We know that exercise can benefit women during pregnancy. But what about after your baby is born?
The Mayo Clinic reports that exercising after pregnancy can help you get back to feeling your best.
Let’s face it, working out is likely low on your list of priorities after nine months of pregnancy and the birth of your child. The demands of caring for a new baby, family obligations and considering when or if you want to return to work are likely occupying your mind.
But the Mayo Clinic reports that exercise after pregnancy is among the best things you can do. Consistent exercise after pregnancy can:
- Help you lose your baby weight, especially if you also reduce your calorie intake.
- Bolster your cardiovascular system.
- Help you regain muscle tone and strength.
- Better condition abdominal muscles.
- Increase your energy.
- Improve mood.
- Provide stress relief.
- Help to prevent or recover from postpartum depression.
An added bonus: Adding exercise to your daily routine allows you to set a positive example for your child – today and for years to come.
Exercise and breast-feeding:
Mayo officials said exercise for most women does not adversely affect breast milk composition, or volume. Exercise also does not affect the growth of a nursing baby.
Some research indicates high-level exercise can cause lactic acid to form in breast milk. This may produce a sour taste that your child may not like.
If you are breast-feeding, you can avoid this problem by adhering to more moderate workouts. Remember to drink lots of fluids both during and after your workout.
If you want to make vigorous exercise a priority during the early stages of breast-feeding, you may want to feed your baby before you workout. Also, you can pump milk before your workout and feed your child your breast milk after you are done exercising.
This approach helps you feel comfortable during exercise.
Exercise impacts breast milk less after you have been breast-feeding for four or five months.
When to Start Exercising:
For years, doctors told women to wait six weeks or longer after giving birth before starting to exercise. Today, as long as you had a vaginal delivery without complications, it’s typically safe to start exercising as soon as you feel up to it.
If you underwent a C-section, vaginal repair or had other complications during birth, it’s best to speak with your health care provider about when is the best time to begin exercising.
Federal health officials recommend at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate aerobic activity, spread through the week.
Here are some exercise guidelines for new mothers:
- Warm up and cool down.
- Start slowly and gradually increase workout pace.
- Stay hydrated.
- Wear a bra with plenty of support. Use nursing pads if you are breast-feeding in case of leakage.
- If you feel any pain, stop your workout.
- Avoid becoming too fatigued.
When you are ready, start your return to exercise with a simple walk.
Finding the time for exercise can be a challenge after you have given birth. There will be days when you are just too tired. That’s normal – but don’t ignore the need for physical activity. Make time for exercise. Call a friend to workout with you. Get your partner involved too.
At Zero Gravity Fitness, we understand that exercise after giving birth is not easy. But in the long run, working out is good for you and your baby.
Contact Zero Gravity Fitness today to learn how we can help.