Postpartum Fitness: Simple Exercises for New MomsOctober 08, 2015
Nearly all new mother’s care primarily about just a few things; their cute little baby, trying to get some sleep, and getting back into shape. Here are some helpful ideas to ease your way back into shape following the physical and emotional roller coaster of pregnancy you’ve been on for the past 9 months.
The First Steps
First, get clearance from your doctor before beginning exercises; this is especially important if you had a C-section. A general rule to follow is waiting 3 days after a natural birth and 6 weeks after a C-section before beginning exercises, but always check with your doctor first. When you do begin, an important thing to check for is diastasis recti. Diastasis recti is a separation of your rectus abdominus or more commonly known as those muscles we all wish we had that give us a 6-pack.
To check for diastasis recti try the following
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor gently raise your head up without allowing your shoulder to come up and measure how many finger widths you can fit in between your abdominal muscles. Is it less than two finger widths? Then you are good to go. If it is more than two then you may have diastasis recti, but don’t fear it’s correctable. If you can’t tell seek a physical therapist or a doctor for help in figuring out the issue.
“I have diastasis recti, what do I do?”
First of all don’t do sit-ups or leg-lowering activities to try to strengthen the abs because that can make matters worse.
Wrap a towel around your back and grab onto either side or simply use your hands to help bring those stomach muscles together while performing the following exercises. You need to begin with isometric abdominal bracing activities such as abdominal bracing and dead bugs.
Improved Abdominal Stabilization
After that gap has narrowed to less than 2 finger widths and you have improved abdominal stabilization, progress to the following exercises planks, dying bugs, and bridge.
Gradually getting back to your regular work out routine
With the gap narrowed to less than 2 finger widths and better control over your abdominals you can gradually get back into your regular work out routine. Some suggestions are to include push-ups, mid-row, squats, lunges, heel raises, and S/L hip abduction.