Post-Partum and Exercise
We’ve discussed in previous articles what are the recommendations for exercise while pregnant.
But, what happens once the baby is born?
Can we go back to exercise? And when? What type of exercise can we do? How do we know if we are on the right track?
Many questions come to a new mum’s head, and we go through so much that most times fitness, wouldn’t be the priority.
Research conducted on post-partum women has shown that going back to exercise once the baby is born can not only help our bodies recover but also our minds.
In this article, I will try to cover the most common questions and concerns based on information from different papers on the matter, as well as well-known institutions working with women during and after pregnancy (Embarazo Activo™️, Girls Gone Strong, Mami Fit™️)
Baby is born, now what?
Once the baby is born, medically speaking, we consider strictly post-partum to be the 45 days that follow.
However, I like to think of post-partum can be much longer than that. Our bodies and mind may need more time to adjust, reset and restart than just 45 days.
However, beyond which view we have, there are crucial aspects to consider during this stage in our life:
Exercise can help with things like:
Some exercises can be even started even 24hs postpartum if your doctor approves, like the stimulation of blood circulation and breathing exercises, as well as some pelvic floor exercises
What and how much?
As I mentioned before, once your doc gives the green light, you can get back to fitness.
But what kind of activities and how much of them should you be doing?
20 to 30 minutes a day are a great start. And this can be split into 10 minutes in the morning and another 10 in the evening. Exercise is not just useful. It’s also needed for both physical and mental health.
According to the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), an emerging body of evidence indicates that exercise in the postpartum period:
○ Reduces fatigue and increases vigor
○ Improves mood states and mental acuity
○ Improves fitness
○ Promotes return to pre-pregnancy weight
○ Decreases the risk of developing future chronic health conditions
○ Provides important mom time and social interactions
In other words, movement has mental and physical effects, such as:
The general recommendation is to take it easy at the beginning, and for about 6 weeks after delivery. Start slow and for short periods of time, and increase duration or intensity with time.
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