Attending the gym after childbirth

mother at gym work outIt’s difficult to know when it’s OK to start back at the gym after giving birth. Some people will tell you that you should wait at least six weeks, but in all honesty if you had an uncomplicated birth and you feel otherwise fit and well, it is not necessary to wait six weeks. Many women return back to the gym after only two weeks of giving birth. If you had surgery however, such as a caesarean then the six week rule may apply. If you are in doubt about how soon you can return to the gym after giving birth then you may wish to discuss it with your health visitor.

Ease yourself back into rigorous exercise gently

You will however have to ease yourself back into rigorous exercise gently. You should start with gentle walking and stretching exercises, then move on to the treadmill and gentle weights. It will take time to get back to your regular routine as your joint and ligaments will be loser after childbirth and this can affect your balance and cause falls. Also your internal organs will be sensitive and although you may feel back to normal this will not be the case internally. Spend time building your strength back up again and ease yourself into exercise gently.

Breastfeeding will also help you lose weight

Most women’s goal of returning back to the gym after giving birth is to lose weight as well as to tone up flabby tummies and thighs. Remember that if you are feeding your baby naturally then you will need to consume an extra 1000 calories more a day than you would normally. Breastfeeding will also help you lose weight as well as while the baby suckles she will tone up your tummy muscles at the same time as well as take those extra calories from your body.

Swimming is also a great way

If you like swimming you may wish to take your baby with you. Your baby can start to learn to swim from a very young age, even if they have not had all their vaccinations. Remember, your baby has spent nine months swimming around in amniotic fluid so they are quite used to being afloat. Swimming is also a great way for a mother and baby to bond and of course mummy gets fit at the same time.

If childcare is an issue and you want to go to the gym alone then it might be worth investigating to find out if your local gym has childcare facilities.  Many do. Some women worry about leaving their new-born alone for a few hours but it can be healthy for mummy and baby to spend some time apart. It gives other family members a chance to bond with the baby, it will get your baby used to spending time without you and it will give you a few hours to be ‘you’ again and not just a mummy. If you are worried about your feeding routine while you are at the gym then it might be worthwhile you investing in a breast pump so that you can naturally take your own milk and someone else can give it to your baby while you are at the gym.