Pregnancy causes a lot of physical changes, including stretch marks and weight gain. Getting your body back after having a baby is probably one of the hardest things you might face. In this article, we have discussed five simple postpartum exercises that can help you get back in shape.
Although you might feel that exercise is the last thing you want to do as a new mom, it does have benefits. Starting a moderate postpartum workout program after having a baby is beneficial in many ways.
- Regular exercise improves your mood and immune function.
- Help you to sleep better and feel more energetic during the day.
- Protect you from aches and back pain.
- Reduce the symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety.
- Help to increase your appetite for healthy foods.
- Postpartum exercises help you to lose the baby weight you gained during pregnancy.
Essential pieces of equipment you need for postpartum workouts at home!
There are easy ways to do postpartum exercises at home, and before you get started, it’s essential to get a couple of home workout equipment. These pieces of equipment aren’t expensive and provide you the motivation you need to get started.
We recommend that you include these two best home workout tool for your postpartum workout plan.
1. Gaiam Yoga Mat
2. Yoga Ball Chair
Best Postpartum Exercises for New Moms
Walking is one of the best ways to tone your post-pregnancy belly. You can start with an easy stroll. When you walk, tighten your belly as you walk. With a baby hip carrier in the front, you can add extra weight that will increase the benefits. Do this for a minimum of 15 minutes a day, and you will see a difference. Consistency is key, which is true for any exercise.
Deep Belly Breathing
When dealing with newborns, you have to be calm. This exercise is so easy that you can do it in your bed, on your living room floor, or in a comfortable chair. It helps ease your stress, and strengthen and tone your abs and belly.
Head and Shoulder Lifts
This exercise helps to tone your abdominal muscles and burn calories. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t feel your muscles working during the workout. It will take some time to regain your strength.
This is another good exercise for a toned belly. Strengthening your Abs can relieve back pain. It also improves your posture. There are several ways to do it.
Kegels help strengthens the pelvic floor, which can help with “holding it” and stress incontinence. They also help with urinary leakage during late pregnancy and when you get older too. They also may improve sexual pleasure for both partners, if you need another reason.
When you do them correctly, they are extremely helpful, important exercises, both during and after pregnancy.
Postpartum Workouts: How To Ease Back Into Postpartum Fitness
Postpartum fitness is very important, especially for stay-at-home moms. It’s important for your mental health and happiness, especially since the first six months of your life revolves around taking care of a newbie. Exercising helps you with the stress of being a mom likes nothing else does. That’s why it’s so important to ease back into postpartum fitness for the long haul.
When to Start
Talk to your doctor about your postpartum fitness plan, and make sure to start slowly. Doctors generally recommend waiting around six to eight weeks depending on your birth experience. Rushing through healing to get your body back will only cause more injury and longer healing time.
Remember, your body and mind just went through some major changes. So it’s good to start off really slowly and give yourself enough healing time. If you’re an otherwise healthy and active individual, you can probably get back to postpartum exercise sooner.
Finding time and motivation to exercise will be the two major barriers to your postpartum fitness goals. Being able to exercise at home can be a huge lifesaver! Deal with shorter workouts initially and incorporate your baby into your exercise routine. You could use an app or fitness tracker to keep you motivated and ensure you’re getting enough exercise.
You can also join local mommy and me classes. Some exercise programs are designed for moms and their babies. Find out what works best for you and your baby. Sharing your experiences and exercising with other moms will also keep you motivated.
Finding Time to Work out With a Baby
Most new moms struggle to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy. Even you were active during your pregnancy including working a job that required a lot of time on your feet and managed healthy eating, still, you might gain a lot of weight. Many working moms continue to gain weight even with breastfeeding. The struggle with post-pregnancy weight loss is real, and you aren’t alone.
Juggling work and motherhood is a constant balancing act. Taking care of your health (both mental and physical) and making time for yourself is crucial during the early days of motherhood. The key is choosing a postpartum workout plan that you enjoy and brings harmony to your schedule and lifestyle. Here are some suggestions to manage time to exercise as a busy mom.
1. Be Clear on Your Non-Negotiables
It’s really important to get really clear on your non-negotiables rules and routines. For you, that could be the thirty minutes minimum of some type of going within. That could also be a walk at your favorite lake, yoga, mindfulness, reading an inspirational parenting book, journaling, or a bath with essential oils and healing salts. Whatever it is you should take this time very seriously, and you will feel more grounded, healthy, and joyful as a result.
2. Limit Your Screen Time
Exercise releases certain chemicals to the brain and body while TV watching releases chemicals that give the opposite effect. It is harder to sleep when you’ve just had the TV on—with all the horrors it can bring, interjected by flashing, and blaring advertisements. Even skipping an hour of screen time in the evening gives you the opportunity to incorporate exercise into your daily routines.
3. Make Meditation a Daily Habit
Try to wake up earlier to do a half-hour of Yoga to start your day. You may find it counter-intuitive, but this much is true, those early yoga sessions will keep you feeling awake and refreshed through most of the day. You will also be in a better mental state knowing that you have already exercised.
4. Wake up Ahead of Your Baby
When you wake up before your baby is up, you start the day proactively and intentionally. Take a shower and a few minutes to meditate. You will feel absolutely wondrous having a good workout first thing in the morning.
5. Have a Good Night Sleep
Taking care of a little baby is a lot of work. You will surprise yourself with how much movement there is in your life. Check your resting heart rate. The higher it is the less sleep you will need per night. The more you exercise, the lower your heart rate, and the more sleep you will need to recover. If you can’t get the sleep you need in one shot, take one or two naps during the day. Gauge your wakefulness and ability to concentrate on the task at hand. If you constantly feel tired for no reason and you are not ill, you need more sleep. Try eight hours per night and adjust accordingly.
6. Choose Moderate Exercise
Moderately brisk walking for 5 or 10 minutes times a day amounts to substantial exercise. It is one of the simplest ways to make a profound change in your life. If you walk for 5 or 10 minutes every day, you will end the week with 50 to 70 minutes of walking each week. Exercise is the biggest part of that change, but it’s only one part. You are also outside, feeling the weather and clearing your head.
7. Involve Your Baby in Your Workout
More often moms feel guilty about not making more time for their newborn baby. You can certainly live an active life that includes children and exercise. Yard work, gardening, and community dancing are activities that give you a chance to live a healthy life that includes children. If you want to weight train and you have young kids, you can always use them as your weights. They’ll think it’s a hilarious game, you’ll get some resistance training in. It’s a win-win.
Don’t feel guilty about not going to the gym more, or making more time for exercise. Allow yourself to accept that you need rest. Do exercise for recreation or procreation. Have fun living.
Breastfeeding and Postpartum Fitness
Breastfeeding is one of the fastest ways to lose the baby weight. If you are breastfeeding, be mindful of your calorie intake and overdoing workouts. It can often change the taste of your breast milk and even drop your milk supply.
Also, don’t jump into crash diets. This is just dangerous for both you and your baby. Consult with a nutritionist if you need help with your diet.
The fast few weeks after having a baby, you’ll be dealing with postpartum hormones, lack of sleep, baby’s different stages, and etc. It’s a lot to take on at once, so maybe lowering your expectations is a good idea.
Try not to expect fitness results too soon. How quickly you’ll be able to get back to your pre-pregnancy clothes depends largely on your activity level throughout your pregnancy. A big part of “bouncing back” is just genetics, so again don’t push yourself too hard and don’t be discouraged. The trick is to be patient and persistent with your postpartum fitness goals. It will pay off eventually.
Once you start to ease back into your postpartum fitness routine, remember to drink plenty of water. If you are going out for a walk with your baby, bring a water bottle with you to drink often. This will ensure that you are hydrated and well on track to being a healthy and happy mom.
You aren’t alone in this struggle, there are tons of others out there, as well. Look into a postpartum exercise boot camp for new moms. You can bring your little one, exercise, and meet other new moms who are a great source of support.
Everyone is different, so you need to try different things until you find something that works for you, your baby, and your schedule. Don’t get disheartened and surround yourself with people who understand and support you! Remember, it is the support group and energy that will keep you going!
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of your health is also taking care of the baby. Stop beating yourself up if you aren’t hitting your postpartum fitness goals on time. Exercise to feel good, and take sleep into account. If you’re doing that, your body will drop that weight when it’s ready.
Postpartum Exercises: Things You Should Know
Despite so many benefits, little attention has been given to exercise during the postpartum, and specific guidelines are essentially nonexistent. Here’s what you should know about your postpartum workout plan.
Consulting with Doctor or Midwife
Pregnancy causes considerable physical changes beyond stretch marks and weight gain. You should consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. In case you were active during pregnancy, you can continue doing whatever you were doing previously. You can increase the intensity gradually. If you had a cesarean section, consult with your doctor first and wait until you recover fully before beginning an exercise program.
See a nutritionist if you are looking for help with your diet. Try not to fall for magic teas or pills; losing the baby weight that way can be unsafe for you and your baby.
Know the Postpartum Workout Warning Signs
Pregnancy causes a lot of changes in your body. Learn about the most common post-pregnancy issues:
Diastasis Recti: This symptom occurs when the abdominal muscles in your abdomen separate during pregnancy to accommodate the growing uterus. Besides your frustration with your aesthetic appearance, you may have back pain and abdominal discomfort. Plank is one of the best exercises for diastasis recti. If you think you have a separation, see a physical therapist instructor in your area.
Pelvic Pain: Childbirth can put a huge strain on your pelvic floor muscle. You need to follow-up with your midwife as soon as possible.
Urinary Incontinence: Losing control of your bladder is another common post-pregnancy issue. Physical therapy has a good success rate for the treatment of urinary incontinence. You might also try Kegels for new moms. Proper instruction in pelvic floor muscle exercises is often critical for success.
Learn about the warning signs that you’re doing too much too early.
- Bleeding restarts after it had stopped
- You experience pain during exercise
- You feel exhausted
- Rapid heartbeat
- You feel muscular soreness
Postpartum Workout and Nutrition
Eating the right meal will heal your body quickly. Enjoy a variety of healthy foods, and make sure to include lots of vegetables, fruits, and proteins. Losing baby weight is a gradual process. Don’t fall for a quick fix like a strict diet and magic pills. Discuss with your doctor before you change your diet and exercise regimen.
The Do’s Don’ts of Postpartum Workout
Start out slowly. Gradually increase the length and intensity as time goes by. Be careful about abdominal workouts as your stomach muscles might be still weak. Pelvic floor workouts can actually worsen this condition. Wait until you receive your medical clearance to do exercises that go beyond gentle tummy-tightening.
Look for workout routines that are specifically for postpartum and designed to help you get your post-baby body back in shape.
Finally, be realistic, and don’t be discouraged with your weight loss efforts. Remember, it’s a long haul process.
The Bottom Line
Dedication and patience are key to your postpartum weight loss efforts. Your body undergoes a lot of changes throughout pregnancy. It might take some time, but with the right approach, you will get there eventually.
Remember this is not a competition. We all lose postpartum weight, but at different rates. Don’t think too far ahead and get overwhelmed — take it one day at a time. Overall healthy choices following nature’s laws are the only way to long-term health – even for postpartum fitness. You have to stay committed to it and never settle for being overweight. Try different methods and see what works for you, but don’t give up too easily. Good luck and enjoy your bundles of joy.