Postpartum Fitness Recovery Tips

Postpartum Fitness Recovery Tips

You also may be wondering when you will feel well enough to participate in physical fitness again and how long it will take to get that pre-pregnancy body back.  The below tips should help you to take care of your body after giving birth.


When is it safe to start exercising after giving birth?

Don't rush into a fitness routine too quickly. It took forty weeks for your body to transform to take care of your unborn child and it may take it just as long or longer to recover and return to it's pre-pregnancy self.

Fitness experts recommend that women who have just given birth should wait until after they stop bleeding before taking on rigorous exercise. If you had a C-section you should wait at least 6 weeks before beginning an intense fitness routine.

What exercises are safe after giving birth?

Start with some light cardio during the first few weeks after giving birth. Try walking, swimming or light housework to get back into an exercise routine.


How will I know if I'm exercising too much or too soon?

When you start more intense physical activity, watch your bleeding. If it gets heavier, that is a sign that you must slow down and give your body more tome to heal.

Will I pee during exercise?

Yes, its a common occurrence and likely that this will happen.  This is because carrying the weight of your baby around for 9 months adds pressure to the pelvic floor muscles, making them weaken during pregnancy.  Many women experience light bladder leakage postpartum due to a weak pelvic floor. 

How can I stop peeing during exercise?

Doing Kegel exercises regularly can help strengthen your pelvic floor.  If you are not familiar with kegals ask your OB about them at your next postpartum appointment.

Postpartum exercise to reduce tummy

During pregnancy, the rectus abdominis, the outer muscle that supports your back and organs, stretches and separates to make room for your growing baby.  After giving birth, many women are left with a gap in between these muscles. 

When this gap is formed, what is called a diastasis recti, the organs protrude and are not protected by the abdominal muscles, which can make a woman appear to be 4-5 months pregnant.

Wearing a belly band,  waist cincher or abdominal sling every day during the first six weeks post postpartum may help speed up the process of closing a diastasis recti. 

Will crunches help with closing a diastasis recti?

No, it may make it worse.  Instead, you should also avoid doing crunches as this will just make the gap worse. Instead, sit up on a chair or fitness ball and suck in your tummy at the navel.  Hold it for 30 seconds, release and repeat for a few minutes.  This exercise will help train your abdominal muscles to close over your organs. 

If you are especially concerned about a diastasis recti talk to your OB about whether or not you should see a physical therapist. 

Do Belly Wraps Help During Exercise?

Postpartum belly wrap may help with pain and recovery after a Cesarean section. If fitted properly, wraps may help support organs and muscles during postpartum recovery.  Check with your doctor first.

Finishing up

Whenever you start a new fitness routine, make sure you talk with your doctor first.  Also, stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.  Start slowly and give your body plenty of time to heal. 

Enjoy these special moments with your newborn and before long you will be back to your pre-pregnancy self.


About the author

healthy moms magazine founder cascia talbert Cascia Talbert is a mother of five children, devout Catholic, health and fitness enthusiast, and positive parenting supporter. She started the Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007 as a resource for moms.  The Healthy Moms Magazine was ranked the number one health blog for moms from Cascia also blogs at and is the founder of, a free social network for moms committed to a healthy lifestyle. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and five children. As a busy mom of five she understands how difficult it is for moms to find the time to take care of themselves. She has dedicated the past 8 years researching and educating herself on the latest in health, fitness and parenting so she can share what she has learned with others. She is currently working on her first book with the publication date TBA. Follow Cascia and the Healthy Moms Magazine on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.





Back to blog