For some women the thought of exercising after birth is not even a consideration until much much later but for many women they can be very keen to return to exercise as soon as possible after giving birth. There can be a number of reasons and are not just limited to weight loss or “losing the mummy tummy”. For many people exercise is an important part of their routine, it can be a passion of theirs – in the form of different sports, or an important part of their mental health care, to name a few.
After a “straight forward” vaginal birth with minimal to no tearing many women feel they are able to return to exercise sometimes as soon as a few days after birth. And while that may be a possibility for some, it is generally not recommended unless you have been assessed by a qualified and trained healthcare provider and given the all clear.
This is for a number of reasons but chiefly your body is trying to recover from the ordeal of giving birth as well as all the changes that occurred during pregnancy. In the first weeks postpartum your uterus is trying to shrink back to size as well as recuperate from the wound area from where the placenta detached; your cervix is closing; your tummy muscles are starting to come back on; your pelvic floor is recovering from carrying the weight during pregnancy and from childbirth itself. It is important to remember your pelvic floor is a group of muscles and fascia and as with any injury should be given time to rest and heal. Your pelvic floor supports your internal organs and you want to ensure it is at its optimal function before returning to certain exercises such as impact or heavy lifting exercise.
Having said that, there are some simple and safe movements which can help you get going and feel more comfortable especially if you’re feeling a bit stiff and sore in other areas of your body after giving birth.