Pregnancy is something that not only changes our lives but also changes our bodies.
Everyone’s pregnancy journey is different, some people may experience very little change after giving birth, while others can go through immense change.
One thing we all have in common, is that we all want to get back into our routines as seamlessly as possible post-pregnancy.
This may include working out or going to the gym.
If you want to exercise after giving birth then there are a few things you need to consider.
In the post, we will be answering some FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about post-pregnancy fitness and what to be aware of.
**Disclaimer – We’re not medical professionals nor claim to be. You should consult with a doctor before attempting exercise after pregnancy.**
When can I start working out after giving birth?
The timeline for resuming exercise after giving birth varies for each woman and is influenced by factors such as:
- The type of delivery.
- Your overall health.
- If there were any complications during pregnancy.
Some healthcare providers recommend waiting until after the postpartum checkup.
This is typically conducted around six weeks after delivery, to assess the healing process and obtain clearance for exercise.
For those who had an uncomplicated pregnancy, light activities like walking or gentle stretching may be carried out earlier, sometimes within the first few days postpartum.
If you underwent a caesarean section or experienced complications, you may need to wait longer and begin with even more caution.
Regardless of the timeline, it’s crucial to prioritise gradual progression.
Everyone is different so you need to listen to your body.
It’s also important that you seek guidance from a healthcare professional to ensure a safe and effective return to exercise after childbirth.
Check out our guide to the best exercise apps to help you through your pregnancy journey.
When to start exercise after a normal delivery with stitches
There is no set time frame for when you should start to exercise after a normal delivery.
If you have had stitches then you’ll need to consult a healthcare professional before doing any strenuous exercise.
In the meantime, you could do gentle physical activity which includes:
- Pelvic Floor Exercises – Begin with gentle pelvic floor exercises to help strengthen the muscles in the pelvic area.
- Walking – Start with short walks and gradually increase the duration as you feel more comfortable. Walking is a low-impact exercise that can aid in your recovery.
- Deep Abdominal Muscle Exercises – Include gentle exercises to activate and strengthen your deep abdominal muscles. Avoid intense abdominal exercises initially.
- Posture and Alignment Exercises – Focus on maintaining good posture and alignment during daily activities. This can help prevent strain on your back and pelvis.
Always pay attention to any signs of discomfort, pain, or unusual bleeding.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to contact your healthcare provider promptly.
They can provide personalised guidance based on your specific situation and ensure that you’re ready for increased physical activity.
Remember that your recovery is unique, and individual factors such as the type of delivery, overall health, and any complications will influence the timing and intensity of postpartum exercise.
For more information please visit the NHS website which covers post-pregnancy exercise in depth.
How long does it take to regain fitness after pregnancy?
The time it takes to regain fitness after pregnancy varies for each individual.
That’s why it’s important to approach postpartum fitness with patience and focus on gradual progress.
Below is a general timeline of a typical fitness journey after pregnancy:
The first few weeks after childbirth are typically a time of rest and recovery.
Your first 6 weeks after pregnancy should be focused on rest before starting any formal exercise routine.
Light activities such as walking and gentle stretching may be introduced earlier, depending on your circumstances.
After receiving clearance from your healthcare provider, you can gradually begin low-impact exercises, pelvic floor exercises, and gentle strength training.
Do not focus on doing difficult core exercises such as sit-ups until around the 12-week mark.
This is even more important if you have had a caesarean with stitches as you can put strain on your stitches which impedes the healing process.
Low-impact exercises you could perform are:
- Swimming (wounds must be fully healed).
- Cycling on a level surface or indoor bike.
- Light weights.
- Gentle aerobics
3-6 Months and Beyond
As your body continues to recover, you can start incorporating more diverse exercises into your routine.
This may include moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercises, resistance training, and postpartum-specific workouts designed to address specific areas of concern.
Full recovery can take several months to a year or more.
By this time, you may return to or even exceed your pre-pregnancy fitness levels.
It’s important to listen to your body, pay attention to any lingering symptoms, and make adjustments to your routine as needed.
When can I exercise after a C-section?
Provided that there are no complications, you should be able to exercise after your c-section after your 6-8 week check.
It’s important to note that these timelines are different for each individual. If you don’t feel comfortable doing any exercise after pregnancy then you shouldn’t.
Does postpartum saggy belly go away?
The extent to which postpartum saggy belly goes away varies.
A lot of it has to do with factors such as:
- Skin elasticity.
- Weight gain during pregnancy.
- How quickly you return to a healthy lifestyle.
Your body will naturally go through changes in the postpartum period, and it takes time for the abdominal muscles to regain strength.
The skin may also gradually tighten over time which helps with any sagging skin.
Ensure you’re drinking plenty of water after pregnancy as staying well-hydrated is important for skin elasticity.
While measures may not eliminate sagging completely, they can help make a difference in some way.
It’s important to acknowledge that some changes in the body, such as stretched skin, may not fully return to the way they were before pregnancy.
Post-Pregnancy Fitness with POW8R
Life-changing events such as giving birth can have a huge impact on you.
That’s why it’s important to be mindful of your unique situation especially when it comes to getting back into an exercise routine post-pregnancy.
At POW8R we help empower you to take control of your heath goals and exercise routines.
Even for those of you who are pregnant or in the post-pregnancy stage – here’s one of our pregnancy workouts as a taster.
We’ve got hundreds of online classes you can access at any time and they are tailored for all levels of fitness.
If you’re interested then please take a look at our fitness app memberships available and join one of the fastest-growing online fitness lifestyle communities in the UK.