You’re tired and sore! But, there’s also another thought at the back of your mind. You have to shed all the baby weight as soon as you can.
Getting rid of pregnancy weight is not impossible but also not very easy. The main reason is you cannot jump aboard any exercise routine or program like you used to earlier. Your body is still recovering and hence you have to go slow. This article helps you get started with your post-pregnancy exercise.
The Benefits of Exercise
Exercise has various benefits. It helps shed the pounds packed on during pregnancy. It improves cardiovascular health and fitness. It conditions and strengthens the different muscle groups affected because of childbearing. An active lifestyle post delivery is useful to deal with mood swings, stress, depression and energy slumps in the postpartum period.
When is the right time to start?
Pregnancy and childbirth alter your life drastically. Women who have had a vaginal birth should wait at least 4 weeks while those who have had a C-section should wait minimum 10 weeks before they start exercising. The body is still in the recovery mode and exerting it beyond its capacity can cause complications. Before you start, get a green signal from your gynecologist.
Tips to get started
- Chalk out a schedule to match your baby’s. Follow it.
- Weight loss is not the only exercise goal. You should also target energy building, good posture, endurance and strength.
- Whatever exercise you choose start gradually both in terms of pace and duration. You can increase gradually.
- During pregnancy, the body releases a hormone called Relaxin. It loosens joints and muscles and helps it stretch to accommodate the growing baby. Therefore, start with low-intensity exercises. Avoid weight lifting and intense Cardio exercises. Yoga is a good option. Also be cautious when performing exercise. The loosened joints and ligaments make you more susceptible to serious injury even in case of minor accidents.
- Perform warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after every exercise routine.
- Keep the body hydrated by drinking a lot of water.
- Wear appropriate exercise clothing. The breasts feel heavier and also tend to get sore due to breastfeeding. Wear a cotton, wide strapped well fitting nursing bra for better support when breastfeeding.
- A common concern with exercise is its impact on breastfeeding. Research states exercise, especially high intensity exercise, results in the accumulation of lactic acid in breast milk. This alters the flavor of breast milk giving it a sour taste. Drinking plenty of water will solve the problem. Also you could think of nursing your baby before you exercise.
- If you feel excessively tired or experience pain, stop exercising. You may be doing the exercise wrong or you’re overdoing it.
- Join an exercise class run by an instructor trained and certified in postpartum exercises.
You should stop exercising and consult your doctor immediately if after or during exercise Vaginal bleeding gets heavier and is of a bright red color and if you experience headaches.