Postpartum Exercise

Start planning your post-pregnancy fitness regimen now. You'll be back out there in no time!

You may be excited about the fact that you'll soon be able to lace up your sneakers (and see your feet again) and head outside for a run or to your favorite step class. Though you'll need to wait until your doctor gives you the OK to start to exercise again, you can start planning your post-pregnancy workouts now.

Start with walking. Take a 5-minute walk and then come home and see how you feel. If nothing bleeds, pulls, or aches, take a 6-minute walk tomorrow and a 7-minute walk the next day. During these first few forays out into the world, don't carry your baby in a frontpack or push him in a stroller because the strain may be too much. Ask your partner to take care of the baby while you go out or have your partner push or carry the baby.

Let your body tell you how much activity to do during the first few weeks. After you've walked comfortably and safely for a week or two, build up from there, adding some gentle upper-body stretching or a postpartum exercise class. If you're breastfeeding, forget about weight loss until a couple of weeks postpartum when your milk supply is firmly established. Some weight will come off automatically during the first few days as your body relinquishes the stored fluids it needed during pregnancy. The rest will come off gradually as you become more active. If you're nursing, your body needs 500 calories a day more than it needed before you conceived, so eat enough and eat healthfully.

Ashley was already a healthy eater and kept up her Pilates exercise routine during much of her pregnancy. She shares how she stayed fit after her baby and lost all of the weight she had gained by the time her son turned one.

Ready to get back in shape? Find out how long you should wait after giving birth before beginning a postpartum exercise routine.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

Parents Magazine


Be the first to comment!

All Topics in My Postpartum Body

Parents may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.