Exercising during the postpartum months of a pregnancy can be beneficial in many ways (including shedding the baby weight), but the mother needs to know their body’s limitations and only perform exercises with the right focus.
Regular moderate exercise improves immune function and increases production of antioxidant substances, helps create a better night’s sleep and increases energy levels, though it can be detrimental if not performed with awareness of changes that occur during pregnancy.
Increased oestrogen while breast-feeding can weaken your pelvic floor, and combined with weakness from pregnancy, you may be at risk of stress incontinence or prolapse. It is important to consult a women’s health physiotherapist when planning the right program for your body. This is where starting an exercise routine postpartum is beneficial to strengthen the body’s muscles and pelvic floor. Keep in mind, before starting any postpartum exercise routines it is recommended to have a check up with a women’s health physiotherapist who can assist you in planning the right program that is appropriate to your body and pelvic floor.
At The Body Refinery, they advise their clients to rest for the first six weeks post-birth with a few gentle walks. Once their pelvic floor has been assessed, they can commence a Pilates program focussing on pelvic floor strength and endurance. They carefully monitor women with a diastasis and those who have had C-sections.
Ensure that if you are exercising with anyone they have a good understanding of the changes that occur in the postpartum period in order to prevent damage down the track. While it may be important to you to work on shedding the baby weight, causing damage or injury is only going to put any exercise on hold.
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The Body Refinery
85 Commercial Road, Newstead
P 3358 3915 www.thebodyrefinery.com.au