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How soon after birth is it ok to return to exercise?

(8 Posts)
chinateacup Tue 27-Sep-11 18:40:58

Notwithstanding the fact that I have not yet found a sports bra large enough to constrict my ample, milky bosom, when I do I would very much like to return to exercise. I like running and bootcamp style fitness, never much into fast walking and yoga.
How long post party should I wait? I had a normal, natural delivery and was very fit pre-pregnancy though did little after 4 months. I feel raring to go, but the midwife told me to wait 6-8 weeks. Is that a general rule or without exception?
Sorry if this has been asked recently- can't search on phone.

chinateacup Tue 27-Sep-11 18:42:17

**post-partum. It most certainly wasn't a party!

StrangewaysHereICome Tue 27-Sep-11 21:55:51

I started jogging when DS was 5 weeks and I was climbing the walls by then. Like you I was very fit before pregnancy (I had just completed my first marathon) but didn't do much beyond 12 weeks. When I started I followed Paula Radcliffe's 5k plan which suited me perfectly. It was a run walk plan gradually picking up the time running and it felt good! My fitness is coming back quicker now and the weight is shifting. As well as running I also tried a bit of circuit training but this was harder so soon after having a baby. A lot of my muscles just weren't up to it.

If I were you just try a bit of power walking (I tried this from 3/4 weeks pp) before some gentle jogging and see how you feel. As long as you listen to your body and your bleeding has eased you should be fine. The bootcamp stuff might need to wait a bit longer. Don't try to rush things as your body is still recovering, but some endorphins really helped me a lot. Oh and I had to wear two bras blush

Best of luck and take it easy.

chinateacup Wed 28-Sep-11 09:33:55

Thankyou Strangeways I'll look at Paula and take it from there. Am obviously a bit of a saddo to be thinking about it so soon, just felt so debilitated at the end of pg that I am excited to be mobile again.

Ps I am a two- bra wearer even in peace time blush

StrangewaysHereICome Wed 28-Sep-11 13:41:36

Well if you're a saddo then so am I wink! I was desperate to feel normal again after DS arrived. I was so uncomfortable during the pregnancy I was desperate to get moving, sweat and feel those endorphin's! Everyone thought I was mad but I needed my sanity. I run with DS in a buggy so he gets to come along too. Just getting out there made me feel so much better post natally.

The Paula 5k plan is a bit harder than the couch to 5k but it felt just right and not completely like starting from scratch. DS is now 6 months and I have lost nearly 2 stone and can run 7 miles and feel like me again grin. The two bra thing was a bit of a shock to me as usually there isn't much there!!

Enjoy being mobile again.

CardiCorgi Thu 29-Sep-11 10:35:23

I think I was so desperate to be outside that I got my skis out (cross-country) at about 2 weeks post-partum. My midwife was happy about it, I think she realised that I needed something to do to keep sane. Six weeks after the birth I started a Runners World birth-to-5k programme.

One thing is worth checking - are your stomach muscles separated? I was checked in the hospital and given exercises to get them back together properly and my midwife also checked them for me and warned me not to do too much exercise that would strain them until they were back together properly.

notyummy Thu 29-Sep-11 10:44:30

Would agree with all the advice on here. I was also keen to get going and had exercised up to my due date (was in gym on due date!) inc a 10k race when 6 months pregnant. I had a difficult delivery so waited 3 weeks, although did post-natal pilates exercises from day one (zip and hollow etc.) At 3 weeks I went back to the gym and walked uphill on the treadmill and used the crosstrainer and rower. From about 4/5 weeks I started doing light circuit training at home using hand weights (squats/lunges/press-ups etc - Matt Roberts has a good book called 'Fit for your shape' that has some good routines.) Because of a tricky forceps delivery I didn't run until 9 weeks (tried previously and it felt like everything was <ahem> going to fall out...) I started at 2 miles and then worked my way up, wearing 2 sports bras grin.

You do need to be careful about what core work and sit-ups you do if your stomach muscles are separated as it can make them worse. Your midwife or GP can usually tell you whether this is an issue.

lljkk Thu 29-Sep-11 10:50:26

I was back doing gentle stuff after 10 days or so (not including walking which I do everywhere, most days, anyway).
I've heard the big risk with going back to exercise too soon is ligament damage, but felt well-prepared for that given I'd exercised all the way thru pregnancy and had to watch ligaments even more then.

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