Giving birth is a strenuous time and it will take a lot out of your body. It leads to many women avoiding exercise for some time.
However, postnatal exercise has been proven to help with increasing the amount of energy your body has and will also offer other benefits, including helping with the baby blues. You just need to do it safely.
How much postnatal exercise is safe?
This is the first question that many women will ask. The answer to that is different for each woman since pregnancy is always different. This will depend on your fitness when your baby was born and how much exercise you did while carrying the baby.
Women who partook in exercise during pregnancy will be able to get back into exercise from the start. This is because the muscles will already be prepared for it and you will be less prone to injury.
If you stopped during pregnancy or have never exercised in the past, you will need to start of slowly.
There are some forms of postnatal exercise that can be done instantly, such as pelvic floor exercises. These can be done at any point during the day, no matter where you are. You will also be able to go out walking, which will help to strengthen your muscles; take your baby out for a walk to introduce him to fresh air and help build up an immune system.
When to avoid postnatal exercise
There are times that you will need to delay the amount of exercise that you do after giving birth. If you need to, your doctor will usually advise you of this and will also help to determine when you can go back.
Swimming is one form of exercise to avoid for the first six to eight weeks. You will be prone to infection just after giving birth and the water will add to the risk. Aerobic exercises should also be avoided if your pelvic floor muscles have not been strengthened; doing these forms of exercises will put strain on you and you will be more at risk of injury.
How to lose the baby weight
Most women will do postnatal exercises to help with losing the baby weight but there are ways to do that without them. The best thing that you can do is eat healthily. Just because you are only eating for yourself does not mean that you can start pigging out on the junk food. Stick to the healthy diet that you had during pregnancy. High protein foods are harder for the stomach to digest, which means they will stay in your body for longer – you will remain fuller for longer.
Avoid following diets, especially if you are breastfeeding. Diets usually mean cutting out nutrients that you and your baby will need. You will also cut down on the amount of calories you eat, which cuts down on the amount of energy your body has. You will need as much energy as possible with looking after a baby.
When you do start adding postnatal exercise to your daily routine, you will need to avoid doing too much. If you overdo the exercise, you run the risk of tiring yourself out and will slow down your immune system; this is not good for you or your baby.