How To Bounce Back After Pregnancy

Your Postpartum Workout Plan

Why women dont bounce back after pregnancy

Starting or resuming an exercise program after giving birth offers several benefits:

  • Helps you lose pregnancy weight and return to your pre-pregnancy shape

  • Tones muscles that may be weakened in childbirth

  • Gives you more energy, helps you sleep, and helps you manage stress

  • Improves how you feel about yourself and your body image

Theres no set guideline for when to begin working out again. Start when your doctor says its safe, and go at the pace he or she recommends. Keep in mind that your body needs to recover from pregnancy and heal from childbirth. Also, the relaxation of ligaments due to hormones may increase the risk of injury. So begin with simple exercises and build to a more active routine. Walking is one of the best ways to get your heart rate up and tone your body.

Many women enjoy the commitment and camaraderie of a postpartum exercise class at a gym. Others prefer to work out at home with their own equipment. Wherever you exercise, be sure to drink lots of water, especially if youre breastfeeding. You may want to schedule your workouts for after a breastfeeding session if your breasts are very full.

Returning To Exercise After Caesarean

A caesarean is a major operation and it will take you at least 6 weeks to heal. However, you can still do pelvic floor exercises from the first day after the birth. You can start to exercise your abdominal muscles as soon as you feel able to. Avoid sit ups, crunches or abdominal curls, as these put pressure on the scar.

Avoid lifting heavy weights. Tighten your tummy and keep your back straight if you need to lift something around the house.

After 6 to 8 weeks, you will still be healing inside. It is OK to start walking, do low-impact aerobics or cycle. Stop if there is any discomfort, pain or a pulling sensation on your scar and try again a couple of weeks later.

You should avoid high-impact exercise for 3 to 4 months after your caesarean. Don’t go swimming until the bleeding has stopped for 7 days and you’ve had your postnatal check with the doctor or obstetrician .

Exercise And Nutrition: How To Bounce Back After Pregnancy

Proper weight gain during pregnancy played an important role in your babys development. Several of the pounds you gained were lost at birth, including the weight of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid. But many women find that the remaining pounds tend to stick around, and their body takes a while to regain its shape. Thats where regular exercise and good nutrition come in.

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Your Pelvic Floor Changes

A post shared by Motherly on Mar 28, 2017 at 6:18am PDT

The muscles of your pelvis can change pretty dramatically after birth. In fact, most women experience at least some degree of incontience , general muscle weakness and even sexual discomfort. The unfortunately truth is that in the U.S., we dont do a great job of helping women get the support they need in this department. In Europe, for example, women are routinely referred to specialists to address any pelvic floor concerns.

What you can do

Kegels! Kegels are exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Check out this guide to doing them correctly.

See a pelvic floor physical therapist. Thats normal after you have a baby is not always true, and sometimes an expert can help make a dramatic difference in your life.

And What About The Baby Weight

Bouncing back after pregnancy...

A post shared by Motherly on Mar 30, 2017 at 6:36am PDT

Pretty quickly after giving birth, our culture has us wanting to get our pre-baby body back. But this is no easy task. The hormone changes alone can make weight loss pretty tricky, not to mention the added stress and schedule changes that come with a new little life to take care of. Have you heard the expression, it took you 9 months to gain the weight, dont expect to lose it over night? Its pretty trueresearch has found that it takes most women a year to lose the baby weight.

What you can do

Breastfeed. Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories/day, and many women find that breastfeeding helps them take the weight off more quickly.

Dont wait to get healthy but also ENJOY this time and dont stress. There is a really fine line to toe here. Research does indicate that baby weight that hangs on for longer than a year can become permanent weight gain. That being said, you are under a tremendous amount of stress as a new mom and adding this to the lot doesnt help. And, your body has just done an AH-MA-ZING thingthe last thing you need to do is feel bad about your body in any way. Heres some inspiration for embracing your beautiful body.

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How Your Body Changes After Pregnancy

When you feel ready to exercise, it’s very important to not to overdo it. Even if you’re feeling great after having your baby, your body will have gone through big changes and needs time to recover.

Labour and birth can cause physical problems including back pain and a leaky bladder, both of which can be made worse by vigorous exercise. Pregnancy hormones can affect your joints and ligaments for up to 6 months after the birth, putting you at greater risk of injury.

Your abdominal muscles may have separated during the pregnancy. They usually go back to normal after the birth, but sometimes they can stay separated. You will need to do exercises to strengthen these muscles to avoid back pain and injury.

Your pelvic floor the muscles and ligaments that support the bladder, uterus and bowel can be weakened after pregnancy, especially if you had a large baby or pushed for a long time.

Regular exercises will help to strengthen your pelvic floor. But you should take care not to do more damage by exercising too vigorously too soon. Be careful of using heavy weights or doing high-impact exercise, as this can increase your chance of prolapse .

How quickly you return to exercise depends on how fit you were before you had the baby, and what happened during the labour.

How Do I Get My Body To Bounce Back After Pregnancy

What Really Helps You Bounce Back After Pregnancy

  • Reasonable Expectations About Losing Baby Weight.
  • Breastfeeding to Burn Calories.
  • A Postpregnancy Workout with Core Strengthening Exercises.
  • Prenatal Vitamins, Because Your Body Still Needs the Nutrients.
  • Kegels to Strengthen Weakened Pelvic Floor Muscles.
  • Recommended Reading: Vagisil Safe While Pregnant

    Replace The Negative With A Positive

    When you start to hear that negative chatterbox inside you telling you what is wrong with your body, you have to tune that sucker out! We need to learn how to block out those negative thoughts right away, and practice self-love and replace those thoughts with positive affirmations. Heck, say them out loud as soon as you start hearing those FALSE things about your body. You are beautiful, inside and out.

    Here are some of my favorites:

    • My body is my own and I cant be compared to others.
    • This too shall pass, I am present and enjoying this season of my life
    • I trust, respect and am in awe of what my body is capable of, it created life.
    • I nurture myself and give my body what it needs right now so I can nurture others.
    • Women all over the world are experiencing this with me.
    • I am present, I feel grounded, confident, worthy and whole.

    It may take some time to completely block out those negative thoughts, but one day it will happen I promise! Practice, practice, practice. Little by little things will start to seem easier, and you will find yourself thinking more on the positive side about your body than the negative!

    Better After Baby: Coping With Postpartum Depletion + How You Can Bounce Back

    Looking To Bounce Back After Pregnancy? Check Out These Simple Workouts!

    Postpartum depletion describes the way new mothers feel for months and even years after baby is born.

    ByDiana Spalding, CNM April 18, 2017

    A quick storya little over a year ago, I was walking out of a play gym class with my toddler and newborn, when my toddler ran out towards the parking lot. Dont worry, I caught him. But not without skinning both my knees and almost dropping my newborn. It turned out fine, but all I could do in that moment was sit on the sidewalk and cry.

    I was just so, so tired. I felt depleted, overwhelmed and quite frankly, a little lost.

    And thats when a moman angelcame over to me, bent down to help me up and said the words I will never, ever forget

    Youre not doing it wrong. Its just that hard.

    Still makes me cry to this day.

    Because the thing is, we moms are simply too hard on ourselves. We do this massively incredible task of growing and birthing a baby, and then expect to snap back to being even more than we were before. We need to really start thinking and talking about the impact pregnancy has on us. Its wonderful, absolutely. But its hard.

    Understanding why exactly we feel so depleted may be the first step in figuring out how to feel better.

    Postpartum depletion isnt a medical term per se, but a way to describe the way new motherstheir bodies + their brainsfeel for months and even years after baby is born.

    So lets get science-y

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    A Final Word Of Caution

    No matter how eager you are to lose your baby fat, experts caution against any activities that put major stress on your joints — such as jogging, jumping, or running — for at least six to eight weeks. Why?

    “During pregnancy you produce a hormone called relaxin, which actually makes joints loose and consequently more prone to injury, and you will still have significant amounts of this hormone in your blood for at least several weeks after childbirth,” says Fleming.

    Put too much stress on joints during this time, she says, and you could end up sidelined for months with a serous injury.

    Moreover, regardless of what exercises you do, pay close attention to the warning signs of trouble and seek medical attention if any of these symptoms appear:

    • Excessive bleeding

    How I Got My Body Back After Baby #2

    I constantly get asked how I snapped back into shape within two weeks after giving birth to my second baby. For starters, it was not easy by ANY means. I credit staying active throughout my entire pregnancy for allowing me to bounce back so easily. People can say that its genes, age, how many babies Ive had, or whatever, but to me that is all complete bullshit. Hard work did the trick and the thing about it is that many women are not willing to put in the time and effort that it takes and then there are some that cant due to health reasons, high risk pregnancy, etc. However, if you are physically able to do it, why not?

    I wanted to stay fit throughout my pregnancy not only for myself, but because I owed it to my growing baby. So, I worked out for 5 days a week for an hour with 30 minutes of focus being on cardio and the other 30 minutes being on lifting weights. By keeping up this routine, my muscles stayed intact and as soon as I delivered, muscle memory took over and my body remembered exactly how it used to look like. Amazing how our bodies work, right?

    Most of you already know that I used my own prenatal workout program to stay fit throughout my pregnancy which you can view here. However, I want to share with you a few important things that helped me along the way to getting my body back.

    Here are some of my key tips:

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    How Is Mommy Makeover Different

    In some ways, Mommy Makeovers and these after-baby bounce backs are thematically linked. There is, for mothers especially, a certain amount of pressure to look slim and youthful no matter what life may throw at them. Its not for everyone.

    But for some mothers, that desire comes at least partially from within. For moms who want to look more youthful again, Mommy Makeovers can provide a realistic and valuable tool. There are simply some ways that the body changes that cannot be repaired through diet or exercise:

    • Pregnancy, child birth, and motherhood can all conspire to create a significant amount of excess skin around the tummy area
    • In combination with natural factors such as aging, pregnancy and nursing can change the size, shape, and orientation of the breasts
    • Pregnancy and motherhood can also change the way your body processes fat this leaves many mothers with stubborn areas of fat that dont respond to lifestyle choices

    For many mothers who are thinking about a Mommy Makeover, the purpose of the procedure is not necessarily to look pretty againor anything quite that undeveloped. Rather, most patients express a desire to return their bodies to a youthful state that they feel motherhood may have taken prematurely.

    In other words, its about enjoying a youthfulnessreclaiming it even.

    After Pregnancy: Working Off The Pounds

    Diary of a Fit Mommy: How to Bounce Back After Pregnancy

    While postpartum dieting may be off-limits for awhile, exercise is highly recommended. Experts say it can not only help you get your body back, but also increase energy and may even reduce risks of postpartum depression.

    In a paper published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, experts reported mounting evidence suggesting that exercise not only benefits depressive symptoms in general but pointed to two studies indicating it may offer benefits specifically for women with postpartum depression.

    To this end, many groups, including American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have not only significantly loosened the reins on the number of activities a new mom can safely do but have also begun promoting exercise as a key factor in the health of new moms.


    “There used to be many more ‘don’ts’ about exercising after pregnancy, now there are many more ‘dos,'” says Fleming.

    But how do you know if you’re ready to begin an exercise program? ACOG recommends that you check with your doctor before starting, especially if you had a complicated pregnancy or delivery. That said, most experts agree you are free to begin a mild workout as soon as you feel up to it — and you can keep up with the activity level.

    “That’s key, being able to keep up with whatever program you start. If you can’t then either the program is too rigorous, or you’re just not ready. Exercise should make you feel better, not worse,” says Riley.

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    What Really Helps You Bounce Back After Pregnancy

    Motherhood changes you inside and out. After having a baby, your clothing size, breast shape, hip width and even your shoe size might be different. These changes are evidence of the work your body has done. As you adjust to your new life with baby, its important to remember that your mind and emotions are also changing, so be sure to give yourself the support you need.

    Resuming Your Sex Life

    The elastic walls of the vagina stretch quite a bit during childbirth, but they do spring back into place. So you can resume sexual intercourse when you feel ready and have gotten the go-ahead from your doctor. If youre breastfeeding, you may experience less lubrication because nursing causes your body to produce less estrogen. Having a vaginal lubricant available can help if you feel discomfort.

    Also Check: Is Vagisil Safe During Pregnancy

    Why You Cant Just Bounce Back Postpartum Recovery

    Having a baby will change your life forever. Im sure we all heard these words before we had children but didnt really appreciate what they meant until we had our own kids to wrangle. I think the same concept applies when thinking about how pregnancy and childbirth changes our bodies. We dont realise how much things will change until we experience it for ourselves. Instagram is full of images of yummy mummies looking fit and fabulous within weeks of childbirth. This might be the case for a lucky few, but for most women, postnatal recovery actually takes far more effort, time and tears than they ever realised.

    Its actually a bit odd that we think our bodies can just bounce back from pregnancy and childbirth. After any other significant body change, like an injury or surgery, we normally seek rehabilitation as a matter of course. For example, if you had shoulder surgery or even a sprained ankle, you would be given a series of exercises to restore your movement and strength, gradually progressing to functional activities. So why do we treat recovery from pregnancy and birth differently? After all, our bodies spent 40 weeks growing another human being, and to do this they had to go through some enormous changes. And then there are the changes related to childbirth

    So, here are my top 3 reasons why you may need postnatal rehabilitation and what you can do to help your recovery.

    1. It takes time for the body to return to normal after pregnancy.

    What can you do to help?

    Reasonable Expectations About Losing Baby Weight

    Your Body After Pregnancy | Kaiser Permanente

    Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Serena Williams all showed off their slim postpartum bodies just months after giving birth. If they can get their pre-baby figures back in a snap, why cant you? While its normal to be frustrated with your postpartum body , its also important to put it in perspective. Its unrealistic to compare yourself to celebrities who have personal trainers and personal chefs, says Lawson. Your body changes over time it takes a while to get close to your prepregnancy shape and size. Whats reasonable? Expect to naturally lose some weight before your first postpartum doctors visit . After that, if you stayed within your doctors recommendation for pregnancy weight gain, its still normal to have 10 to 15 more pounds to lose in the months ahead.

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