Exercise after baby

Exercise after baby
Exercise after baby

Have you just given birth? Congratulation!! Take the necessary time to rest and enjoy unforgettable moments with your baby. If you want to get back in shape, here are some tips to follow in your fitness. Remember that there is no rush and it is better to go gradually.


What are the benefits of physical activity after childbirth?

  • Physical activity, both muscular and cardiovascular, on a regular basis allows:
  • To have more energy
  • React more easily to stress
  • To have a better sleep
  • Better weight control
  • To be in better physical and mental shape.

Being physically active reduces the risk of he alth problems such as hypertension, diabetes, depression and obesity. Physical activity increases muscular endurance, flexibility, strength and balance[1].

During pregnancy, your posture has changed to accommodate changes in your body. Return to activitiessports must be done gradually. It is important to strengthen all areas of the body such as the buttocks, legs, arms, and stomach[2].

Here are some examples of exercises[3]:

  • Do the chair leaning against a wall.
  • Do the knee and side plank.
  • Lying on his back, raise baby above your head and lower him until you can give him a kiss.
  • Do the bridge by lifting the buttocks and then the lower back from a supine position. Lay baby on your stomach.
  • Step up on your tiptoes, count to 5 and slowly come back down. Take baby in your arms to increase the load.
  • Do kneeling push-ups; place baby in front of you.
  • Lying on your side, raise your leg about 2 feet off the floor and lower your leg back down; do both sides.

On a daily basis, the abdominals maintain the organs in the abdomen, participate in breathing, support the back and accompany movement and pushing during childbirth. The transverse muscle plays a vital role and it is therefore very important to give it special attention. The pelvic floor muscles also go through a lot of stretching during pregnancy. They may have been torn or severed during childbirth. It is therefore very important to strengthen them since they have an essential role in the control of urine and stool. You can start to strengthen them from the first days followingchildbirth. Strengthening these muscles can decrease the risk of urinary incontinence[4]. To do this, contract the perineum and exhale completely. This exercise strengthens the deep muscles of the pelvic floor and the transverse abdominis muscle.

Some exercises can be recommended in order to drain, avoid abdominal pressure and close the pelvis. These recommendations can also promote better breastfeeding posture and limit muscle tension associated with poor positions.

Breathing exercises improve oxygenation and promote relaxation. Remember to breathe throughout the execution of your exercise program[5].

Finally, it is important to strengthen the pectoral muscles. During pregnancy, the breasts undergo many changes as they prepare to produce the milk that will feed the unborn baby. It is therefore strongly suggested to wear a bra adapted to your breasts and to do toning exercises to prevent sagging breasts. Press the palms together as hard as you can while exhaling slowly[6].

For all these exercises, start by doing the maximum repetitions for 30 seconds. It is important to take it slowly so as not to injure yourself.

Aerobic exercise should not be forgotten. As soon as you feel able, start walking. Enjoy this time with baby. Go gradually andalways according to your ability. Exercise should not cause you severe fatigue or pain. Respect your rhythm. Swimming can also be practiced. Just like walking, these two sports use a multitude of muscles that allow you to regain your size and your energy. Wait three to four months to return to sports that require jumping or require more endurance, strength and coordination such as running.

At all times, watch your posture to avoid the onset of back or neck pain. Eat a good diet to give you all the energy you need for the first few days with baby. Put some color on your plate and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

For breastfeeding women, moderate exercise does not affect the amount or composition of breast milk. In addition, it has no impact on the baby's growth[7].

There are various resources that offer postpartum fitness programs. These programs are offered in the pool, gymnasium or even outdoors. Do not hesitate to consult the perinatal organizations in your region. They will certainly be able to tell you about the various resources available.

What is the role of the chiropractor?

Pregnancy is an important period of postural changes in women. The spine is subjected to significant physical stresses that alter the normal biomechanics of the body. Staying active helps to better managechanges happening in your body. After childbirth, it is important to take time and not wait for symptoms to appear before seeing a chiropractor.

The role of the chiropractor is to detect, correct and prevent the appearance of joint restrictions and muscle tension. The aim of the treatments is to restore mobility to the joints, flexibility to the muscles and to reduce inflammation. Thus, the pain decreases. Treatments also include recommendations for strengthening muscles, modifying posture and general lifestyle habits. The chiropractor is able to help you prevent injuries, treat them and rehabilitate your body so that you can achieve your fitness goals. He will be able to advise you on how to avoid injury while practicing your sport. They can also tell you about your exercise program and the right postures to adopt.

Postnatal chiropractic follow-up is essential for optimal he alth!

[1] www.kino-quebec.qc.ca

[2] Anderson, Christine, Exercises and Pregnancy, ICA review, Spring/summer 2004

[3] Same

[4] Exercise in Pregnancy and Postpartum, Joint SOGC-CSEP Clinical Practice Guidelines, No. 129, June 2003.

[5] Dumoulin, Chantale, In shape while waiting for a baby; exercises and advice, Ste-Justine Hospital, 2001

[6] www.kino-quebec.qc.ca

[7] Physical exercisein Pregnancy and Postpartum, Joint SOGC-CSEP Clinical Practice Guidelines, No. 129, June 2003.

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