What are some Postpartum exercises?
Postpartum exercises can help women recover and regain strength after childbirth. However, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise routine to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for your specific situation.
Here are some postpartum exercises that are commonly recommended:
- Kegel exercises: Kegels target the pelvic floor muscles, which can become weakened during pregnancy and childbirth. Contract and hold the muscles as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine, then release. Repeat this exercise several times throughout the day.
- Deep belly breathing: Deep breathing exercises can help strengthen the abdominal muscles and promote relaxation. Inhale deeply, expanding your belly, then exhale slowly, pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Repeat this exercise while sitting or lying down.
- Pelvic tilts: Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Slowly tilt your pelvis upward, flattening your lower back against the floor, then release. This exercise helps strengthen the abdominal and lower back muscles.
- Core exercises: Gentle core exercises, such as pelvic curls or modified planks, can help strengthen the abdominal muscles. Start with basic exercises and gradually increase intensity as your body becomes stronger.
- Walking: Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be done at your own pace. Start with short walks and gradually increase the duration and intensity as you feel comfortable. Walking can help improve cardiovascular fitness and promote overall well-being.
- Gentle stretching: Incorporate gentle stretching exercises to relieve muscle tension and improve flexibility. Focus on stretching the major muscle groups, such as the legs, arms, back, and shoulders. Be mindful of any discomfort and avoid overstretching.
- Postnatal yoga or Pilates: Joining postnatal yoga or Pilates classes specifically designed for new mothers can be beneficial. These exercises focus on strengthening the core, improving posture, and promoting relaxation. Remember to listen to your body and progress gradually.
Postpartum exercise should be gentle and gradual, especially in the early weeks after childbirth. If you experience pain, excessive bleeding, or any unusual symptoms during or after exercise, consult your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized recommendations and guidance based on your individual circumstances.
To learn more about postpartum exercises, explore this resource from ACOG.
The PowerMom platform invites pregnant people to collect and contribute important pregnancy-related health information through app-based surveys and wearable sensors. PowerMom Connect is a new, paid sub-study within the PowerMom platform. It is focused on supporting mothers during the postpartum period.