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Post-partum exercises for new mums

April 13, 2022 3 min read

Exercise is good for your mind and body no matter what age or stage of life you’re in. It has many benefits including assisting with weight loss, increasing aerobic fitness, improving social interaction and psychological wellbeing. Post-partum exercise can be difficult to fit in especially if you’re a busy mum, however it is important to consider the benefits and try to incorporate some form of exercise into your routine. By doing so you can get your body moving and keep your mind healthy.

*Please note that you should always consult with your doctor or midwife before starting post-partum exercise.

The benefits

Post-partum exercise can improve both your physical and mental wellbeing. Here are some of the major benefits:

  • Improved immune function
  • Better sleep
  • Ability to feel more energized during the day
  • Reduced symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety
  • Increased appetite for healthy foods
  • Promotion of weight loss
  • Helps to restore muscle strength
  • Improvement of overall fitness and hastening recovery
  • Tones abdominal muscles
  • Improves your mood and helps relieves stress

 

When you can start

Light exercise such as walking can generally begin as soon as you feel comfortable after giving birth however only start when you feel up to it and don’t rush the process. Everyone is different so don’t worry if your friend is going for longer walks sooner than you, you will recognise when you feel ready and comfortable to do so.  

After the six-week mark, you may recognise that you are more so back to normal. For caesarean births, complicated or difficult births, it may take longer than six weeks to feel ready for moderate exercise. If you didn’t exercise when pregnant and are planning to post-partum, start with easy and attainable exercises and work your way up to more difficult ones as you improve. Remember, your muscles, ligaments and joints are not as strong as they used to be, so it’s easy to injure yourself. Try not to stretch or twist too much and avoid high impact exercise that requires more strain and rapid direction changes.

Exercises

There are many forms of exercise that may be beneficial to you and your exercise journey post-partum. Here are some popular forms of exercise that other mums have enjoyed and found beneficial:

  • Brisk walking
  • Swimming
  • Aqua aerobics
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Low impact aerobic workouts
  • Cycling
  • Light weight training
  • Pelvic floor exercises

 

Tips for finding the time for exercise

Having a newborn baby is hard as it is and takes a lot of time, patience and planning.  Remembering to take care of yourself is crucial to having a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Below are some tips to help you achieve that lifestyle balance that everyone craves with a newborn:

  1. Wake up ahead of your baby – this will give you some time to relax, take a shower, meditate or prepare something that you may not be able to do with your baby around
  2. Limit your screen time – this will help you achieve more tasks in your day and leave time for exercise amongst a busy schedule
  3. Try to get a good night sleep – throughout early motherhood I know getting a good sleep feels like something you’ll never achieve. Try to go to bed early to recover from tiredness throughout the day and try to nap when necessary.
  4. Involve your baby in your workout – this doesn’t have to be every time but the times when your baby won’t fall asleep or you don’t have anyone to look after him/her, this is a good way to make sure you still get the exercise you need.

 

Remember to not put too much pressure on yourself. Motherhood is a wonderful and busy time of your life so embrace it without feeling as though you aren’t doing enough. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t always find the time for exercise, your body has been though a lot, so it’s perfectly acceptable and expected that your body also needs a rest.

 

Medical Disclaimer: Articles are intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. Ask a medical professional if you have any health-related questions or concerns.

 

Additional Resources

Better health channel. (2021). Postnatal exercise. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/postnatal-exercise

Mamaway Maternity. (2020). Post partum tools and exercise plan for busy mums. https://mamaway.com.au/blog/post/postpartum-tools-exercise-plan-for-la-i-mean-busy-women

Parenthood Times. (2021). 5 best postpartum exercises for new moms. https://parenthoodtimes.com/5-best-postpartum-exercises-for-new-moms/#:~:text=%20Best%20Postpartum%20Exercises%20for%20New%20Moms%20,can%20relieve%20back%20pain.%20It%20also...%20More%20


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