Introduction to Postnatal Exercise or Post Pregnancy Workout
Postnatal exercise is required to strengthen the pelvic muscle which is stressed during pregnancy and delivery. These muscles support the bladder, uterus, and bowel movement. So postnatal exercise will help regain the strength in these regions and reduce pain effectively.
Purpose of Postnatal Exercise or Post Pregnancy Workout
The purpose of postnatal exercise include
- Better control of urination
- Less frequent voiding
- Better bowel movement
Every labour and healing experience may be different. Commonly you may feel the following effects.
- Sore breasts
- Hot and cold flashes
- Urinary or fecal incontinence
- After pains
- Vaginal discharge
Apart from experiencing physical stresses mother’s may also go through postpartum depression. There is nothing serious to worry about all these changes as all these are common and normal changes for all and can be cured with designated care. Check our blog about overcoming postpartum depression.
Importance of Postnatal Exercise
Regular exercise has a number of health benefits on all adults and it is equally applicable to new mothers. As women during pregnancy do not involve in physical work, they tend to appear weak after delivery. This is where postnatal exercise benefits women.
Physical exercises can contribute to new mothers’ physical and mental wellbeing by
- Improving cardiovascular health and restoring muscle strength
- Help improve the strength of abdominal muscles that have been stressed during pregnancy
- Can firm up your body and induce weight loss
- Overcome postpartum depression and improves mood
Types of Postnatal Exercise
Pelvic Floor Eexercise
Pelvic muscles are the ones that support the baby in the womb and in the birthing process. As the pelvic floor is most affected during pregnancy, women are taught pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy and can be resumed immediately after delivery.
Following are the five main exercises that can improve your pelvic muscle strength.
- Split tabletop
- Bird dog
Back And Abdominal Exercise
Here are some exercises to strengthen your back and core. These exercises are considered to be low impact and can be followed after pregnancy.
- Kneeling extension
- Hip lifts
- Abdominal chair crunch
- Plank hold
- Side plank hold
Tips For Postnatal Exercise
Mentally one may be ready to kick-start the workouts, but it is better to start with a consultation from a practitioner. And also the following tips may be useful while regaining your strength.
- Give some time for your body to recover. All your muscles are put to stress during pregnancy and also during delivery. Your breasts may be heavy and put more weight on your back. So it’s better to relax for 2-3 weeks before you jump into the shoes.
- Avoid starting with heavy workouts. You may be exercising after a long time and one may have the tendency to pump more power at the very beginning. But never give such a heavy start. Move with a smooth beginning
- Choose the kind of workout you want to start with. Yoga could be a better start which can be complemented with pelvic and back exercises. Continue with these for a few weeks before you switch to swimming or aerobics
- In case you are opting to be trained by a professional, let him/her know about your pregnancy
- Avoid having more workouts for your abdomen. Be gentle with your abdomen as it has already been put to test during the entire carriage
- Choose the right outfit for exercise including your bra and shorts. Wearing a tight outfit can be disturbing and add to the existing pain
Have some limitations with your exercise during pregnancy. Take a note of the following points which indicate you of too much work.
- Feeling exhausted instead of energised after workout
- Prolonged soreness in your muscle
- Shaky muscles
- A morning resting heart rate that is ten beats higher than your normal heart rate
Wait For The Bleeding To Stop
Every woman bleeds after giving birth. This vaginal bleeding last for 24-36 days. This bleeding is called lochia and it’s a combination of tissues, mucous and blood which is shed by the womb for replacing it’s lining after birth. So better start your exercises after the bleeding period. Consult a doctor if you have prolonged bleeding.
Take It Easy For Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding immediately with an hour of birth may provide the best of nutrition to your new-born. The most common issue that mother’s face during initial breastfeeding is that, they may have sore nipples. Nipples may be so sensitive that mother may even jump when the baby starts to suck. Never take this as an issue and stop feeding. The sensitivity tends to fade away once the baby latches and starts sucking for some time.
Stay Hydrated And Eat Healthy Foods
There is a double requirement and benefit of foods and drinks postpartum. One, as you are breastfeeding the food you eat helps to grow your baby healthy and strong. Two, the food will help you reduce your postpartum weight gain.
To add to the details of diet, specific meals support various aspects of the body. Bygrandma offers a wide variety of diet ranges for both mother and kid to improve health status. Check out Bygrandma products to compliment you and your baby.
Rest is an important factor for the first few weeks after delivery. You could be overwhelmed to keep focus on your baby 24/7. But every mother needs to be as healthy as the baby. Pay equal attention to your health to that baby. Rest whenever you can, possibly during the same time when your baby does. A proper rest will give you energy to take care of your baby. Also, it will improve the secretion of breast milk. A proper rest exists you from any mental stress.
Signs That Tell Your Body Is Not Ready For Postnatal exercise
- Abdominal pain
- Vaginal pain
- Other fluid leakage
- Heaviness in your pelvic region or organs coming out of your vagina
- Urinary leakage
- Presence of tight scar tissue
How Is Exercising After Having A Baby Is Different?
You may feel pain in the belly as your uterus shrinks back to the same size pre pregnancy. Sore breasts, nipple cracks, stressed abdomen can be few factors that may discomfort you during exercise. In case of a cesarean birth, you may feel tired for a few days, as you might have lost blood during the process. Nothing to worry, all these are common signs post pregnancy and will heal soon.
Exercise is incredibly beneficial to your physical and mental health. Start your exercise procedures slowly and move steadily. Be cautious throughout the procedure. Consult a doctor for any discomfort or pain. Check for a healthy diet in Bygrandma, and try our products for a healthy diet.
Try our Sprouted Ragi Porridge for babies and Urad Dal Porridge for mothers.