Exercises for a beautiful figure after pregnancy

The period after childbirth is a specific and sensitive topic for the women. When it comes to exercises and sports after delivery, the information we can find is often contradictory and confusing. With this article I will offer you more information on when, what and how to exercise to feel good and help your recovery.

When can we start exercising after giving birth?

There is no single answer here and it is best to consult your attending physician. He/ she will be able to decide based on your mode of delivery, your recovery process and your general condition, when you can start practicing sports. In general, it is recommended to wait 6-8 weeks after delivery.

Once their doctor allows them to exercise, many women rush back to their old high-intensity workouts that include lots of sit-ups, planks, and jumping jacks. Our desire to lose weight quickly and to look like we did before the pregnancy can be an obstacle on the road to recovery.

Pregnancy is a big physical challenge for our body, which undergoes changes for nine months. Some changes are visible, while others such as the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and the separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis) remain hidden. Only after we give birth and start losing control of our bladder when we laugh, sneeze or jump we realize that something is wrong – our pelvic muscles are weakened, which can result in a number of unpleasant consequences. On the other hand, if you have already lost your pregnancy weight but still have a belly, it is very likely that you have diastasis recti (separation of abdominal muscles).

Are there any exercises we should avoid after giving birth?

Yes! In case of weak pelvic floor muscles, it is contraindicated to do intense plyometric exercises such as burpees, any kind of jumping and even running. In case of diastasis, avoid classic sit-ups and any variations of abdominal curl-type exercises. Also avoid planks and push-ups. No matter what exercise you are doing, if you see your belly bulging at the bottom, stop. This indicates that you are not able to keep your abdominal muscles active and tight during exercise, and it is better to change the exercise because it may worsen your diastasis.

What to focus on when exercising after childbirth?

The main focus of our exercises should be on strengthening the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles. Kegel exercises are a good start to master abilities for pelvic floor control. Consequently, it’s a good idea to include tightening and lifting of the pelvic floor in all your exercises. Regarding your abdominal muscles, it is important to master the so-called diaphragmatic breathing and the tightening and activation of the abdominal muscles. At first, you might start by breathing in through your nose and breathing out through your mouth, while contracting and tightening your abdominal muscles as you exhale. Once you have mastered the breathing, start incorporating this activation (tightening) of the abdominal muscles into every exercise you do. This will also prevent the so-called swelling in the lower abdomen that I mentioned above.

I hope I have been helpful with these guidelines, which you can use as basis for your path to recovery.

Author: Radoslava Tsantsarova – certified trainer for pregnant and new mothers


Center for Fetal Medicine

Get informed about the world of Fetal Medicine with Dr. Boris Stoilov.

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