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6 Safe and Effective Postpartum Exercises to Reach Your Postpartum Health Goals

6 Safe and Effective Postpartum Exercises to Help You Reach Your Postpartum Health Goals

Apr 23, 2024

Having a baby brings immense joy, but it can also take a toll on your body. If you're struggling to feel strong and confident in your post-baby body, don't lose hope – with the right exercises and dedication, you can regain your pre-pregnancy strength quickly and feel confident in your skin again.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll share six safe and effective postpartum exercises that can help you tone, strengthen, boost your metabolism, and improve your overall health after childbirth. From gentle walks to targeted ab workouts, these carefully selected moves are designed to work with your body's unique needs during the postpartum period.

1. Walking

Walking is a low-impact, beginner-friendly exercise that's ideal for easing back into a fitness routine after giving birth. Walking improves your digestion, blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, circulation, relieves stress, and can boost your mood and energy. Start with gentle strolls around the neighborhood, and work your way up to power walks as you regain your strength. For added resistance, wear a front baby carrier while walking.

The benefits of walking extend beyond just physical fitness. It's a simple activity that you can do with your baby, allowing you to multitask and enjoy quality bonding time together. Plus, getting fresh air and Vitamin D can help improve your overall well-being and may even reduce the risk of postpartum depression.

2. Deep Belly Breathing with Abdominal Contractions

This simple yet effective exercise can be done just an hour after giving birth, making it a great way to start gently toning and strengthening your core. Deep belly breathing helps relax your muscles, while the abdominal contractions work to strengthen and tone your abs and belly area. Sit upright, breathe deeply from your diaphragm, contract your abs on the inhale, and relax on the exhale.

Not only does this exercise target your abdominal muscles, but it also promotes better oxygen flow and can help you manage stress – a common challenge for new moms. Incorporating deep breathing into your daily routine can have a calming effect and improve your overall mood.

3. Head Lifts, Shoulder Lifts, and Curl-Ups

These three progressive exercises target your back, tummy, and abs, helping you regain core strength after pregnancy. Start with head lifts, which involve lifting your head and neck off the floor while lying on your back. Progress to shoulder lifts, raising your head, shoulders, and arms off the ground. Finally, work up to curl-ups, lifting your torso halfway towards your knees.

Remember to breathe properly and go at your own pace. These exercises can be challenging, especially for those recovering from a C-section, so listen to your body and don't push too hard too soon. Consistency is key, and even small, daily efforts can lead to significant results over time.

4. Kneeling Pelvic Tilt

This exercise is not only effective for strengthening your tummy but can also alleviate postpartum back pain, a common issue after carrying the weight of a baby for nine months. Start on all fours, keep your back straight, and tilt your pelvis forward as you inhale, holding for a count of three before releasing.

The kneeling pelvic tilt helps strengthen your core muscles and improve posture, which can reduce strain on your back. Additionally, it can aid in healing and recovery by promoting better circulation and flexibility in your pelvic region.

5. Pelvic Floor Therapy Exercises

Get evaluated in person by a pelvic floor therapist postpartum if you are experiencing pain, bladder incontinence, aching, stress incontinence, etc. 

While pelvic floor exercises may not seem like a traditional exercise, they play a crucial role in regaining control over your pelvic muscles and preventing leaks during activities like sneezing, laughing, or lifting your baby. Consistent practice can help you recover faster and improve your overall pelvic health.

6. Strength Training With Your Baby

Incorporating your baby into your workout routine can be a fun way to bond while getting fit. Try baby gliders (lunges while holding your baby), baby bouncers (side lunges and squats), and rock-a-baby squats and curls (squatting while holding your baby). Always practice caution and prioritize safety when exercising with your little one.

These baby-friendly exercises not only give you a chance to multitask but also help strengthen your arms, legs, and core while engaging your baby. Just make sure to start slowly and use the proper form to avoid injury.

Remember, every postpartum journey is unique, so listen to your body and consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program. With patience, consistency, and these effective exercises, you'll be well on your way to regaining your pre-baby body and feeling like your best self again.

It's important to be kind to yourself during this process and celebrate small victories along the way. Incorporating these safe and effective exercises into your routine, you'll not only boost your physical health but also improve your mental well-being and confidence as a new mom.

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Hey mama,

I'm Brooke Miller,

Before becoming a mom, I chronically dieted & thought "eat less, move more" was the healthiest option. I dealt with exhaustion, mood swings, hormone imbalances (not getting a regular cycle), high cholesterol and weight cycling. I felt like something was wrong with me.

Before I got pregnant with my first son, I discovered the balanced nutrition approach I teach inside The Postpartum Shift. Once I implemented the framework, I was energized, gained strength, got my period back, lowered my cholesterol & maintained my healthiest weight. I continued this during my pregnancies & postpartum periods and recovered quickly after birth, made more than enough milk for my babies, had energy (even with the sleep deprivation) & stable mood. Postpartum was really enjoyable.

With a decade of experience as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor, I created The Postpartum Shift to help moms boost energy, mood, metabolism & milk supply to have a stress-free & enjoyable postpartum experience.

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