When can I exercise after my delivery?
Exercise brings many benefits after childbirth. It does not only enhance quick recovery after childbirth, but it also makes you stronger and equally improves your mood. There are many exercises that are safe for postpartum mothers, but of course, every woman’s body is different.
That said, how soon you start exercising after childbirth depends on your individual circumstances and that explains why it’s imperative to check with a health professional before indulging in any exercise. Moreover, the type of childbirth you went through will also determine how soon you can start exercising.
If you gave birth to your baby vaginally, then it is safe to start doing gentle pelvic floor exercises a few days after delivery. Of course, you should stop if you feel pain while exercising. The best way to exercise effectively after a vaginal childbirth is, however, by starting with a gentle walk, such as pushing your baby’s stroller. Then you can gradually increase the time and pace of your walks, at your own convenience. If you can do up to 30 minutes of walk on a daily basis, then you are doing well. It should be noted that it is not advisable to do strenuous exercises within the first 12 weeks after delivery.
Cesarean section delivery
Nevertheless, if you had your baby via cesarean section delivery, then it may take a longer time for you to start exercising. The reason is that caesarean delivery is a major operation, which takes at least 6 weeks for you to heal. Of course, you can still do gentle pelvic floor exercises, if you feel able to do so. On the other hand, you must avoid exercises such as sit ups, crunches or abdominal curls, which are all known to put pressure on the scar. Moreover, you must avoid lifting heavy weights if you had a cesarean birth and if you must lift up items around your house, you must ensure that you tighten your tummy while keeping your back straight.
Between 6 to 8 weeks after a C-section, you would still be healing inside, implying that your body is not yet ready for tedious exercises. But at this stage, it is ok to start walking and doing low impact aerobics or cycle. That said, you must be vigilant enough and be ready to stop as soon as you experience pain, discomfort or a pulling sensation on your scar. As a matter of fact, women who had their babies through cesarean must avoid high-impact exercise for 3 to 4 months after the birth of their child.
It is worthy to note that women generally bleed after childbirth and it doesn’t matter if it’s cesarean or vaginal birth. It is therefore imperative to avoid swimming until you have stopped bleeding and had postnatal check up with your doctor or obstetrician.