Following on from my theme of ante and postnatal blog posts on the first of every month, this month we have the Postnatal exercise guide! If you’re currently pregnant, you can check out the previous Complete Guide to Exercise in Pregnancy here.
Postnatal exercise summary
Here are the basics of the blog posts on postnatal exercise! Read each blog post (linked below) for more in-depth details and advice. Please remember this does not replace any professional advice, nor is it individualised to you or your situation. If in doubt, seek a healthcare professional.
- Strength training: Strength training and resistance training can commence from around 6 weeks postpartum (in the absence of any complications/contraindications). This should begin with body weight exercises first and progress to weights when ready.
- Cardio exercise: Low impact exercise such as walking can be started immediately and progressed as you feel fit to. Power walking and walking uphill can all build aerobic exercise. Cycling can commence when you feel able to sit on a saddle and swimming can commence when lochia has stopped (postnatal bleeding). Breaststroke may be avoided initially.
- What about running? Impact exercise should be delayed for at least 3 months postpartum. Refer to the Return to Postnatal Running blog post below.
- How much exercise? You should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. You can divide the 150 minutes into 30-minute workouts on 5 days of the week or into smaller 10-minute sessions throughout each day. You should also have 2 strength training sessions per week.
- How do I start? Begin with your pelvic floor muscle exercises and core engagement exercises. These should begin as soon as possible (catheter removed) and be completed about 3 x per day for as long as possible.
Links to Postnatal blog posts
Here you will find a range of different postnatal exercise topics. Head to each link for much more detail and evidence-based research to accompany each of the topics.
Exercise after a c-section and when to get started
All you need to know about your pelvic floor
Links to Postnatal pilates videos
I have created a small series of Postnatal specific Pilates videos. These videos are safe for anyone postnatal and have been designed in a progressive manner ie. start with the first video in the very early stages and progress through them in order. However, further down the line postnatally you can complete any video as there is always a benefit to re-visiting the basics and working on core and body strength. They are also an ideal warm up to other workouts in the postnatal period.
I’d love to know how you are getting on with your postnatal journey! Leave me a comment below or via my social media channels on Instagram or Facebook!