Return to exercise after having your baby
Laura, Founder of Ottilie Active, Mum of two and Physiotherapist, shares her expert advice on how to return to exercise after giving birth.
It is recommended that you wait 6-8 weeks before you return to exercise after having your baby…but what does that actually mean?
Basically it takes 6-8 weeks for your soft tissues to heal. So it doesn’t mean that at 6-8 weeks after having your baby you can head straight back to your regular CrossFit/Zumba/Spining class or even head out for a run. Equally it doesn’t mean you need to lie in bed or sit on the sofa completely still for those 6-8 weeks.
Ideally you want to use those weeks to let things heal but also to start GENTLE exercises such as some light stretching (you will find your back might get stiff and sore from lots of feeding and cuddling), your pelvic floor exercises, building up your walking and some pilates.
By doing this you will be keeping your body free from ache and pains whilst starting to restore your core ready for when you are able to start from “proper” exercise.
Once you do eventually feel ready to return to exercise after having your baby, and this certainly can be a lot later than 8 weeks (many ladies aren’t ready at that stage either physically and/or mentally), please be gradual. If you can find a postnatal exercise class in your area even better!
Have a look at the images below for a step by step guide for weeks 1-8 postpartum. Over the next few weeks we will be putting together some ideas on gentle stretches and basic pilates that you can start within those first few weeks of having your baby!