Getting fit and healthy post-pregnancy is often a priority for many women. However, not all exercises are suitable for people who have just given birth. Pregnancy physically alters your body, from your muscles to your ligaments, and even your bone structure.
After birth, you are vulnerable to injury, and you are also likely to be flooded by post-pregnancy hormones. These make your pelvic floor muscles lax, causing them to overstretch themselves.
One of the advantages of postnatal exercise is that it helps restore muscle strength and firmness. However, you cannot just start hitting the gym as soon as you return from the hospital. Keep reading for tips on postnatal fitness.
It would be best if you waited until the sixth-week mark before starting an exercise regimen. Women who had a Caesarean section might have to wait a little longer. Ease yourself into exercise with low impact activities like Kegels, swimming, walking, and yoga.
Kegels train your pelvic floor muscles into becoming taut again, and swimming helps because it reduces pressure on your pelvic floor and makes your body recover faster. Meanwhile, brisk walking allows you to retrain your posture and get some cardio.
Finally, yoga is an excellent way of strengthening your abdominal walls and your pelvic floor. This exercise, though, should strictly be for when you have passed the sixth-week mark.
It is understandable for people who had been active before pregnancy to be raring for high impact exercises again. However, if you do not give your body the time to heal, you might get into worse shape than when you started.
When you run, you hit the ground with an impact equivalent to two to three times your body weight. This activity strains your pelvic muscles and joints, which could result in vaginal prolapse or incontinence.
Similarly, avoid strength exercises—for instance, weightlifting causes uterine prolapse. Consult your ob-gyn for the ideal time to resume training or strenuous exercise.
You can encourage your body to heal faster by giving it all the support it needs. Have your feet measured and buy yourself “postnatal shoes” as feet tend to increase in size during pregnancy. Get trainers with heel and ankle support; these will help your feet get back to the sensation of carrying just your weight.
Invest in new pairs of sports bras as well. It will reduce stretch marks, improve your upper body posture, and prevent back pain. Be sure that you wear the appropriate bra size—otherwise, you might develop mastitis or breast inflammation.
Ensure you have breastfed or have pumped before exercising since full breasts can cause discomfort. Eat and drink before and after moving, as well. Finally, rest if you feel tired or drained. Do not strive for more than your body can take. Stop exercising if you feel pain, whether it is in your pelvic area or elsewhere.
Getting back to your routines before getting pregnant will take some time. Do not push your body to lose weight or be as active as it was before giving birth. You had to go through a process preparing your body for a baby—there is also a process afterward.
Help your pelvic floor get back to its firmness before pregnancy by getting an FDA-approved Kegel device, like The Kegelmaster™. This is the first and best vaginal exerciser on the market, and it is precisely for strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor. Explore our site for more information, or get in touch with us to learn more!