Pregnancy and childbirth, whether vaginal or via C-section, take a significant toll on a woman’s body. It’s crucial to allow sufficient time for healing and recovery before resuming exercise. The standard recommendation is to wait at least 6 weeks after giving birth before starting any exercise program.

Exercises to Avoid in the Early Postpartum Period

During the first 6 weeks after delivery, it’s best to avoid high-impact exercises, heavy lifting, and activities that put strain on the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. This includes:

Running or jogging
Jumping exercises
Crunches or sit-ups
Heavy weightlifting
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

These types of exercises can increase the risk of complications, such as uterine prolapse, urinary incontinence, and delayed healing of the perineal area or C-section incision.

Gentle Exercises to Start After 6 Weeks

Once you’ve reached the 6-week mark and your healthcare provider has cleared you for exercise, you can begin incorporating gentle activities into your routine. Some safe options include:

Walking
Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)
Gentle abdominal exercises (such as planks or bridges)
Low-impact aerobics
Yoga (with modifications as needed)
Swimming (once bleeding has stopped and the perineal area has healed)

It’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. If you experience any pain, discomfort, or leakage during or after exercise, stop and consult with your healthcare provider or a pelvic floor physical therapist.

When to Seek Medical Advice

If you have any concerns about your postpartum recovery or are unsure about when to start exercising, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances and health history.

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