4 Myths We Need To Debunk About Exercising After Having A Baby
First of all, let’s take a moment to recognise what an incredible thing you’ve just been through.
You’ve just spent up to 40 weeks growing a tiny little human, experienced childbirth and are now likely coping with a LOT of change (sleep deprivation, anyone?). It’s time to give yourself a big pat on the back and appreciate how incredible you and your body are!
Whether this was your first pregnancy or your fifth, we know everyone’s post-partum journey looks different and there’s no one size fits all model when it comes to exercising after having a baby.
If your healthcare provider has given you the all-clear and you’ve decided you’re ready to start working out again, let’s make sure we get some common misconceptions about post-partum fitness out of the way first…
You’ll be able to pick up right where you left offNo matter how fit and active you were before or during your pregnancy, now is the time to take it slowly as you rebuild your fitness after childbirth.
You’ve just gone through an enormous amount of change, so you might want to start with pelvic floor exercises and light walks. It’s also important to recognise your workout schedule might look a little different now that you’ve got a newborn at home.
Go easy on yourself and make your schedule work for you. There’s nothing wrong with making modifications and cutting a workout short if you need to. And if you need more rest days or miss a workout altogether? That’s okay too!
If you’re looking for a program in the Sweat app, we have two post-pregnancy programs available and both can be done from the comfort of your own home using minimal equipment.
There’s a right time to return to fitnessWhile there’s no perfect time to start exercising again, there is such a thing as a wrong time, and that’s before you’ve been cleared by your healthcare provider.
If you’ve been cleared to resume exercise but don’t feel ready yet - that’s okay! Listen to your body and wait until YOU feel ready. And remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Your return to fitness will depend on a range of factors including the type of pregnancy you had, any complications you might have experienced during pregnancy and birth, whether you had a c-section or vaginal delivery, whether you gave birth to more than one baby, and importantly: how YOU feel.
Your post-pregnancy body should look a certain wayFor a lot of women, the desire to start working out again after welcoming a new baby might be tied to insecurity about how pregnancy has changed your body.
While learning to love and appreciate your body before, during and after pregnancy isn’t always easy, we want to remind you that your body is INCREDIBLE. It grew and nurtured your baby and continues to support you throughout this amazing journey.
Changes to how your body looks or feels, such as stretch marks, loose skin or a new body shape, are also completely normal after pregnancy and nothing to be ashamed of.
While your post-pregnancy body might feel a little unfamiliar, it is beautiful. The best reason to work out isn’t to punish or try and change yourself, but because it’s something that makes you feel happy, healthy and confident - inside and out.
Sweat Trainer Kelsey Wells has spoken before about how changing her relationship with her body revolutionised her approach to exercise.
“As a fitness professional, I now feel a responsibility to call out those negative dialogues and try to help people make sure their motive to exercise is coming from a place that is beneficial, rather than detrimental, to their mental health,” Kelsey says.
There’s such thing as a perfect post-partum exercise journey
Everybody’s different. You might have been pregnant at the same time as your best friend but had a completely different pregnancy and birth experience from her. It’s likely that your post-partum exercise journey will look a little different, too.
We don’t know who needs to hear this, but your Instagram feed is everyone else’s highlights reel. If you find yourself doom-scrolling or comparing yourself to other new mums during a late-night feed, remember: this is hard for everyone, whether they’re showing it or not. Go easy on yourself and remember to take things at your own pace.
Kayla and Kelsey’s post-pregnancy programsLooking for a structured program to support you as you return to fitness? There are two programs available in the Sweat app, Kayla’s Post-Pregnancy program and PWR Post-Pregnancy with Kelsey.
Kayla’s 16-week program is designed to help women rebuild strength after birth. Kelsey’s program runs for 24 weeks and focuses on improving posture and regaining strength through low-impact movement.
Have you returned to exercise after having a baby? What tips do you have for new mums?
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.