps not only lose excess fat gained during pregnancy but also have a fun time doing it. Start these slowly and then increase the intensity so that it stabilizes the metabolism and also burns calories. Yoga for pregnancy though a non-aerobic exercise is as good as aerobic exercise.
It is a pelvic floor exercise that prevents urinary incontinence after childbirth and is a must-have in your Post Pregnancy Exercise list. It is also part of Yoga for pregnancy asanas.
- Sit on a chair or a bench with your feet placed shoulder-width apart.
- Place hands on hips
- Contract the pelvic muscles like you are stopping yourself from urinating and standing.
- Hold it for a few seconds and return to the start.
Reps: 10 to 20 reps of 1 to 3 sets
Benefits: It is a good exercise after normal delivery or C section as it Improves bladder control, strengthens pelvic muscles, and reduces urinary incontinence.
This is an exercise that can be done in the 1st week after vaginal delivery and 8 to 10 weeks after the C section.
- Lie on the floor on your back. Place a pillow under your hips and keep the knees bent.
- Place your feet flat and your arms on the sides.
- Inhale and tuck in your abs and pelvis.
- Squeeze the buttock and hold for 5 seconds.
Reps: Do it for 10 reps
Benefits: Helps in increasing stamina and abdominal strength.
It is a great exercise that targets the butt and the hamstring. It is a part of the Yoga for pregnancy and is called Setu bandhasana.
- Lie on the mat with knees bent.
- The feet should be flat and the arms on the sides.
- Engage the core, and now squeeze the butt and lift it off the floor. Press heels into the floor to push yourself.
- Kegel when you are in a bridge position and hold for 3 seconds.
- Return back to the start.
Reps: Do these 1 to 3 sets repeating it 10 times each set.
Benefits: This exercise can increase core strength and also targets the lower back, hip, and abdominal muscles.
Single leg extensions
It is a simple beginner-level exercise but is extremely effective.
- Lie on the ground with the arms on the sides and the knees bent.
- Pull your stomach in and take a deep breath.
- Raise one leg to the tabletop in line with the hip.
- Extend the lifted leg close to the floor without arching your back.
- Repeat the same on the other leg
Reps: Do 1 to 3 sets of 5 repetitions on each side without stopping.
Benefits: It can help improve balance and also core stability. Since it is done one leg at a time, you are forcing both legs to work without each other help.
A word of caution
Be kind to yourself in the post-pregnancy period and exercise after delivery should not be forced upon yourself. After your workout ask yourself if you are feeling good, energetic or if something hurts. Also if you are having vaginal bleeding or discomfort in the pelvis and abdomen reduce the intensity or duration of the workout. Yoga for pregnancy is ideal for such situations as it is gentler on the body.