Things to Consider When Trying to Get Fit After Giving Birth

Bringing new life into the world is an amazing experience for everyone involved. Parents spend months preparing for the baby by attending prenatal classes, reading parenting books, and nesting. After the baby arrives, the focus is on the baby’s health and the family’s adjustment to caring for another human life. 

Unfortunately, many parents solely focus on the well-being of their new baby and forget to add their own well-being into their new routines. It is easy to forget that the mother has experienced several physical and emotional shifts in less than a year. Mothers experience weight gain, weight loss, cut muscles, and even a change in sleep patterns, which can wreak havoc on a mother’s ability to care for herself and her growing family properly. Although time may be a limited commodity now that a new baby is in the home, we encourage new mothers to keep their personal health at the forefront, so we’re sharing a few things to consider when trying to get fit after giving birth. 

Communicate with your doctor

Communication with your doctor or practitioner is the first step to creating a safe and healthy plan for getting fit after having a baby. Depending on your delivery type, your doctor will tell you how long you should wait before engaging in physical activity. says, “Even though labor and vaginal birth can be hard work, they are generally easier on a woman’s body than a cesarean. Recovery after vaginal birth is usually shorter and less painful than after a C-section.

When you work with an experienced trainer or physical therapist, they may request medical notes or communication with your doctor to ensure that you can safely begin training. 

Hire a professional trainer 

Getting in shape (in general) can be challenging, especially if you are just starting your fitness journey and are attempting to maintain a consistent schedule; however, weeks of sleep deprivation, nursing, and the total adjustment of having a baby introduce an entirely different challenge to getting fit. In most cases, hiring a professional trainer certified in pre and post-natal fitness is best to help you get on track. Do your research and find a trainer who will understand your goals and current needs (flexible scheduling, training at your home or nearby) and collaborate to devise a plan of action. If you can find a trainer that works closely with a physical therapist, this is your best course of action as well. A trainer and therapist who work closely together will give you the best chance of getting fit safely and healthily. 

It starts with your core

Pregnancy impacts your core, and while it may be tempting to start working those abs, you may need to ask your doctor if you had diastasis recti, meaning that your belly sticks out because the space between your left and right belly muscles has widened due to pregnancy. The condition is prevalent, but if it’s significant (more than two fingers in size), you may need to have it repaired. 

Take baby steps

Even if you cannot work out immediately after giving birth, you can take baby steps – literally– by walking. Mayo Clinic shares:

Walking is a great start for many women. That could be a 10-minute stroll around the block, with or without your baby. Build up as you feel able, aiming for 20 to 30 minutes a day. By six weeks postpartum, getting 150 minutes of exercise a week is a good goal, just like for all adults. Moms who had complications or delivered by C-section may need to take it more slowly. A doctor, midwife or physical therapist can give personalized advice.

A lot has changed in a short amount of time! We encourage you to understand that getting back into shape may require you to take it slower than the norm. We want you to be proactive, but don’t push yourself too far too soon. Embrace the process and focus on connecting and getting in touch with your body.

Find a support group

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You are not alone. Many mom groups offer support, share information, and even plan events for moms trying to get in shape and navigate a new life and body. Some mom groups have solo sessions and have “Mommy & Me” sessions, where you can bring your baby, which is super helpful. Group workout sessions are also beneficial in motivating people and may even bring out a healthy competitive side in you and the others who participate. 

Take care of yourself in other ways

Any major life change has the potential to bring new or different life challenges. With a new baby, you may experience sleep deprivation, stress, and a host of other challenges that get in the way of you feeling and looking good. Massage therapy is a dual source of both physical and mental relief and recovery and should be incorporated into your fitness plan. Beyond training, finding other ways to take care of yourself is essential, including sleeping, journaling, and enjoying silent moments. Communicate with your village (family, friends, trainer) and communicate when you are having challenges in these areas so they can make adjustments and support you in actively improving your life’s physical, lifestyle, mindset, regeneration, and nutritional aspects. 


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