Why wait 6 – 10 weeks before exercising post natally?

ImageI get so many new mums email me asking when they can start exercising again and some are even wanting to get back to running at 8 weeks!!

Ladies, I know many of you have heard me tell you just wait and let your body recover from its 9 months of preparing to have a baby and then the whole trauma of the delivery.  Even if you have had an 'easy' birth, just give your body a rest before you start putting it through more pressure with exercise.  You will still have quite high levels of relaxin in you at 6 weeks Postnatal (PN) so you shouldn't stress your joints too much.  Your pelvic floor will be weaker and the abs will be mending.  Don’t worry if you have a divarification (2 fingers plus gap) at such an early PN stage this is quite common - with lots of diaphragmatic breathing it will start to mend.  When your abs are split you really should not be putting additional stress on them by exercising intensely.  Absolutely do not do  any sort of crunches and you MUST get used to rolling to your side to get up from the floor or bed and try to avoid sudden twisting as you do not want to work the oblique muscles (side abs) as this could cause your split to get bigger.  Practice deep breathing from your belly and watch your tummy go in on the exhale – the diaphragm tightens the pelvic floor and naturally draws the tummy into your spine when you exhale. Try to do this when lifting the car seat, leaning over the pram or cot so you brace and support your back.  Come to Buggyfit from 6 weeks PN and if you have a C-Section wait until you are 10 weeks PN.  We start more gently but with plenty of power walking which you can all do after about 6 weeks PN.