Resuming exercise after giving birth – is six weeks the magic number?

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Resuming exercise after giving birth – is six weeks the magic number?

Resuming exercise after giving birthMost women have heard, from one source or another, that you need to wait six weeks before resuming exercise after giving birth. The implication is that exercise before six weeks is unsafe and then magically at six weeks you have the green light to do anything and everything.

Like most things, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all guideline when it comes to how long after giving birth to wait before resuming exercise. So, six weeks isn’t the magic number that applies to all postpartum moms. Some moms can resume exercise before the six week mark and for others six weeks is too soon.

Unfortunately, in a general blog post such as this, I can’t give you an answer as to how long you personally should wait. But I can give you some tips on how you can go about determining what your time frame is.

  • First and foremost, how do you feel? Much like paying attention to how your body felt when exercising during pregnancy, you need to cue into your body to figure out when you’re ready to resume physical activity.
  • Have you had a conversation with your doctor or midwife about resuming physical activity? If you’re feeling physically ready, talk with your healthcare provider and make sure there aren’t any medical reasons why you shouldn’t exercise quite yet.
  • If you feel physically ready and your healthcare provider gives you the go-ahead, resume physical activity gradually. This is really important and a tip that is often ignored. It’s tempting to jump back into exercise, perhaps even at pre-pregnancy intensity and frequency. Your body has been through a lot and is still recovering from pregnancy and childbirth. The smartest and safest plan is to gradually re-introduce exercise, while continually paying attention to your body. Pain, urine leakage and changes in bleeding are all signs that your body is not ready for that level of activity.

For personalized support and direction on specifically what your postpartum exercise routine should consist of, sign up for our custom online postpartum exercise plan. After getting to know you, we’ll develop an entire exercise plan that will safely and effectively re-introduce exercise into your life and help you reach your goals.

Before beginning any postpartum exercise program, be sure to check for diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal muscles that can occur during pregnancy. For instructions on how to check yourself, watch our simple how-to video

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