Congratulations on your little one! Being a new mom must be a thrilling experience. It must have increased your self-esteem and filled you with unconditional love for your child.
However, as it’s the postpartum or after-birth phase, you must be facing the baby blues too. You must be looking for ways to strengthen your body and shed those extra kilos.
And what’s the best way to do so? Postpartum exercises. Here are some easy and safe postpartum exercises that all new mothers can try:
Note: Before starting any postpartum exercise routine, it’s recommended to consult with a professional gynecologist and discuss your plan. We also suggest waiting at least 12 weeks (after giving birth) before you start strenuous workouts, running or weight lifting.
Brisk walking can speed up your post-pregnancy healing process. It can burn calories and help manage other conditions like PCOS/PCOD that may linger even after pregnancy. So, it’s worth including in your postpartum exercise routine.
Many healthcare professionals recommend walking for 150 minutes every week. You can divide these 150 minutes into days, sessions or as you are comfortable. If you can walk easily, you can indulge in a 30-minute walk for five days a week.
If not, you can break this 30-minute walk into 10-15 minute daily sessions. This means if you are walking for 15 minutes in the morning, you can complete the other half in the evening/night.
We recommend not going overboard with walks during the early weeks of postpartum. If you see any sign of heavy or bright red bleeding, it might indicate that you’re overdoing it. Stick to the 150-minute walking plan or anything suggested by your gynecologist.
Belly or diaphragmatic breathing is best for reducing stress and keeping your mind relaxed. It can increase blood oxygenation and reduce any muscle tension in your body. By focusing on your breathing, you can also slow down your breathing rate.
To perform this exercise, you need to sit or lie down in a comfortable place. After that, follow the below steps:
Close your eyes and keep your one hand on your chest. Now, keep your other hand on your abdomen.
Take a deep breath and inhale through your nose. Do this for about 4-5 seconds. While you inhale, make sure your belly is expanding.
Hold your breath for 2 seconds and then exhale slowly for about 6 seconds.
While performing this exercise, your hand on the abdomen should move with the breathing. You can repeat this exercise for 5 to 10 minutes or 3 to 4 times a day.
As a new mom, you must have a lot of responsibilities. Whether it’s feeding your baby or nursing them, you must be handling several things at once. While doing so, your neck must be getting affected too.
The best way to relieve your neck from such stress is by doing neck stretches. For that, simply follow the below steps:
Stretch your neck to the right side (as far as it’s comfortable) and hold the position for 30-60 seconds.
After 60 seconds, go back to the prior position and repeat this step for the left side.
Do this neck stretch five times a day (on each side).
Cat-cow stretching is great yoga to improve your posture and balance during the postpartum period. It also relieves stress and calms the mind for good emotional balance.
To perform the cat-cow stretch, do the following:
Kneel down on the floor. Go to a position where both your hands are shoulder-width apart, and the back is flat. Keep your knees below your hips.
Now inhale and drop your lower belly down while bringing your head up. This will be your cow position.
After that, exhale deeply and pull your belly button in (towards the spine). Meanwhile, keep your head and pelvis down. This will be your cat position.
Repeat this exercise 5 times. Don’t overstretch your belly while doing the cow position. You can skip the cow position if you are suffering from a condition called diastasis recti after childbirth.
After delivering a baby, you may develop a bulge in the middle of your belly, called a mommy pooch. A good way to reduce this mommy pooch is by doing the pelvic tilt exercise.
Besides the mommy pooch, pelvic tilt can also alleviate back pain, strengthen abdominal muscles and reduce any muscle stiffness. Here’s how you can do it:
Lie down on your back and keep your knees bent. Make sure that your feet is flat on the floor. Also, your back should maintain a natural curve.
Exhale while engaging your abdominal muscles and bending the pelvis upwards. Your tailbone should lean upwards too.
Maintain this position for a few breaths. After that, inhale and come back to the original position.
Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times. Keep your focus on posture rather than speed.
Happy Baby Pose
The happy baby pose can relieve any tension in your pelvis. It can keep your back muscles relaxed and improve hips mobility.
To perform this pose, you need to lie down flat on your back and bend your knees towards the chest. Now, bring your arms from the inside of the knees and hold the outer edge of both your feet.
If you are a beginner, hold one foot at a time. Now, gently rock side-to-side. You can do this for about 1 to 2 minutes.
During your postpartum period, your abdomen stays weak and needs time to heal. That’s why it’s best to avoid push-ups. However, you can do its alternative, that is, wall push-ups.
To do this exercise, you need to stand at an arm-length distance from your wall. Make sure your feet are under your hips.
Bend your elbows and lower the upper body towards the wall. Make sure to inhale and keep your upper arm parallel to the wall.
Now, push yourself back slowly and return to the first position.
You can decide on the sets and repetitions of the wall push-ups as per your ability. It’s best to keep things slow at first and pace up as you get accustomed to it.
Try these easy and safe postpartum exercises to keep your physical, social, and psychological health intact after childbirth.