Congratulations. You just had a baby!
While the feeling is beyond words you cannot wait to get back to the normal routine along with your little one.
As you move into your routine, you will be constantly nagged with the thought of health and fitness. ‘Getting back in shape’ and getting rid of that tummy falls into your immediate to do list of things. Relax, for there is still time for you to venture into that vigorous workout zone as your body heals from the recent exhaustion of labor and delivery.
Postnatal Exercises After Delivery
Postnatal exercises are important after childbirth. They not only make your body fit and alert but are also important for your overall well-being.
- If you are one of those mothers who wants to laze around till comfortably settled and then start a bulk workout, understand that this is a very bad idea.
- It is always ideal to start doing gentler exercises during the first few weeks after the delivery. You will be better off kicking away the lethargy and embracing a little fitness.
7 Benefits Of Postnatal Exercises
There are multiple benefits of doing postnatal exercises as your body copes to get back to normalcy. The postnatal exercises ideally help in the following ways:
- Help enhance your mood by increasing the release of good chemicals. You would have had a roller coaster ride with those hormonal shifts. Postnatal exercises will help you regain your actual self.
- Heal your once pregnant body by getting rid of aches and pains.
- Help in weight loss management if pursued along with a balanced diet.
- Replenish your tired body with vigor and vitality that you need to raise your baby.
- Enhance the stamina levels, helping you to take charge during motherhood.
- Tone your body and make it flexible.
- Reduce the heavy postnatal depression with a healthy mind.
[ Read : Diet After Delivery ]
Ideal Exercises After The Delivery
Clearly, you cannot do all kinds of exercises as soon as you deliver.
Your body is still raw, recovering from the stretching and pushing of child birth. The postnatal exercises are safe for both vaginal and cesarean childbirths. There are three types of postnatal exercises that you can gently start off with:
1. Lower Belly Exercises:
Your doctor will suggest you to start off with light lower belly exercises that do not put extra stress on your abdomen.
- Lower belly exercises work in tandem with your pelvic exercises to give you a more fit body. Doing lower tummy exercises helps lose baby fat in the area.
- Most of the postnatal tummy exercises are based on breathing.
- Inhale and exhale slowly as you hold the breath for a few seconds while holding your pelvic floor muscles.
- Once you have tightened your pelvic area, gently push your belly button upwards and then downwards.
- Ensure that you are not moving your back or holding your tummy area too tight.
- At first these exercises may feel difficult but you will find yourself accustomed to them soon.
- Consult a trained physical fitness trainer to understand the kind of belly exercises you can actually start off with.
[ Read : Post Pregnancy Tummy Exercises ]
2. Pelvic Floor Exercises:
Pelvic floor exercises are very important after pregnancy.
- These exercises strengthen your pelvic muscles, helping you avoid urinary incontinence.
- Pelvic exercises aid in a quicker healing of your perineum and vagina by improving the blood circulation around that area.
- This in turn reduces the swelling and bruising that would have happened during normal delivery.
Walking is a very important exercise regimen that will help you stay fit.
- Your doctor would have asked you to start walking few hours after the delivery itself.
- This is to avoid forming blood clots in the body.
- Walking also helps you stay fit and agile.
- Start with short walks of about ten minutes and increase time gradually.
- See what suits you the best, but do not ignore this regime.
Postnatal Exercises Not To Be Done During The First Six weeks
There are exercises that you possibly cannot engage right away after delivery. Especially the post natal exercises for the first six weeks are not recommended. You will have to cross the six month mark to do the below exercises:
- Swimming is not recommended as it may lead to a sudden bleeding or a vaginal discharge called lochia.
- Certain exercises are not allowed in case you had a cesarean or stitches during the vaginal delivery. Your doctor will recommend only the gentler exercises that you have to comply with.
- Hand and knee exercises are a strict no as these movements can lead to the formation of clots in the area where your placenta was attached during pregnancy.
[ Read : Yoga After C Section ]
4 Postnatal Exercises For Strong Pelvis, Upper Back and Neck
Here are a few exercises that you can do to strengthen your pelvis, neck and back once you settle down comfortably in your exercise routine. You can take up these postnatal exercises after 6 weeks.
1. Pelvis Tilts Lying Down:
Lie either on the floor or on the bed.
- Placing a pillow under your head, bend your knees by lifting them up.
- Now tighten your pelvic muscles and pull your tummy inwards.
- Hold the position for three seconds before you relax.
- Repeat the exercise 10 times.
- Do not forget to keep breathing throughout the exercise.
2. Pelvic Tilts While Sitting:
Sit on a stool or chair with your feet on the ground.
- Tighten your pelvic muscles while pulling your tummy inside.
- Arch your back in such a way that your chest and bottom stick out.
- Hold the position for few seconds before you relax.
- Do not forget to breathe throughout the exercise.
3. Upper Back:
Sit upright with arms crossed over your chest. Twist your body to the left and then to the right. Repeat the exercise 10 times in each direction.
- Sit and join your palms behind the neck.
- Twist your body to the left and then to the right.
- Repeat the exercise 10 times in each direction.
- Sit and join hands together in the front.
- Raise your arms above your head and stretch as far as your can.
- Hold the position for two to three seconds.
- Release and get back to the position.
[ Read : Back Pain After Delivery ]
Sit comfortably with your legs crossed in a squatting position.
- Turn your head slowly to the right and then to your left.
- Rotate your head five times each in clockwise and anticlockwise direction.
Points To Remember:
It would be difficult to commence an exercise routine after a long hiatus of pregnancy and baby bump. Here are a few points to remember while you undertake the first initiative to wellness with postnatal exercises:
- You will find it exhausting and time consuming at first, but keep going.
- Do not expect magical results from your postnatal exercises. Your body will take time to respond.
- Do not overdo the exercises once you feel that you are good to go.
- Follow the instructions given by your doctor and your trainer for the exercises during the first six weeks after delivery.
- Do not hit the gym for an aggressive workout taking your own call. Consulting your doctor after the six week time period is a must to understand where you stand in terms of physical fitness.
- Do not put pressure on your lower abdomen or lift heavy objects during the first six weeks. This is the time when your pelvic and tummy muscles heal completely.
Talk to your doctor to understand the important measures to follow before starting off on the postnatal exercise schedule. If you have any pre-existing or special medical conditions that conflict with the idea of exercising, the same has to be discussed with your doctor first.
With a little effort and great inspiration you are set to become one of those fit and fab mommies shortly!
Have more exercises and ideas to share? Do not forget to comment in the section below.
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