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Postpartum Exercise: Tips for New Mums

postpartum fitness tips

Welcoming a baby into the world is a life-changing experience both mentally and physically. You’ve spent 9 months growing and nurturing a life inside of you while watching your body change as a result.

After having your baby, postnatal life takes on this whole new journey of discovery and juggling daily tasks. Often, the idea of getting back into shape can be daunting to even think of.

Why Is Postpartum Exercise Important?

Keeping healthy, getting enough sleep, and taking care of yourself is very important both for you and your baby. Getting back into a workout routine postpartum can be beneficial to get those endorphins flowing and to get you feeling good about yourself overall. Just to remember to go at your own pace and to do what makes you feel good.

Now, we’re not saying that your body will return to normal in a few weeks but we our tips and tricks will definitely help you get there.

1. Accept Your Body for What It Is

When you see celebrities like Heidi Klum or Adriana Lima walk on the runway fresh out of childbirth, new mums often feel the pressure to get back into shape. While being a supermodel is in a whole different league on its own, it’s important for new mums to accept their new body.

Through the birthing journey, you would have noticed a few changes and developments in your body. After giving birth, there is a chance that your body won’t shake these changes and that’s okay. It’s completely normal.

In terms of hormones, it’s important to note that your body will react to exercise differently. The hormone relaxin is produced around the second week of pregnancy to help prepare the body for labour. Postnatally, relaxin can stay in your body for up to 5 months. For breastfeeding mums, this period can be even longer.

As a result, it’s important to become aware of how your joints and body is reacting to your exercise regime. Always make sure that you are within a comfortable range of movements. Stretching and weight lifting are particularly worth paying attention to in order to avoid any overloading of the joints.

2. Take Your Time

Being a new mum is difficult as it is without the added pressure of getting into shape quickly. Whether you had a natural birth or a c-section, your body has just gone through some major motions and it will need time to recover.

Before launching into your fitness routine, it’s best to consult your doctor. If you have had a c-section, it’s generally recommended that you wait at least 6 weeks before you start breaking a sweat in the gym.

When you are ready and your doctor has cleared you for exercise, take your time. Don’t rush back into the moves and paces that you were at before you fell pregnant. Try some gentle walking and swimming as you build up to the more intensive workouts.

3. Incorporate Your Baby

If you are struggling to make time to exercise or do not have a childminder to watch your baby for a few hours then no problem, you can still make some time for exercise.

A walk outside with the baby in the stroller will get you your dose of fresh air and you can arrange to meet up with other mums or friends along the way. If you are just starting to exercise again after giving birth then a gentle walk a few times a week will give you the chance to ease slowly back into it. When you start feeling stronger, try incorporating some gentle lunges as you push your baby in its stroller. You can even get strollers designed for jogging for when you are feeling up to it!

Join a specialised mum and baby gym where you can take your baby along to the classes, or check the schedule at your gym to see if they have classes for mum’s with babies as this will mean you and baby can enjoy a class together.

You will also have the chance to meet other new mum’s and the class is designed with you in mind and will focus on areas that new mums might possibly want to work at postpartum.

4. Try a Class

These days, there is just about a fitness class for anything! Luckily, postpartum fitness classes are readily available at most gyms.

Postpartum fitness classes have many benefits health wise and can introduce to more mums who are in the same boat as you. Benefits include restoring your muscle strength and firming up your body, working on your abs and maintaining pelvic floor health.

The biggest benefit is that these classes are lead by people who know what they’re doing and know what your body needs. When your baby is settled into a routine and you’re feeling up to it, we’d definitely recommend giving these classes a try.

5. Try and Do Daily Activities

Being a new mum, the chances of you being too tired to workout are high and that’s okay. Fitting in a quick 20 minutes of exercise can even do the trick to help you get back into shape.

Whether you’re going to the gym or keeping it local at home, try and get in your daily workouts. If you’re going to the gym, slowly build up your speed and gradually increase the gradient as you go. Alternatively, if you’re at home, you can use everyday items like water bottles and tin cans as dumbells.

6. Remember to Stretch

Now that you’re back into workout mode, it’s even more important to make time for your stretches. With the relaxin putting pressure on your joints, you have to keep your body well looked after.

Not only is stretching incredibly good for a healthy body, but it will keep tight muscles working properly/. Without stretching, those tight muscles won’t be working efficiently.

Getting back into the swing of things can be tough and tiring. However, once you start exercising, you will immediately start feeling the changes in your body. Exercising is not only good for your health but will help you have more energy too.

Article By

Amy is a busy mum to two girls and two boys. She enjoys arts, crafts and playing outside with her family. With plenty of experience Amy enjoys taking time out to share her experiences, tips and ideas with us.

to read more articles by Amy Masters

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