Last week I wrote about the importance of exercise during pregnancy. But what about exercise after giving birth? Don’t lots of people from all walks of life say and keep reminding you mothers how important it is to rest? (Rest – wouldn’t that be nice with a new born around the house…).
Indeed, rest is extremely important after giving birth. I don’t need to tell you that birth is a major trauma on you body; you probably already know that. (There is a reason why men don’t give birth). However, exercise is also important. Pelvic floor exercises can start and should start within 24 hours of giving birth. Without even seeing your faces I can see some of you shouting at the screen, the tears, the stitches, the soreness; yes, I know. But in fact, exercise to this area will increase blood flow to this area and increase healing times.
How about other forms of exercise? You have to let your body be your guide. You can exercise as soon as your body feels ready. (If you had a caesarean-section, recovery time will be longer and should wait until your check up with the doctor).
Your lower back and core abdominal muscles will be weaker then they used to be. Your ligaments and joints are also more supple and pliable, so it is easier to injure yourself from over-stretching and twisting too much. So make sure you include some strengthening exercises as well as an aerobic workout, such as a run.
If you are doing too much your body will let you know, and you should listen and slow down. You will experience extreme fatigue, feel run down and take longer to recover from exercise sessions. If your bleeding becomes heavier or changes colour to more pink or red this is also another sign.
If you suffered with any musculoskeletal conditions such as SPD then your approach to exercise needs to be a little different. You should still exercise, but stick to specific exercises which are beyond the scope of this blog.
If you suffer from any type of pain during or after pregnancy and are not sure if it’s safe to exercise and would like to book an appointment, please contact me on 0544485086 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I can arrange to see you in Bishvilaych Women’s Comprehensive Medical Centre in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem or a home visit if you live in Gush Etzion.