You want to get back in your routine and implement some self-care – but how soon can you get back to the grind post-pregnancy, and what should you focus on?
There are a number of basic exercises and stretches you can start incorporating back into your life soon after a nonsurgical childbirth to start rebuilding core strength and cardiovascular endurance.
One of our lead midwives and the Clinical Director out of Nashville, Margaret Buxton, recently spoke to Brit + Co. with tips about post-pregnancy exercise. Building on that, we wanted to share some of the Baby+Co. midwives’ favorite exercises that they recommend to new moms looking to get a little more active after their delivery!
Helps strengthen abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor
Lie on a hard surface, like a hardwood floor, bring your knees up and rest your feet on the floor.
Press your low back into the floor. As you do, imagine there’s a string on your pubic bone, pulling it up to towards your chest.
In this pelvic tilt, pull your navel towards your spine, feeling the two muscles on either side of your stomach coming back to the center. Do not lift your head, and keep your neck and shoulders relaxed. Hold for 2-3 seconds, relax, and do it again.
With each pelvic tilt and belly tightening, you are stretching your low back and strengthening your belly muscles and pelvic floor. Start with 10, and add a few more each day – eventually getting up to 100 reps once or twice a day.
Improves cardiovascular health
It sounds simple, but a simple walk around the block, or a mall or other indoor space, is a great way to ease back into a fitness routine. Gradually build distance and intensity depending on your pre-baby workout return and what feels right to you, but generally, we recommend getting at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week.
Pack baby in a front carrier for an extra boost, or push your stroller while they’re napping. (Remember to focus on tightening your abs and moving from your core rather than pushing from your shoulders!)
Back and Arm Stretch
Relieves tired back and arms
This stretch is a great relief after feedings and long (wonderful, but long!) hours holding your little one. Stand in a doorway. Place your palms and elbows on each side of the door way. Gently lean forward and feel a stretch over your chest and forearms.
This will relieve tension between your shoulders and help get good blood flow to your biceps.
Tones pelvic floor muscles; reduces post-birth incontinence
Use this exercise to tone your pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. Contract your pelvic floor muscles, as if you’re attempting to stop urinating midstream. Hold for up to 10 seconds and release, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day. Avoid Kegel exercises when urinating.
To learn more about new mom groups and community events at Baby+Co., contact us! Click the Contact button at the top of the page to learn more and have the Baby+Co. care team follow up with you.