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Exercising after having a baby

You’re exhausted from taking care of your newborn, but you’re also keen on getting your pre-baby body back. Here’s how and when to get started on losing the baby weight.

Workout with baby

Are you looking to exercise again so you can lose some weight after having had your baby? Even though celebrity moms seem to drop all their baby weight right away — looking fit and slim and better than ever practically immediately — most of the time doctors recommend you wait six weeks after giving birth before you start working out.

Start slowly

Are you at the six-week mark (or have received the go-ahead to work out from your doctor)? Start with gentle exercise. Use the opportunity to take your baby out in a stroller, and go for walks. This will get you out of the house for some fresh air and exercise, and it’s moderate enough for your post-baby body to handle.

Try Kegels

Given the stress you’ve put your body through from giving birth, as you might expect, strengthening the pelvic region is a smart idea. Kegel exercises, which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, are convenient because you can do them anywhere, at any time (and chances are you are limited on time, what with a newborn and all). To do Kegels, contract your pelvic floor muscles for five seconds, then release and repeat. Not sure what your pelvic floor muscles are? Imagine you’re going to the washroom; contract the muscles as though you were stopping the stream of urine — those are your pelvic floor muscles. Another good exercise for the pelvic region? Pelvic tilts: Lie on the floor, knees bent, feet planted to the ground, arms by your side. Gently tilt your pelvis upward, hold, then release and repeat.

Get in the pool

What are some other moderate types of workouts that would be good for you? Exercising in a pool will provide you with resistance yet be gentle on your body. A gentle Pilates or yoga class (not power or Ashtanga just yet) will help strengthen your core while increasing your flexibility. They will also tone your arms, given the resistance work involved, though your arms and shoulders are likely getting plenty of exercise with all the baby lifting and carrying you’re now doing.

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