Postpartum Body: Six Effective Exercises to Help You Get Back in Shape

Just after childbirth, the body of a nursing mother is never the same as it was before the act. The many physiological and physical changes that accompany pregnancy must take their toll. However, it is possible to return the body to a top physical level after birth by following certain workout plans and training. While there are specific conditions of the pregnancy that could make some exercises unsuitable or suitable, for a nursing mother, it is safe to say that the following exercises are generally helpful to a postpartum body trying to regain its shape.

1. Swimming

Swimming is an effective means of burning calories and toning up the muscles after childbirth. The woman shouldn’t do any vigorous swimming; instead, light aqua-jogging will do. Then possibly some gentle swimming laps. Half an hour of these swimming laps from fitness program can burn as much as 300 calories from the woman’s body. A piece of crucial advice is offered by experts, however. Women who underwent a caesarian section should stay away from the pool until the bleeding ceased totally. Even after the stoppage of bleeding, they must still consult with the doctor before diving into the pool.

2. Walking

This is one of the most recommended exercises for a postpartum mother. Brisk walking for about 30 minutes, two or three times daily, is of tremendous advantage to her body. It needn’t, and it shouldn’t be very long distances. A fairly brisk stroll through the street or neighborhood is enough to walk for a nursing mother. While walking, attention must also be given to the posture during motion. The mother is expected to keep the chin up, maintain a straight back, and hold the shoulders erect. All the muscles and joints should be allowed to flex themselves to a sufficient extent.

Nevertheless, the true judge of the exercise is the woman in question. Anything that induces excessive stress in her body should be stopped. The aim is to promote renewed agility, not impose stress.

3. Yoga

Yoga exercises come in handy for a nursing mother. It avails her not just the necessary physical benefits but also psychological relief. Speaking of psychological effects, pregnancy and childbirth can induce a certain mental meltdown in some mothers, a sort of depressive spell after delivery, commonly termed ‘Baby blues.’ Yoga can help tackle this syndrome by calming the nerves and ushering in tranquility. As for the physical benefit, the pelvic and abdominal muscles —- which have endured enormous responsibility during delivery —- stand to gain a lot. Kegel exercises can help these muscles recover. Besides these, yoga can also mitigate anxiety and stress.

4. Head lifts and Curl-ups

These exertions are particularly helpful to strengthen the lower back and tone the stomach muscles and abs. They’re also quite common. When doing the head lift, you lie flat on the floor (or mat), your arms straightened along your side. Now you bend your knees to point upwards. Then, raise your head slowly towards your knees until it can’t go further, and lower it slowly again. The curl-ups are a similar exercise but involve lifting not only the head but the entire torso (from head to waist) and lowering it again. While lifting the head (for head lifts) or torso ( for curl-ups), ensure you exhale. On the other hand, you must inhale on the way down. The proper inhalation and exhalation are just as important as the actual exertion, as it helps the breathing.

5. Kegels

This exercise helps principally in preventing incontinence. To clarify, incontinence is the inability of a person to exercise control over the bowels and urinary canal, causing unchecked defecation and urination. This lack of control is because the muscles that control the release of excreta and urine have become loose. Kegel exercises help to restore the contractive power of these muscles. The woman can perform this exercise when in the bathroom. She needs to try urinating, and while the stream of urine is being discharged, she should withhold it forcefully by contracting the muscles around the genital. When she has done it in this way, she can then do it even while not urinating. Performing this action about ten times in one session will strengthen the muscles that regulate discharges, thus preventing incontinence.

6. Deep breathing With Abdominal Contraction

This activity is mainly to boost respiratory function. It entails sitting upright and inhaling as deeply as possible while contracting (tightening) the abs. Then exhaling follows while relaxing the abs. To put it simply; contract the abdomen as you inhale, relax the abdomen as you exhale.

As mentioned earlier, these exercises must be indulged in only after a medical doctor’s approval, the reason being that the peculiar condition of the nursing mother may make certain exercises inappropriate or otherwise. But it is safe to state that postpartum exercises are always advantageous for granted the doctor has approved. 

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My name is Anne and I am a local mommy blogger ... Momee Friends is all about Long Island and all things local with the focus on family

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