Postpartum training is a topic that may be on your mind as the birth of your child approaches. If you have already given birth, you may be seriously considering the various training options you have for getting back to your pre-pregnancy fitness level. Before you decide on a program and head to the gym, you need to make sure the exercises you choose are safe for your postpartum body. Factors such as the amount of time it has been since you gave birth and your starting fitness level will impact which options are safe for you.
Time since you gave birth
The list of safe exercises for postpartum training will change the farther away you get from giving birth. Immediately following childbirth, the list of safe exercises will be very short. Your doctor will likely give you permission to walk – as soon as any anesthesia you were given wears off – and not much more. You will likely be cleared to lift your baby but nothing heavier. In the weeks following childbirth, you will be able to ease into your normal routine. The process will be slower if you had a C-section because the incision will need time to heal. Walking and stretching are good options for getting in some movement before you are cleared to follow a full workout program. If you worked out during your pregnancy your doctor may be okay with you incorporating some of the exercises you did near the end of your pregnancy. The two factors that matter most in choosing when to add in various exercises are the advice of your doctor and the way you feel physically.
Starting fitness level
Your starting fitness level will also impact the list of exercises that are safe for you to engage in postpartum. If you did strength training throughout your pregnancy then you will likely be able to get back to strength training relatively quickly after giving birth. The safest place to start a postpartum training program is where you have been before. This does not mean, however, that you can never start something new. The time to start on a new program is once you get the ‘all-clear’ from your doctor. If you did not have complications when you gave birth then you will most likely get the ‘all-clear’ about six-weeks postpartum. At that point, the vast majority of exercises will be considered safe for you to engage in.
In the time following childbirth, you need to allow your doctor to guide you on what types of exercises are safe. Do what you can during the postpartum time period and keep in mind that you are not always going to be restricted in what you can do. When you are physically ready to start a new workout program, consider some of the options available from MAPS Fitness. MAPS Starter, MAPS Anywhere, and the Fit Mom Bundle are all great places to start your postpartum fitness journey once you are released by your doctor.