The Ultimate Guide to Safe Postnatal Exercises for New Moms

After the miraculous journey of pregnancy and childbirth, embracing postnatal exercises holds incredible benefits for your well-being. Here's a comprehensive guide to safely navigate the realms of postnatal exercise, emphasising its advantages, tips for initiation, and overcoming potential barriers.

About Postnatal Exercise

Regular exercise holds immense benefits for new mothers, aiding in weight loss, enhancing fitness levels, fostering social connections, and promoting psychological well-being. Postnatal exercises accelerates recovery and strengthens muscles, contributing to a quicker restoration of strength and tone.

When to Begin Postnatal Exercises

Consultation with a doctor or midwife is essential before initiating any postnatal exercise regimen. Generally, waiting until the 6-week postnatal check-up is advisable. Factors like the type of birth and postnatal complications influence when to resume exercise.

Overcoming Exercise Barriers

Caring for a newborn presents challenges, but with strategic planning and support, integrating postnatal exercises becomes achievable:

  • Seek support from your partner, family, or friends.
  • Schedule time for physical activity; consider exercising with a friend for motivation.
  • Incorporate your baby into your routine, whether it's taking a walk with a stroller or involving them in floor exercises.

Benefits of Post-Pregnancy Exercise

Engaging in regular exercise after pregnancy offers multifaceted advantages:

  • Aids weight loss, especially when combined with a balanced diet
  • Enhances cardiovascular fitness and tones abdominal muscles
  • Amplifies energy levels, relieving stress and supporting better sleep
  • Can potentially alleviate symptoms of postpartum depression and set a positive example for your child's future health habits.

Exercise and Breastfeeding

Moderate exercise typically does not affect breast milk quality or quantity. Staying hydrated during workouts is crucial for breastfeeding mothers. While high-intensity exercise may occasionally cause lactic acid accumulation in breast milk, it's a rare occurrence.

Physical Activity Goals

As per the Department of Health and Human Services, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity spread across the week is ideal. Key considerations include warming up, gradual intensity increase, hydration, supportive attire, and cessation if pain arises.

Exercise Safety Suggestions

Adhering to safety guidelines ensures a smooth postnatal exercise experience:

  • Wear a supportive bra suitable for your changed body.
  • Cease exercise if it causes pain or unusual symptoms; consult a healthcare professional.
  • Be mindful of postnatal depletion, attending to nutritional needs and well-being.

Best Postnatal Exercises to Begin Now

1. Core Strengthening

Roselyn Reilly, a fitness expert, emphasizes rebuilding core strength postpartum. Focus on exercises targeting the diaphragm, transverse abdominis, and pelvic floor for effective recovery.

Sample Postnatal Workout Routine

Week 1-6:

  • Daily Routine: 20-30 minutes of low-impact aerobic activity.
  • Additional Exercises: 10 minutes of abdominal and leg exercises, increasing intensity gradually.

Postnatal Exercises to Incorporate:

  1. Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels): Strengthen these muscles by tightening them for 10 seconds, repeated throughout the day.
  2. Diaphragmatic Breathing: Perform this exercise for relaxation and core stability.
  3. Walking: Ideal for early postpartum exercise, incorporate bodyweight squats along your walk.
  4. Swiss Ball Exercises: Include Swiss ball exercises for stability, like bird dog holds and glute bridges.
  5. Planks and Side Plank Leg Lifts: Engage your core with plank variations for strength.

Advanced Postnatal Exercises (After 12 weeks):

  • Functional Training: Incorporate squats, push-ups, lunges, and more using light weights or your baby as resistance.
  • Tabata-style Workout: Alternate between high-intensity exercises and short rest periods for a challenging routine.

    Warning Signs to Slow Down

    Recognizing warning signs during exercise is crucial:

    • Increased fatigue or feeling unwell
    • Muscle aches or strains
    • Changes in postpartum vaginal flow or breast tenderness indicate exertion.

    Where to Seek Help

    Consult healthcare professionals, including your doctor, midwife, or physiotherapist, for guidance and specialised support.

    Navigating the journey of postnatal exercises requires patience, care, and adapting routines to accommodate the demands of new motherhood. By prioritising self-care and gradually incorporating exercise, new moms can foster physical and mental well-being amidst the beautiful chaos of caring for their little one.


    While navigating the realms of postnatal exercises can be demanding, the benefits it brings to your overall well-being and energy levels for caring for your newborn are invaluable. Embrace exercise as a tool to rejuvenate yourself and establish healthy habits for both you and your little one.

    Looking for supportive activewear for your postnatal exercises journey? Explore our curated collection designed to aid new moms in their fitness endeavors while ensuring comfort and functionality.

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