The post-natal period can be just as tricky as the pregnancy months.
It all depends on on how smoothly the pregnancy goes and how the labour is.
Post-natal is from 0-6 weeks for a natural birth and 0-12 weeks for a c section.
The two types of births have different effects on the women although the outcome is still the same, a beautiful baby is born.
Lets start with a natural birth.
No exercise is recommended for the first 6 weeks!
You will be too tired and absorbed in caring for your new baby.
You can do with all the help you can get at this stage so don’t be afraid to ask and accept help.
You will also be getting use to breast feeding.
This is often a big barrier to training, but there are ways to overcome this.
The most important thing to be careful of is the returning state of your tummy muscles. If you return to exercise before the rectus abdominals have returned to their original state you could be permanently teaching them to sit apart causing weak muscles that never regain pre-pregnancy shape!
With a C Section not only have you gone through some of the processes of labour but also had a major operation.
This means that until your GP/Mid-wife has given you the all clear NO exercise can be taken up.
Like in a natural, birth breast feeding, fatigue and the problem of abdominal separation are all still concerns.
With breast feeding being such a big barrier here are a few tips on how to overcome the issues.
- Wear a good supportive bra
- Wear breast pads to avoid embarrassing leaks
- Avoid exercise on your tummy
- Express milk before training
- Plan feeding times
One final added point to breast feeding that might surprise you is that high intense exercise over a long duration can cause your milk to sour!
I am sure your baby wont enjoy that too much.
If you are use to training at high intensities then it’s hard when you have finally given birth to keep holding back but If you keep this in mind and limit high intensity to short sharp bursts you can get the best of both worlds.
Considerations when Training
Take it easy to begin with.
Your body has gone through major changes over the last 9 months.
You have adapted exercises throughout and will probably want to race straight back into the fire but try to be mindful to your body and work within your own limits.
Don’t think you have to ping back into shape like some of the celebrities.
Remember they have nannies and chefs and trainers and all sorts.
They are not real people like you and me!
Be mindful of the stress your hips have undergone and work towards stabilizing them and ensuring tip top strength before going crazy in the gym.
This might mean taking longer over certain exercises and taking out movement for example -walking lunges becomes static lunges.
Abdominals may need static training before you can return to sit ups.
Ask your mid-wive to check the state of your ab’s to give you an idea.
There is a simple test that can be performed.
Above all don’t pressure yourself into returning before you feel ready.
Tell your coach/trainer how you are feeling and listen to advice given to you.
Of course for any further help or personal training I can offer please contact me at