Exercise After Pregnancy
Childbirth completely transforms body shape and fitness as the body adjusts to the needs of sustaining and expelling life from the womb. Many new mothers are eager to get back to their normal fitness levels but it is generally recommended to give it around six weeks depending on the kind of birth involved (vaginal or surgical).
Exercise for new mothers can be a great way to lose the extra pounds gained over the course of expectancy, improve heart health, strengthen the core and abdominal muscles and boost energy levels. Physical activity also has psychological gains as it reduces stress, promotes better sleep and alleviates post-partum depression symptoms. It is important to remember to seek advice from a qualified health practitioner before beginning any routine after childbirth.
Start Slowly with Fitness Routines After Childbirth
When it comes to exercise after pregnancy, diving at the deep end is a terrible idea. For superfit moms, the eagerness to get back to their regular levels is understandable but straining oneself with difficult routines after childbirth can actually make the recovery process last longer.
Beginning with low-intensity routines is a safe bet and this can include a few minutes of leisurely walking. Focus on routines that strengthen the pelvic floor like Kegels as they are low-intensity enough to do as soon as desired. Pelvic and simple yoga poses can then be introduced at a later stage.
Breastfeeding and Exercise After Pregnancy
The general consensus among experts is that breastfeeding should not be affected by moderate activity as it has no bearing on milk volume or composition. There are concerns about high intensity as initial studies show it could lead to higher lactic acid content in milk that gives it sour a taste babies might dislike.
If high-intensity activity is prioritized while breastfeeding is going on, it could be planned before a workout session to avoid such a scenario. Breastfeeding is also one reason are calorie limiting is discouraged as nursing need around 400 more calories than normal to produce sufficient and quality milk.
Caution is the Word in Exercise For New Mothers
Many postpartum complications can be aggravated by strenuous activity and it is crucial to watch out for any warning signs. Bleeding, severe joint aches and extreme fatigue are all signals from your body that should not be ignored and having a doctor on speed dial and going for regular check-ups is advisable.
Keep an Open Mind
It is important to temper expectations and accepting that it won’t be easy to fall back into the tried and tested routines after childbirth. This might be hard to accept but offers an opportunity to try out new fitness routines recommended for new mothers. Try out different things can also help break the monotony and lead to a higher level of activity.
Hydration and Rest
Nursing mothers generally need to drink more fluids to provide enough breastmilk and adding sweat-inducing activities mean even more fluid needs to be replaced. Water needs to be close by during workout routines and drinking fluids throughout the day is advised. Rest is important for recovery and it is recommended new mothers get as much sleep as their babies.