Exercising and being active is one of the best lifestyle habits for any age. But when you are expecting a baby and after childbirth, your health is of the utmost priority, and this is a phase where an active and healthy lifestyle can have long-term benefits for you and your baby. Thus, prenatal and postnatal exercise is essential. Living in a colder country like the USA, or Canada, it is difficult to sometimes go out in the open air for a walk or work out and stretch in natural air. But it is equally important to work out, especially in colder regions like the USA and Canada to keep the body warm and active. This article will discuss postnatal exercise, its benefits, how to begin, & the best postnatal exercise regime for you. So, get your yoga mats ready, and get, set, GO!
WHY IS A POSTNATAL EXERCISE ROUTINE IMPORTANT?
The most common reason people prefer post-pregnancy exercise is to get rid of the fat and weight they have accumulated during their pregnancy. Once you become a parent, you are responsible for taking care of and nurturing one more life of a baby who cannot take care of itself. Thus, being healthy is very important after delivery. In addition to this, exercising releases a chemical in your body called Endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for reducing pain perception, and it triggers a positive and happy feeling in the body.
IMPORTANT NOTE – In the post-natal stage, your comfort and recovery are as important as the health & taking care of your newborn baby. The stress of running around gathering things for a diaper change or apparel change for your baby can take a toll on your health and recovery. Thus, having a SuperBottoms Multipurpose Organiser by your bedside could prove to be a blessing for you.
Benefits of Postpartum Workouts
Yes, postpartum workouts help reduce fat and weight, but being healthy and fit is not just about body weight and fat. Here are some more reasons why postnatal exercise is essential.
- It improves cardiovascular health and benefits your heart in the long run.
- Exercising boosts your energy level and gives you a surge of fresh energy every day.
- It helps in reducing stress.
- It enables you to sleep better. This comes in handy for new moms who struggle with good sleep.
- It strengthens the core and abdominal muscles.
- It helps reduce the symptoms of postpartum depression.
- It helps in restoring the muscle strength of the body.
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Guidelines Before You Begin
- Following a routine and having a fixed time for your postnatal exercise is excellent, but if you feel like you are overexerting your body and yourself to do this, it is better to skip a day or do it later.
- Invest in a good support bra for postpartum exercise. Even with full support, all your pre-pregnancy bras will be of no use, as your breast size will change post-delivery again. Low support or a regular bra will be of no help either.
- Check with your doctor before you plan for a postnatal workout regime. If you are not ready yet, your doctor will advise you when to begin.
- Do not be too hard on yourself if you have a few mistakes and can’t get into the flow of working out from the very beginning. Instead, aim for small wins, keep going up from there and keep yourself motivated.
WHEN TO START POSTNATAL EXERCISE
No one solution fits all when it comes to postpartum exercise & workouts. When you should begin working out entirely depends on your body, delivery method, and your health condition after delivery.
Under normal circumstances, you can begin light exercise such as walking within a few days of childbirth and keep building from there depending on how your body responds. Your doctor will advise you to start getting active slowly within a few days of your delivery. But do not forget that your body is not the same as it was before childbirth. Your core and abdomen muscles weaken and take time to regain pre-pregnancy strength. So, avoid any high-impact sports or anything that can put too much pressure on your back, core or abdomen. (1)
IMPORTANT NOTE – The comfort of your newborn baby will lead to a calmer and more comfortable you! Thus, making them sleep comfortably is equally important. Making your child sleep in SuperBottoms Dry Feel Swaddle Wraps & Mulmul Swaddles will help you achieve this!
TYPES OF POSTNATAL EXERCISES
Postnatal exercise has a lot of different objectives to meet; thus, the types of postnatal exercise depend on one of the following goals they meet
- Strengthening the pelvic & abdominal floor
- Strengthening the core
- Postpartum weight loss
- Getting back to an active lifestyle
POSTNATAL PELVIC & ABDOMINAL FLOOR EXERCISES
There is a high chance you already know about pelvic floor exercise and have been doing it through your pregnancy to strengthen your pelvic and abdominal floor, also known as Kegel exercise, and prepare for vaginal birth. However, the pelvic floor is adversely affected after childbirth, so it is advised to start doing Kegels right after delivery.
Pelvic floor muscles are the ones that are used to stop the flow of urination. Tighten those pelvic floor muscles and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat throughout the day whenever possible for you.
POSTNATAL CARE EXERCISES
Postnatal yoga is trendy these days, but there is so much more to postnatal exercising than just yoga. What will help you gain the strength back depends on your body and the type of exercise you indulge in. Here are some suggested postnatal care exercises that you can try for yourself.
- Brisk walking – is the best way to gain strength and start getting active.
- Swimming – gives your whole body a workout and relaxes you.
- Aqua Aerobics – more intense than swimming with the same calming effect and full-body workout.
- Cycling – if you have been cycling before pregnancy or even during pregnancy, this is the best way to start getting active.
- Planks – to start gaining core strength.
SOME USEFUL POSTNATAL WORKOUTS
- The Cat-Cow Stretch is one of the most basic yoga poses and stretches that is also very common for expecting moms. This helps relieve the pressure off the back and helps with backache caused by bad posture while breastfeeding.
- Deep Breathing – This can be highly beneficial to help with stress and relaxation. Deep breathing in a sitting or lying down position can also help you improve your focus which your new mom brain might need in this phase.
- Light Aerobics – Light aerobics will help not just with faster weight loss and keeping your cardiovascular health better, but it will also help you build strength.
OVERCOMING THE BARRIERS & CHALLENGES
Exercising after pregnancy might not be the easiest thing to do. But with all the benefits that come along, it is best to give yourself a little extra push. Here are some tips that will help you overcome mental and physical barriers & challenges.
- Caring for a child can be exhausting. Ask for help from your partner and family so that you can find some time to exercise & get back in excellent health and shape after childbirth.
- Schedule a time & have a workout regime. If there is a fixed time, you will be better prepared and motivated to do it regularly.
- Put on your favourite music to pep you up.
- If you lack the motivation to do the prenatal exercise routine alone, look for someone to partner up with or look for nearby gyms that offer postnatal exercise batches.
If you believe that exercising will wear you off, well, on the contrary, postnatal exercise will help you gain the much-required strength to take care of a newborn child. So, keep going and do not give up! But also make sure to listen to your body. If you feel like working out is painful or exhausting, speak to your doctor about this.
SOME COMMON QUESTIONS PARENTS ASK
Q1 – How long should I wait to start the prenatal exercise if I have had a vaginal birth?
Exercises like Kegel, walking and deep breathing can be started within 2 – 4 days of vaginal birth. Depending upon your body and health, you can begin postnatal exercise within a week of giving birth vaginally.
Q2 – How long should I wait to start the prenatal exercise if I have had a C-section birth?
Ideally, the wait time for starting a workout after a C-section delivery is longer. This is because the body takes 4 – 6 weeks to recuperate from the surgery. Meanwhile, you can do the Kegel exercise, light walking and deep breathing.
Q3 – I have postpartum depression, and I do not feel like getting out of bed. Should I be working out?
Oh yes. In fact, exercising and working out will make you feel calmer and happier and will also help with the symptoms of postpartum depression.
Q4 – Are SuperBottoms products available only in India?
No. Although SuperBottoms is an Indian brand, it is suitable for and available all around the globe. Now, no matter what country you are in – India, Canada, The USA, Philippines, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Hawaii or even Iran or Iraq – SuperBottoms products are just a click away!