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Postpartum Exercises for New Moms!

Though a new baby in the family is a time for delight in a few cases, the bodily changes a mother goes through during pregnancy can add up to the post-pregnancy blues. Do not worry about this darling, as this is entirely normal in all new mothers.

If you have additional help at home, all you need to do is shake up, grab those sports shoes, and head towards the nearest fitness center to swing back to your body goals. If you are caught at home with all the baby stuff, you don’t need to worry about it either since we have listed down for you few postpartum exercises or exercises after delivery that you can do at home and shed that pregnancy weight and lethargy. After all, postnatal exercises are a part of postnatal care.  

What is the mommy tummy?

Diastasis recti is a separation of abdominal muscles (commonly known as abs) that affects many women after pregnancy. This causes a mommy tummy. It makes women self-conscious causing them to look pregnant even 6 months after the baby delivery.

What are the postpartum exercises for new mothers?

Before you start with your postpartum or postnatal exercises, there are a few things that you should keep in mind, like: Don’t jump into the workout routine. Instead start your postpartum workouts slowly and steadily.

  • Do not start your workout plan unless your postpartum bleeding stops.
  • If you are breastfeeding then avoid physically stressing yourself.
  • Do not exert too much pressure if your pelvic floor is weak. Instead, work on strengthening it.
  • Work on repairing the rectus abdominals (the six-pack muscles).
  • Take care of the weak and wobbly joints.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the workout.
  • Take rest as much as you can after the workout.
  • Consult with your healthcare specialist for recommendations about the workout regime.

Once your doctor gives you the OK signal to start with the postpartum exercise, you can start with a few of the exercises listed below.

Walking

Pregnant or not, walking is said to be one of the best forms of exercises. Walking burns 80-160 calories per mile. It is safe and a very convenient form of exercise. All you have to do is follow the instructions given by the nursing staff to get out of bed after the delivery and start walking as soon as possible.

Sit-backs

You can start with this exercise about 1 - 2 weeks after the delivery.

  • Without feeling weak or unsteady, sit with your knees bent.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and both your arms stretched out in front of you.
  • Lean back as far as you can.
  • Slowly increase the distance you lean back as you build up strength.
  • Soon you will be able to lean all the way to the floor.

Abdominal strengthening exercises

Abdominal breathing

Deep abdominal breathing is not just for relaxing you, but it also helps you regain the strength in your abdominal muscles.

  • Relax and lie down comfortably on a flat surface with your knees bent.
  • Keep your hands on the abdomen, and start taking deep breaths.
  • Take a deep breath (inhale) and hold for a count of five. While doing so your abdomen and hands should rise upward, and the abdominal muscles should stretch outward.
  • Now exhale, and hold for a count of five. Here, the abdomen and hands should fall downward.
  • Repeat this 5-10 times.

Ankle circles

This exercise aims to enhance circulation. It is a very simple yet very effective form of exercise. You can do this exercise anytime, anywhere and in any position such as sitting, lying down, etc.

  • Stretch your leg and make 10 circles with your ankles clockwise, then repeat this counter-clockwise.
  • Repeat this 3 to 5 times.

Pelvic tilt

This form of exercise strengthening the abdominal muscles is the fundamental move practiced in yoga and pilates. It works on the transverse muscles and tightens them up.

  • Lie flat on your back and bent your knees.
  • Keep your hands gently on the lower abdomen and contract the muscles there (breath normally).
  • Keeping the shoulders relaxed, roll up the pelvis till your lower back is flat on the floor.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and then relax.
  • Repeat this 5 times.
  • Remember to keep the focus on the pelvic muscles at all times without involving the glutes.

Kegels or pelvic floor exercises

There is more to kegel exercises than just strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor. It helps in sorting out urinary incontinence, helps in attaining orgasm, and it strengthens the core as well. Pelvic floor muscles are weakened during childbirth, therefore, Kegels or pelvic floor exercises should be done right after birth (on doctor’s advice) to reverse it.

  • Gently tighten and then relax the muscles of your perineum (pelvic floor muscles).
  • Lie down in a comfortable position (can be done lying down, sitting or standing).
  • Contract your pelvic muscles. Begin with 2 - 3 contractions per session, moving up to 5 and then to 10 seconds.
  • Hold each contraction for 10 seconds.
  • Do 20 reps three times per day.

More than shedding the pregnancy weight, these exercises help in strengthening and restoring the core after pregnancy which makes you more active, fit, and correct your posture. So, make them a part of your daily routine, and find a way back to regain your shape!

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