Recently I have been getting a lot of questions about exercise after pregnancy. How soon after labor and delivery can you workout? What is an appropriate level of intensity for your first round of exercises after pregnancy. As I have mentioned in previous posts — every woman and situation is unique.
Personally, I was able to start working out intensely and leading boot camps 2.5 weeks after pregnancy. This was actually slightly later than with my first (I was running within two weeks of having my first). I am now 1 month postpartum and back up to my pre-pregnancy level of fitness (leading boot camps, doing sprint workouts, etc). However, keep in mind that I maintained a very intense level of pre-pregnancy and pregnancy fitness, and my doctor cleared me to workout at 2 weeks postpartum.
Here are some items to keep in mind as you start exercising after pregnancy:
- Every woman and situation is unique. Consult with your doctor to establish a realistic timeframe to start exercising again after pregnancy. For many women, 6 weeks is recommended (especially in the case of a C-section). For those who stay very fit during pregnancy, a shorter amount of time is often OK.
- When choosing your first exercise after pregnancy, consider what you are capable of and cut it in half. IE: if you think you can run 3 miles, run 1.5 and see how you feel the next day. If you feel great, increase your distance or intensity.
- If your postpartum bleeding (lochia) increases, that is a signal that you have overdone it. Scale back on your exercise and rest a bit more to let your body heal.
- Walking is a great activity for your first exercise after pregnancy. It is low impact, but still gets your body moving and can help to relieve the stress that comes from being the mother of a newborn.
Cole is 1 month old! In one sense the time flew, but in another sense, I cannot believe all that we have accomplished in the first month of his life, and I can’t imagine life without my little guy. Last week I put my house up for sale on Sunday (for sale by owner on Zillow), and on Monday I had a showing and an offer. CRAZY! So, now we are looking to either buy or build a new house that is a more appropriate size for our family. It’s very exciting, but also a little stressful. My husband also started a new job last week, so it’s been quite a time of transition for us. We are certainly counting our blessings and excited for the months ahead!
Emma is also turning two later this week. She has been a great big sister and I am excited to celebrate her birthday this weekend.