Why you should exercise after giving birth?

  • core recovery allows our spine to regain stability
  • reduction of postnatal injury – leg cramps, oedema, CTS, altered blood pressure, constipation
  • pelvic floor – reduces incontinence
  • posture – reduced lower back pain
  • improves our stamina and energy levels
  • natural high – improved positive mood
  • improves sleep – exercise results in our body releasing relaxing hormones
  • fat burning – activity increase metabolic rate, which helps burn fat
  • improved self-image – reduced post natal blues

When is it safe to exercise?

There are certain conditions after you've had a baby when you should seek medical advice before starting an exercise programme. I've listed these below. However, in general, if you had a natural birth you can:

  • start exercising your core and pelvic floor 24 hours after birth (gently)
  • start active (walking/small jogs/body weight exercises) 6 weeks after giving birth

If you had a caesarean section you can:

  • start exercising your core and pelvic floor as soon as you feel like you are healing well
  • start active (walking/small jogs/body weight exercises) 12 weeks after giving birth

Exercises to avoid:

  • —Plyometric
  • —High intensity
  • —High impact
  • —General population classes (post birth classes for mums are not included in this)
  • —Prolonged stretches
  • —Flexion exercises (bending forwards)

If you have one of the below conditions, it is advisable to seek medical advice before commencing an exercise programme:

  • —Severe or chronic conditions
  • —Poorly controlled type 1 diabetes
  • —Extreme morbid obesity
  • —Extreme low weight
  • —History of sedentary lifestyle
  • —Poorly controlled hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • —Poorly controlled thyroid disease
  • —Heavy smoking
  • —Before 6 weeks if natural birth
  • —Before 12 weeks if caesarean section
  • —Any unstable condition
  • —Resting tachycardia
  • —Blood pressure over 160/100

Core/Pelvic Floor Exercises:

 Four Point Vacuum -> lifting hands -> raising arms -> raising legs (baby underneath)

Four Point Vacuum -> lifting hands -> raising arms -> raising legs (baby underneath)

 Lying on back, squeezing core -> Sliding Leg along floor -> Holding one leg above floor and sliding other leg -> Holding both legs above floor and sliding both back and forth (baby on chest)

Lying on back, squeezing core -> Sliding Leg along floor -> Holding one leg above floor and sliding other leg -> Holding both legs above floor and sliding both back and forth (baby on chest)

 Glute Bridge -> hands pressed down into floor -> lifting hips and squeezing core, pelvic floor and glutes. Gently lower. (baby on chest)

Glute Bridge -> hands pressed down into floor -> lifting hips and squeezing core, pelvic floor and glutes. Gently lower. (baby on chest)