I just had a baby. When can I start exercising again?!
First off, I want to take a second to say -- Congratulations, mama! YOU DID IT!!!
Now, when things start to slow down and you’ve had a chance to rest, you may soon find yourself anticipating all of the things to come and perhaps even already be planning how you'll start to heal and rebuild your body. Remember, it took 10 months to grow and birth this human -- it will take AT LEAST that long to recover.
The postpartum period is a beautiful opportunity to slow down, reset intentions, re-learn movement patterns, and rebuild a super strong foundation for your long term fitness and overall wellness goals. I want you to read that part again…..the postpartum period is a beautiful opportunity to rebuild a super strong foundation for your long term fitness and overall wellness goals.
Try to remind yourself and anyone else in your life that may need it, "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast".
A common question you may find yourself asking is, “When can I get back to exercising?” Below we are going to walk you through a general 6 week timeline of tasks that you can start performing to help guide you through the when and what questions.
Immediate Postpartum Movement and Recovery Timeline
- Weeks 1-2: Rest, nourish your body with a lot of nutrient dense foods like soups and stews, get a lot of baby bonding and skin to skin time!
- Weeks 2-3: Baby wearing and walks, slowly increasing time, distance, etc. Pay attention to your body and any symptoms of leaking, spotting, pelvic pain, etc. Those symptoms could be a sign that the activity was too much.
- Weeks 3-4: Make an appointment with a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist in person or online for a virtual consultation. We have Pelvic Health professionals that we'd be happy to connect you with if needed. They may not ask to see you or start therapy for a few weeks but it can be helpful to be proactive about an appointment.
- Week 4: If there is room for a little more structure around meals in your life, consider starting the Street Parking Postpartum Nutrition Template. However, we understand that life with a newborn is quite often about "survival" and you may need to take more time before incorporating more balanced and structured meals. If you have questions about our postpartum nutrition program, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Weeks 4-5: Begin a core and pelvic floor rehabilitation program, We recommend the BIRTHFIT Conscious Core 6 week online course that is included in the Street Parking Bundles.
*Please note that if you have something more serious going on like prolapse, severe tearing, prolonged bleeding, complicated cesarean or traumatic birth, etc., this timeline may not apply to you. Please reach out directly for more support.
- Week 6: Your OB/Healthcare provider may give you the "OK" to exercise again. Please remember that a complete recovery usually requires a more in depth evaluation from a PFPT.
Once you have COMPLETED the "Rehab" phase and done the work with a core and pelvic floor rehab exercise course or PFPT, you can safely begin the "Rebuilding" phase.
In the rebuilding phase, begin with bodyweight movements and SHIFT programming (our more simplified version of the daily SP workout) with the appropriate postpartum modifications and gradually add more load, reps, distance, time, etc. Always monitor your body's response to the activity and scale or adapt your approach if you notice any symptoms of dysfunction.
As time goes on and your body is feeling good/functioning properly, you can continue to add intensity and eventually impact and incorporate more complex/dynamic barbell and gymnastics movements.
Again, this is all done over the course of MANY MONTHS with support and guidance from myself and the SP Moms community. You are not alone. We are here for you. Please reach out anytime!
With lots of love and support,
SP Mamas Coach