When can I start exercise after having my baby?

Guidelines on when to start exercise after having your baby.

As fitness professionals we are advised that we can start working with postnatal women once they have had their postnatal GP check which is usually around 6-weeks for vaginal birth or 12-weeks for csection birth.

These guidelines are very generalised and don’t take into consideration the type of pregnancy or birth that you went through. They are a guideline that I follow for working with women but I also get A LOT more information before working with anyone.

Some things to consider are:

– SPD or Sacroiliac Joint Pain

– unexplained bleeding / bleeding during or after exercise

– lack of bladder/bowel control

– csection wound discomfort

– csection birth / emergency csection birth

– episiotomy, tears or painful perineum

– nerve damage

– high/low blood pressure

All of the above could mean you need to let your body rest and heal for a little bit long. But there are things you can do during this time, I will talk about these later…

So if you aren’t ready this early then please don’t worry about this. It could be months before you feel physically and mentally ready to exercise and that’s absolutely ok.

women in labour

Those early weeks allow for some initial healing, bleed reduction, bladder/bowel control improvement and pain reduction.

Beyond this timeframe, if you have ongoing pain, incontinence, pressure around your vagina, ongoing bleeding/clots or difficulty doing daily tasks then please seek help and contact your GP. I highly advise ANY mum to have an appointment with a Women’s Health Physio to check your pelvic health. There is a free directory here for the UK.

It’s hard to hold back when you feel ready but think about just some of the things that your incredible body has been through:

– 9-months of your growing an actual human

– Your baby and bump stretching your stomach muscles and putting pressure onto your pelvic floor

– Posture & muscle changes

– Hormones making your joints less stable

– Increase in breast size

– Increase in foot size

– Pelvic floor muscle and nerve damage from birth

– The Marathon That Is Birth!!

If you had an injury like a sprained ankle, you wouldn’t wait a few weeks and then head straight out to a run or a high impact fitness class, because it would cause even more damage. So something as big as birth shouldn’t be any different.

So what can I do before my GP check?

It’s time for reconnecting to your weakened and stretched muscles: core and pelvic floor.

You are guaranteed to be so much stronger down the line if you start this way.

Reconnecting to your body (with breathing, core connection practice and pelvic floor exercises) is the BEST place to start.

Check out the videos below and start reconnecting to your body daily. I’ve included some early postnatal workouts below too.

Daily Connection

Breathing

Practice this breathing morning and night in bed…

Pelvic Floor - How to & Why

Pelvic Floor Daily

The NHS Squeezy App is fab for helping you keep on track with your pelvic floor and telling you how many to do but also for coaching you through with the timing and breathing.

Use the videos below to do some pelvic floor and core connection…

Pelvic Floor & Core Connection Daily

I talk you through and show you how to practice core connection here…

Gentle Stretches

Do some gentle stretches whenever you get chance through the day…

If you are still recovering from having your baby, check our my pain relief and postnatal healing blog here.

Early Postnatal Workouts

For when you’re ready to exercise…

Practice pelvic floor and core connection as you increase your workouts gradually over time to really build your strength the right way. This is going to help you reach your goals and feel amazing!

You can download a FREE GUIDE on ‘Exercise After Having Your Baby’ check it out at the bottom of this page…

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