Exercise after birth | The first one to two weeks after birth
The first one to two weeks after birth
Limit your activity to caring for yourself and your baby.
If you had an exercise routine during pregnancy, ask your health care provider when you can begin again. You can start the gentle postpartum exercise routine described below the day after you give birth.
If you have concerns about your postpartum weight loss, talk with your health care provider.
If you had a Cesarean birth:
Try not to lift anything heavier than your baby.
If you have other children who want to be held, sit down and have them climb into your lap rather than lifting them.
Limit your trips up and down stairs. Take the stairs slowly.
You can start doing Kegel exercises the day after your baby is born. You may need to build up to the number of Kegels you were doing before your baby's birth. Start with regular Kegels and build up to doing super Kegels.
An early postpartum exercise routine
You can start this exercise routine the first day after your baby is born. Start with doing each exercise two times a day. Each day do one more repetition per set until you are doing 10 of each exercise two times a day.
Deep breathing with abdominal wall tightening
Position: Lying on your back or side with knees bent.
Take a deep breath through your nose. Let your abdominal wall expand upward.
With your lips slightly parted, blow air out through your mouth while tightening your abdominal wall.
Keep blowing until you have emptied your lungs.
Don't take too many deep breaths in a row or you might get dizzy.
Position: Sitting or lying.
Pull your toes toward you as far as you can.
Point your foot downward.
Rest before continuing. If pointing your toes downward causes cramps: pull up your toes and relax.
Foot and ankle circles
Position: Sitting or lying.
Make large, slow circles with each foot, first to the right, then to the left. This is an excellent exercise to improve the circulation in your legs.
Position: Lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your fleet flat on the bed or floor.
Tilt your pelvis back by flattening your lower back against the bed or floor.
Tighten your abdominal muscles and your bottom.
This exercise strengthens your abdominal muscles and helps relieve backache.
From three to six weeks after birth
Gradually return to normal activities. If something feels like it's too much to do, don't do it.
Bend your knees whenever you lift anything, including older children, to help prevent injuring your back muscles.
Avoid heavy lifting and vacuuming for at least six weeks.
Wait at least six weeks before starting exercises like running, sit-ups or leg lifts unless your health care provider says you can start earlier.
Before you start doing sit-ups or leg lifts, check to see if your abdominal muscles have separated:
Lie on your back with your knees bent.
Reach one arm toward your knees as you tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your head and shoulders.
Put the fingers of your other hand just below your navel. You will feel your muscles tighten. If there is a separation between the two halves of your abdominal muscles that is three or more finger widths, you will need to do a special exercise to reduce this separation. This exercise is described next.
Exercise to reduce abdominal muscle separation:
Lie on your back with knees bent and 12 to 16 inches apart.
Cross your hands over your abdomen so that you will be able to support your abdominal muscles.
Breathe in deeply. As you exhale, raise your head toward your chest and gently pull the separated muscles toward each other.
At the end of the exhale, lie back and relax.
Do a set of these exercise two times a day.
Start with two repetitions and add one repetition a day. Work up to a set of 10 repetitions twice a day. When the separation is less than two finger widths, you can start abdominal strengthening exercises, such as curl-ups and sit-ups.
Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, eighth edition, ob-ah-90026
Reviewed By: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/06/2021
Post-Birth Workouts for Weeks 2, 3, & Beyond
Congratulations on your new baby!
The first six weeks postpartum are universally considered a recovery period, no matter how you have given birth. Let’s approach postpartum with a strategy and care… to heal, recover quickly, and safely
Exercise after baby– Do you really need to wait 6 weeks?
One of the most common questions I receive is “When is it safe to return to exercise after childbirth?”
Well, it just depends what you mean by “exercise”, but specific exercises can be very beneficial to help your body recover right after childbirth, regardless of the way you gave birth.
Of course, I’m not talking about exercises like running postpartum, jumping jacks, front planks or crunches!
Very gentle exercises based on abdominal breathing are hugely beneficial to awaken your core and pelvic floor muscles to progressively regain your strength, recover quickly, and properly.
The Immediate Postpartum Program is a game changer for me. The recovery is so much better and faster this time around. I love the reading material part; I learned so much! And even the things I already knew, it was a good reminder not to rush and not to do anything stupid that I’ll regret later. The exercises are great. They are helping me to awake my body and they give me the sense that I’m doing something already. Because it can be hard to just sit and wait out the 6 weeks until the postpartum appointment. And with these exercises I know it’s safe and healthy. I can’t thank you enough for creating this program! Thank you Julie!!!
The foundation needs to be laid
Most of the time women are told to wait for their doctor’s green light to resume exercise after baby… then at 6 or 8 weeks PP they think that they can simply jump back into whatever activity they want!
But if you’ve already had a baby, you know that new Moms are actually doing many physical things before receiving the approval to return to activity and start postnatal exercise…
I remember perfectly the constant breastfeeding sessions, getting up from bed 4 times a night, taking the stroller out of the car and then putting the car seat on the stroller, without mentioning caring for any other children as well. So obviously, at 6 weeks postpartum, your strength and core don’t just bounce back like magic! The foundation needs to be laid, and here, we’ll do just that.
“I started following Julie after my first birth. I had a very difficult delivery and had a deep Diastasis, pelvic floor dysfunction, and genital prolapse. Even with physical therapy I had no improvement. After about 3 months of doing Julie’s exercises together with good physical therapy I managed to close the Diastasis and regress the prolapse. I soon became pregnant again and followed her Pregnancy Program to control the Diastasis and protect my pelvic floor. I had a good pregnancy and now following the postpartum program I am having a surprising result. I recommend Julie’s exercises to all of the women I know!”
Exercise after baby– How to get started?
You’ll re-learn how to:
Use your diaphragm optimally, since it's no longer being pushed up (by baby)
Control your pelvic floor, since it has been extremely stretched and it's no longer supporting the weight of your baby
Engage your transverse muscles, since they're no longer undergoing extreme stretching.
WHAT YOU GETExercise after baby - From Birth to 8 weeks postpartum
Access to an online platform functioning like an app on your laptop or mobile device
An immediate postpartum survival guide with essential information about:
Key information to:
Prevent devastating impacts on your ab mid-line and pelvic floor muscles
Prevent/diminish common aches and pains, Diastasis Recti, Incontinence
Exercise after birth – how to get started:
0 to 3 weeks postpartum workout routines
3 weeks to 6 weeks postpartum workout routines
6 weeks to 8 weeks postpartum workout routines
A Suggested weekly workout schedule for each phase
Priceless and up to date information about Postpartum Fitness
More than 30 exercises
Videos with audio and text description for each move
BONUS: Meals & snacks ideas
Any program updates and access for the foreseeable future
Exercise after Baby - From Birth to 8 weeks postpartum
WHAT YOU NEEDExercise after baby - From Birth to 8 weeks postpartum
I try to keep things as simple as possible, but some helpful equipment includes:
a yoga mat
little pillows or yoga blocks
a yoga strap (or belt, or scarf)
nursing pillow or body pillow
0 - 1 - 2 weeks postpartum exercise
exercise 3 weeks postpartum
3 - 4 - 5 weeks postpartum exercise
6 weeks postpartum exercise
Safely return to exercise after baby
Remember, your body needed 9 months to grow your baby, it now needs some nurturing and affection, to recover properly, and re-build fitness and strength.
Pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes, but they can take a toll on our bodies, especially if we neglect this very sensitive immediate postpartum period.
During the next few weeks, we'll focus on activation, not strengthening. I'll share exactly what I did to stimulate my own recovery, and I’ll guide you on the road to help your body heal and steer clear of the common mistakes too many new Moms make when they resume exercise after baby. The postpartum time period will fly by, and you’ll feel like yourself again, sooner than you think.
Ladies, for anyone wanting to get their abs back after pregnancy, and or repair your Diastasis Recti I hugely recommend you check out Our Fit Family Life’s immediate postpartum program. It will ease anyone back into shape slowly and correctly! ⠀ After the birth of my daughter I rushed back into my training too quick and was doing a Guinness World Record 2 months after a c section! Looking back now I was insane! but in doing so I gave myself Diastasis Recti, and up until falling pregnant with my son I had it. Which was 2 years later! ⠀ Since following this program and doing the right recovery, my abs are already in better shape now, than they were prior pregnancy! I am so happy! ⠀ So anyone looking for a good program to follow, check it out! ⠀
— Chloe Bruce - stunt woman
We don’t just bounce right back after giving birth
It’s so frustrating to see that many of us end up with a severe Diastasis Recti, pelvic floor function issues or postpartum back pain that could have been avoided with the correct guidance and postnatal exercise after pregnancy.
I wish every new Mom returned home with the postpartum tips and gentle exercises I’m about to share with you!
The 6 to 8 weeks following delivery are critical, not only for your short-term recovery, but also for your future as a mom, wife, women… and for potential future pregnancies!
Every new mom will recover at a different rate with different postpartum symptoms.
Make sure that you have talked with your Physician and received approval to follow this exercise program prior to beginning.
Exercise after Baby - The Mommy Body Bliss Immediate Postpartum Program
we shape the stomach, chest and back
Most women have problems with their figure after giving birth. Indeed, after the birth of a baby, the muscles in the abdomen, chest and back, the most “affected” during the gestation period, need to be strengthened. And it's not only about the figure, but also about health. It is not so difficult to recover them if you regularly perform a certain fitness complex and remember some simple rules.
The abdomen is the most problematic area for young mothers. However, it must be borne in mind that exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles should be started no earlier than 6–8 weeks after a normal birth and 2–2. 5 months after a caesarean section. This is due to the state of internal organs and the risk of injury.
Naturally, one should “start” with minimal loads, gradually increasing them. To achieve the desired effect, gymnastics should first be done at least three times a week, gradually moving on to daily workouts. Each exercise should be initially performed 2-3 times, gradually approaching 15 repetitions.
Below we list simple but effective exercises to restore the figure.
Postpartum Abdominal Exercises
Squats Starting position: standing, legs together. During a slow squat, inhale, buttocks are pulled back as far as possible, the body is tilted forward, hands are on the middle of the thigh. On inspiration, the stomach should be rounded. When straightening, exhale, the back is straight, the arms are raised forward and slightly apart to the sides, the front wall of the abdomen is retracted. During the entire exercise, the heels are on the floor.
Hip lifts The exercise is performed in the supine position. The knees are bent, the back is pressed to the floor. Press your back firmly to the floor, tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your pelvis up. Hold this position for a few seconds.
Body lifts From a supine position, holding your hands behind your head, perform body lifts (angle - 45 °, exhale on the rise, inhale in the starting position). Make sure your back stays straight.
Lunges Take the “emphasis” position - kneeling, lower your hands to the floor. Legs and arms are shoulder width apart. Lunge forward simultaneously with your left hand and right foot, then with your right hand and left foot.
Leg raises From a position lying on your side, alternately perform lifts of the left and right legs: lying on the left side, lift the right leg, lying on the right - the left.
Postpartum chest exercises
The following exercises will help strengthen the chest muscles:
Lock Stand up straight, feet shoulder-width apart, hands clasped in the castle at chest level. Press your hands on each other, strictly making sure that your hands remain in place. This exercise allows you to strengthen the lateral muscles of the chest.
Reverse lock We complicate the first exercise. To do this, an attempt should be made to separate the hands, while leaving the fingers interlaced and straining only the muscles of the shoulders and chest.
Wall stop The exercise is performed against the wall. The arms are extended and pressed to her with palms at shoulder level. Press your hands against the wall (as if trying to move it), gradually increasing the pressure. Continue for 10-15 seconds.
Hand rotation Take a standing position, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows, press your fingertips to your shoulders. Perform rotational movements with your hands, first forward, then back.
Mahi Stand straight, arms lowered along the body. Raise one arm up and swing back. Swing forward from the starting position with your arms down. The exercise is performed alternately with both hands.
Exercises for the back after childbirth
The back experiences a lot of stress during pregnancy. If there are no problems with the spine, then the following exercises are recommended after childbirth.
Slopes Stand up straight, put your hands on your belt. Do spring bends forward.
Twisting From the same starting position, perform twisting turns of the torso to the right and left sides alternately.
Arm swings Put your legs apart, raise your hands to your shoulders. Gently raise your shoulders and elbows forward, then straighten your arms, lift them up and do two springy swings back.
Half squats Place your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly apart. Make a smooth "circle" with your shoulders back, connecting the shoulder blades. Then take a semi-squat, tilt your head back and return to the starting position. After that, perform a “circle” with your shoulders forward, half-squat, and tilt your head forward.
Slopes Legs apart, hands brought together behind the head. Tilt your torso to the left, then to the right, then lean forward and back. Movements are performed in unison. Then the same on the other side.
It should be noted that after childbirth, swimming is very useful for strengthening all muscle groups. Moreover, you can swim already a week after discharge from the clinic (if there are no contraindications from the doctor). As for the gymnastics itself, it is better to start training under the guidance of an instructor. This will avoid sprains, overloads and injuries. In addition, a set of exercises should be compiled taking into account the physical form of a woman, her age, weight and individual characteristics.
Get professional advice from Gold’s Gym instructors. Restorative fitness for women after pregnancy and childbirth is one of the areas of work of our center. Experienced trainers will help you regain joy and ease of movement, find a beautiful shape and a positive attitude. Classes to strengthen the muscles of the abdomen, chest, back and the whole body after childbirth are held here both individually and in groups, and the training itself becomes for visitors not hard exhausting work, but a pleasant pastime. With Gold`s Gym, fitness is a joy!
Postpartum sports - 7 recovery exercises | Thule
Postpartum Sports - 7 Recovery Exercises | Thule | Russia
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Sports after childbirth - 7 exercises for recovery
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Is it safe to exercise after childbirth? What types of training are suitable for women who have recently given birth? Check out our tips for more.
It is not easy to go in for sports immediately after childbirth. In addition, taking care of a baby is also a kind of sport! However, exercise helps to strengthen the muscles weakened during childbirth, and even get rid of pain.
European and American experts recommend that women who have recently given birth should do about 150 minutes of light sports every week, evenly spreading this time throughout the week. Of course, after you have given life to a new person, not everything will work right away. Take your time, listen carefully to your body - and, of course, consult your doctors regularly!
Here is our postpartum recovery exercise program:
Recommended postpartum recovery exercises:
Pelvic floor exercises
Strengthening the abdominal muscles
Riding an exercise bike
Pelvic Diaphragm Exercises
These are workouts such as Kegel Exercises , Squats or Glute Exercises that can be done immediately after childbirth. As you might have guessed, they strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that control the bladder and bowels. During pregnancy, these muscles weaken, but glute exercises and the like will help you get them in shape without overstretching.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, keep your back straight, bend your knees, and lean as low as you can. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
Exercise for the gluteal muscles
Lie on your back, bend your knees, arms at your sides. Squeeze your buttocks and lift your hips. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
Take your baby for a walk! This is a low-intensity aerobic exercise that will give you energy and allow you to enjoy fresh air. For active women who are ready to resume jogging as soon as possible after pregnancy, a jogging stroller is perfect, which can be equipped with a cradle or child car seat for a newborn. You can use it as a stroller at first, and then (at around six months of age) swap out the carrycot for a toddler seat and start running with your baby.
As you begin walking and doing pelvic floor exercises, you will gradually increase the amount of exercise—for example, walking faster and farther to "get the blood going." Attach a mug holder to your stroller so you don't get thirsty. If your stroller is strong enough for cross-country walking, you can even take a walk in a park or forest.
Why not start jogging as soon as the doctors allow? When your baby is 6 months old, he can even join you in a jogging stroller! See our tips for running with babies here.
If you've used a jogging stroller with a carrycot or a newborn car seat, simply replace them with a toddler seat and you won't have to buy a new stroller.
Many women experience aching muscles after childbirth, particularly in the lower back, neck and hips. In addition to caring for a newborn, your physique changes after pregnancy: some muscle groups become stronger, others weaken. Stretching exercises for the lower back, chest, neck, and hips are ideal for postpartum recovery. By helping these muscles relax, you reduce the stress on your joints, thereby reducing pain.
Start with a simple stretch, such as hamstring muscles or lateral neck muscles . Then you can move on to something more advanced, like kneeling hip flexor stretch , standing shoulder stretch (you can lean on a chair) or back bends to stretch thigh muscles.
Tilt your head to the right and left, helping yourself with your hand.
Kneeling hip flexor stretch
Get on your knees, put one foot in front of you, at an angle of 90 degrees. Lean forward and stretch. Change your leg and repeat the exercise.
Stretching the thigh muscles from a prone position
Lie on your back, bend and lift your left leg at a 90 degree angle. Pull your leg towards you with your right hand. Bend your right leg and place it over your left so that it forms a triangle. With the palm of your left hand, push your right leg away from you for a deep stretch. Change your leg and repeat the exercise.
Strengthening the abdominal muscles
During the recovery period after childbirth, women are advised to do exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles. The crunch is a great choice as it strengthens the obliques and even the psoas, which can be sore after childbirth. The pull-in exercises are also recommended, as they work the muscles of the torso very well.
According to a study published in JOSPT (Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy) in 2015, abdominal exercises reduce the likelihood of diastasis rectus abdominis - when the stomach begins to bulge due to the expansion of the space between the left and right abdominal muscles as a result of pregnancy.
Lie on your back, bend your knees and lock your hands behind your head. Raise your upper body. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
This aerobic exercise is a great workout for your heart when you're ready to push harder. Cycling helps to strengthen the muscles without putting stress on the joints, especially on the back or hips, which many women already feel sore after pregnancy.
Sports with babies for dads
In the turmoil that comes with the arrival of a new baby, it can be difficult for both moms and dads to balance outdoor activities and family life. So why not combine them? Active rest with a child will benefit both you and your baby. For example, you can put your child in a jogging stroller and go for a run together. A stroller with adjustable handles is perfect for taller dads, so you won't hit the stroller with your feet at every step.