Exercise After Pregnancy
Basic Post-Pregnancy Core ExercisesThese exercises are a great way to get things going after a vaginal delivery and start building some core muscle strength. They are low-impact and can be done from a resting position.
You likely learned this one while pregnant in birthing class. Pretend that you are trying to stop the flow of urine. Squeeze the muscles you would use. Hold for a count of three. Relax for three counts and then repeat as many times as you are able. You can do these exercises while doing other things, such as watching television, riding in a car, or feeding a baby.
The Pelvic Tilt
The pelvic tilt is done lying down on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tighten your buttocks and abdominal (stomach) muscles while your back is pressed flat against the floor. The position is maintained for 10 seconds and then released. These can be repeated 5 to 10 times.
Lie on your back with your legs extended and flat. Hike or "shimmy" your right hip up and down horizontally. Do the same on your left side. Repeat on both sides 5 to 10 times.
Lie on your back and cross your hands over your abdomen. Pull your stomach muscles together toward your belly button. Lift your head about 4 to 6 inches from the floor. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times.
For aerobic exercise, think about what you were doing both before and during pregnancy. And also think moderation when starting out. It is more important to think about exercise long-term versus having to do it right after your baby was delivered because you "must lose that baby weight fast."
Walking is a great way to get started building up your aerobic endurance. As you start feeling stronger, you can incorporate other exercise that meets your goals. You might also want to consider joining a postpartum exercise class. Talk to your healthcare provider, fitness center, or local college about choices available in your area.