Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How Soon Can a New Mom Return to Exercise?

Wondering how soon you can return to an exercise program after giving birth?  The standard answer is 4-6 weeks, but research is constantly changing and expanding in the field of pre and post natal exercise.

An athlete, that enjoyed a healthy pregnancy and a complication free, vaginal birth, could return to training after as little as a week.  This is the extreme case, and should only be done under the supervision of a professional.  But, for the rest of us, it all depends on your pregnancy, your delivery and your recovery.  Every woman is different, and so is every pregnancy.  

Generally, after a healthy pregnancy and a complication free, vaginal birth, a new mom can return to exercise after 4 weeks.  After a c-section, the soonest I recommend is 6 weeks.  For both cases, it all comes down to if the doctor or midwife has cleared you for exercise and how you are feeling.  Please, listen to your body!  I offer modifications to all the exercises in my Mom-Friendly Fitness classes, because every case is different and the most important thing to remember is to listen to your body.  I ask that all my moms (well, all my clients), communicate with me openly.  If something feels uncomfortable or hurts, we can always work around it and still get results.  Any trainer should be able to offer modifications, but especially anyone that works with pre and post natal clients.

I have had clients start with me 1 week post-partum, and I have had mothers that have waited well over a year.  Each case, the mom has done what works for her.  The sooner you return to exercise, the easier it will be to loose the baby weight.  It is important for each mom to decide what is best for her physically and mentally.

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