A common question among new mothers is how long after giving birth can they get back into their pre-pregnancy fitness routine? While you may think you’ll be able to quickly get back to the way you lived before being pregnant after you give birth, you may want to think again. After giving birth you may suffer from bad posture, general fatigue, and an achy body amongst other things. This means doing many common activities you did before pregnancy, such as exercising, may be difficult to adjust to for a bit. The pregnant body takes around 40 weeks to form, and in some cases, it can take almost as long as that to get completely back to your pre-pregnancy body. At the end of the day, your doctor will let you know when you’re okay to start working out again, but when you do begin it’s important you approach it safely. Here are a few tips to help you out in postpartum fitness.
Ease Into It
It’s important that you take your time when getting back into your fitness routine. Pushing yourself too much so soon after birth can actually threaten your overall recovery. Many doctors will recommend that you avoid exerting yourself for about 2 weeks after giving birth. After that, a good way to start is by taking a 5-minute walk and seeing how you feel. As long as you feel okay and there isn’t any bleeding or aching, you’re likely fine to take a slightly longer walk the next day and continue slowly building how long your walks are over time. After you build this up for about 2 weeks, you can move into gentle upper-body stretching or even take a postpartum exercise class.
Be Careful If Breastfeeding
Not every mother breastfeeds but if you are and you want to get back into fitness, it’s important you’re even more careful than usual. Weight loss shouldn’t be as much of a concern the first few weeks after giving birth until you’ve built up a stable milk supply. Some of the weight will naturally disappear during the first few days due to your body relishing the extra fluids it needed while pregnant. It’s also important you eat correctly if working out and breastfeeding, as breastfeeding mothers need an additional 500 calories a day than non-breastfeeding mothers.
Get Plenty of Rest
Getting rest and not overexerting yourself is more important than ever after having a baby. It’s easy to become sleep-deprived after having a baby, especially if your baby is waking up multiple times throughout the night, not letting you get a full night’s sleep. If this is the case, it’s important that you’re careful about overworking yourself. Exercise does have the potential to provide you with more energy but if your body is already lacking then it’s more likely it will just add to your exhaustion.