A Comprehensive Guide to Postnatal Exercises: The Best Way to Get Back in Shape After Giving Birth

Postnatal Exercises: After you have a baby, it is crucial to take care of your body. This means getting enough rest, eating healthy foods, and exercising. Exercise can help you lose the pregnancy weight, get stronger, and feel good about yourself.

However, it is important to know what kind of exercises are safe to do after you have a baby. You have to avoid exercises that put too much strain on your body.

I hope this article will help you find the best post-natal exercise routine that suits your pre-pregnancy body.

What are postnatal exercises?

This is an exercise carried out by a woman soon after delivery in order to improve circulation, strengthen pelvic floor and abdominal muscles and prevent transient long-term problems. These exercises may include circulatory exercises, pelvic exercise, abdominal exercises, abdominal tightening, pelvic tilting, rectus check, and  knee rolling.

Read: The best and safe exercises during pregnancy.

Postnatal exercises are designed to reduce the risk of developing certain problems and make it easier to recover from the birth. They are important for the mother’s body to return to its pre-pregnancy shape.

These exercises can be done at home, but they should be done under supervision of a health professional.

A woman doing postnatal exercises
Puerperal mother doing an exercise.

Different types of postnatal exercises

Postnatal exercises include:

  1. Stretching: This helps to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of back pain.
  2. Massage: This can help with pain, muscle tension, and relaxation.
  3. Walking: Walking is an important exercise for women after childbirth because it helps them get back in shape.
  4. Kegel exercises: This strengthens the pelvic floor thereby restoring  pelvic organs to pre-pregnancy state.
  5. Yoga: Yoga  reduces stress and  anxiety related to childbirth It improves your flexibility, balance and strength  in order to   maintain your pre-pregnancy state and improve your overall health.
  6. Other aerobic activity:  Bicycling, swimming and dancing  are moderate-intensity aerobic activity  that can increase the heart rate to about 50 to 70% thereby improving blood flow, blood pressure, and blood sugar including overall health.
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Why It’s So Important to Exercise During Postpartum period

Exercises during puerperium is associated with the following benefits: 

  • Doing postnatal workouts gives the women a sense of wellbeingness
  •  Maintains good circulation thereby lessens possibility of venous     thrombosis. 
  • Prevents cramps, varicose veins and oedema in puerperal mothers.
  • Restores muscle tone of the abdominal wall and  pelvic floor.
  • It helps prevent postpartum depression and also  relieves stress.
  • Promotes for normal drainage of lochia as well as involution of the uterus.
  • Prevents hypostatic pneumonia.
  • Helps in emptying the bladder, bowels and uterus.
  • Permits woman to enjoy a daily bath as well as prevents backache in future.
  • Enables mother to take early care of her baby.
  • It boosts energy as well as promotes better sleep.
  •  Restores her body figure by helping her lose the extra weight that she may have gained during pregnancy.

Guidelines for Postnatal Exercises

If you’re a new mom, you’re probably wondering what kind of exercise you can do to get your body back into shape. Here’s a quick rundown of what to do and what to avoid when it comes to postnatal exercises.

Do:

  • Start slowly with gentle exercises like walking or swimming.
  • As you get stronger, you can add in more challenging activities like running or strength training.
  • Focus on exercises that strengthen your core and improve your posture.
  • Make sure to listen to your body and take breaks when you need to.
  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet during your  postpartum period
  • Stay adequately hydrated.
  •  Continue  your prenatal vitamins to ensure overall healthy body functions.
  • Get plenty of rest and relaxation.
  • Stop exercising if you feel pain or discomfort. Your body needs time to heal and recover from the stress of childbirth. 
  • Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially if you had a cesarean delivery or other complications during childbirth.
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Avoid:

  • High-impact activities like running or jumping until your body has healed from childbirth.
  • Any exercises that put too much strain on your back or abdominal muscles.
  • Excessive amounts of cardio, which can put you at risk for developing diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation).
  • Excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption.

The bottom line

After giving birth, it’s important to give your body time to recover. This means no strenuous exercise for at least the first six weeks. But that doesn’t mean you have to just sit around and do nothing. There are plenty of gentle postnatal exercises that can help you heal, feel better and get your strength back.

So what kind of exercise is safe after pregnancy? Walking is a great place to start. It’s low impact and easy on your body. You can also do some light stretching and strengthening exercises. But avoid anything that puts too much strain on your abdomen or back. This includes sit-ups, crunches and any other exercises that involve rounding your back.

If you want to start a more formal exercise routine, talk to your doctor or midwife first. They can give you the green light and let you know what exercises to avoid. In general, it’s best to wait until your six-weeks postpartum period before engaging yourself in strenuous activities.