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Postpartum Exercise

When can I safely start working out?

So, you’re eager to lose the “baby weight” and start getting back into those pre-pregnancy jeans?

Your body has gone through many changes during pregnancy. Now that you’ve given birth, your body needs time to recover. Your blood volume needs to return to normal, your organs need to find their proper place in your body again and your pelvic floor needs to regain tightness.

Your doctor will usually recommend waiting 6 weeks or so (more if you gave birth via cesarean) before you start an exercise routine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be active and healthy.

Starting at about two weeks postpartum, go on a short, leisurely walk once or twice a day for 10 – 15 minutes at a time. Do not try to work up a sweat or tackle those hills in record time. This is not a cardio workout; these walks are meant to be a simple, weight bearing activity. Getting outside and breathing fresh air is really good for your mood and for your baby.

After you get clearance from your doctor to exercise, you may choose to involve your baby in your workout routine. You can even wear baby or push baby in a stroller during your leisurely walks. Many moms enjoy baby-wearing barre classes, stroller Pilates or mom/baby yoga. These activities are gentle, great for a mom’s health and give you the opportunity to meet other new moms.

Milk supply is generally not affected by exercise, as long as the workouts are mild to moderate and not too extreme. Be sure to stay well hydrated and eat a high protein snack after your workouts.

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