You just had your baby. You’re reclining on that hospital bed dreaming of exercise, right? Probably not! Exercise can seem like a joke for the first few weeks after having a baby. But when it’s the right time, exercise will become one of your best allies for weight loss and to ward off depression.
So when is the right time to begin exercising and losing those pregnancy pounds? How many weeks postpartum should you wait before hitting the gym or dusting off your exercise DVDs?
Right after delivery, you can start Kegel exercises. As long as your doctor allows, you can begin Kegel exercises whenever you feel up to it. Strengthening the pelvic floor will speed your recovery along.
As soon as you’re comfortable, begin to walk. Walk as much as you can without feeling fatigued. Light lower and upper body exercises can be started after delivery too. You should not feel any exercise related pain. In fact, exercise should make you feel better.
Wait 6-8 weeks for regular exercise. Whether you had a C-section or a vaginal delivery, it’s normal to pick up your exercise routine 6 weeks after birth. You may have to wait longer if you had complications during pregnancy or delivery that requires extra care. Your doctor will give you the thumbs up on the right exercise plan for you. Pick exercises you enjoy and can sustain on a regular basis.
Exercise with baby. Enjoy stroller walks and jogs. Carry baby in a sling while you walk or hike. Put baby on the floor next to you while you do push-ups, sit-ups, and weight training.
Don’t overdo it. Call your doctor if you experience severe or chronic pain, increased vaginal bleeding, faintness, nausea, or difficulty breathing.
As you allow for adequate recovery, you’ll enjoy the many benefits of exercise postpartum and in the years to come!