When Can I Start Exercising After Giving Birth?
Every woman’s journey through pregnancy and being a new mother is different! While regular exercise is an important part of being healthy for new mothers, you may need to take into account the experience your body has been through during pregnancy and birth.
This means that once you have clearance from your health professional to start exercising, you should take a gradual, progressive approach to rebuild your strength and fitness.
Tips for getting started with exercise after giving birth
New mothers can experience a number of challenges that may make it hard to begin exercising. Whether you struggle to find time to exercise or you don’t know where to start, getting the right guidance and support can help you to rebuild your fitness with confidence.
Once you have clearance from your health professional, here are some tips to help you to start exercising:
Take it slowly
When you first start to exercise post-pregnancy, you may find that your body feels very different than it did before pregnancy. Start with kegel exercises and short walks — even 10 minutes of walking is a great way to start out!
Listen carefully to your body and only increase the volume and duration as you start to feel physically fitter and stronger.
Work closely with your healthcare team
After giving birth, the way you return to exercise will be influenced by your individual experience throughout pregnancy and birth. Before you start any exercise, it’s important to be cleared by your health professional first!
If you’ve had a C-section, your return to fitness may be different from someone who went through vaginal birth. You’ll need to take this into account in the exercises you start out with.
Follow a progressive program
If you don’t know where to start with rebuilding your fitness after giving birth, try following a program designed for postpartum women to give you the guidance that you need.
There are two post-pregnancy programs available in the SWEAT app that you can use, depending on your preferences! Both take a gradual approach to strengthen your body, targeting the common concerns that women face after pregnancy.
Be kind to yourself
As a new mum, you are going through a lot of change! During this time, you may feel a range of fluctuating emotions, and this is normal. Remember that you have just been through an amazing experience.
Practising gratitude can help you maintain a positive mindset. Give yourself time to adjust to the changes you’ve been through, and make time for self-care — this could be a few minutes of stretching or relaxing with a cup of tea!
Being mindful of your body will help you to ease back into fitness at a pace that is best for you at this time.
Every bit of exercise you do counts
Even if you only have 10 minutes to exercise, you should still do it! Just 10 minutes of walking, stretching or strengthening can still make a difference to how you feel.
Kayla’s Post-Pregnancy program includes 10-minute postural workouts that focus on common problem areas post-pregnancy, including lower back, hip strength and upper body strength.
Becoming a mother is a significant change in your life! Many new mothers find that joining a mother’s group with other women whose children are a similar age can help provide support.
The SWEAT Community is a fantastic place to meet mothers from around the world. There’s a dedicated section in the forum for Mums & Families where you can find motivation and connect with other mothers.
Which post-pregnancy program should I use?
There are two post-pregnancy programs in the SWEAT app. Once you’ve been cleared to exercise by your health professional, you can follow the program that best suits you, from the comfort of your own home and with minimal equipment.
Post-Pregnancy by Kayla Itsines
Kayla’s Post-Pregnancy Program was designed alongside SWEAT’s team of exercise scientists to help women restart their fitness journey after pregnancy. It has 16 weeks of workouts, including four Foundation Weeks for women who’ve had a C-section or other complications during birth.
This flexible program contains short workouts that take 15-25 minutes, and focus on rebuilding foundational core and pelvic strength before progressing to larger, more complex movements.
There are also optional 10-minute postural workouts that you can do when you only have a short time to exercise. These workouts focus on common problem areas after pregnancy, including lower back, hip strength and upper body posture.
The circuits are lap-based, so you’ll complete each of the exercises in your own time.
This program has been endorsed by a panel of leading obstetricians and exercise physiologists from the US, UK and Australia, and is suitable for women with Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation).
PWR Post-Pregnancy by Kelsey Wells
PWR Post-Pregnancy is a program by Kelsey Wells, designed alongside SWEAT’s team of exercise scientists. It aims to help women improve their self-confidence and love for their body after pregnancy and birth.
There are 24 weeks of exercises, with the first eight weeks focusing on healing and restoring your body as you rebuild core strength and improve your posture. The focus then shifts to regaining muscle tone and strength. Each session is 28-minutes long, with time-based circuits.
This program is also suitable for women who’ve experienced Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation).
Either of these programs can be used as a stepping stone to starting a new exercise program! We recommend that you consult your health professional before increasing the intensity of your exercise after completing any post-pregnancy program.
You can start exercising again after birth to rebuild your fitness!
As a new mother, there are many demands on your time! However, when you take time to care for your health, you may find that you have more energy for the challenges of motherhood.
You can use these tips to ease back into a fitness routine after pregnancy! SWEAT’s post-pregnancy programs can provide you with the guidance to gradually rebuild your strength and fitness, and you can meet other mothers and share tips, advice and motivation within the SWEAT Community.
How do you make time for yourself as a new mother? Share your tips in the comments!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.