This is a summary of a good article that I helped write for Move Forward PT. (see link below)
“While moderate weight gain is a common concern for women during and after pregnancy, there are many other factors to consider in the 4 to 6 weeks after childbirth. You may want to get back into pre-pregnancy shape immediately, but it is important to make a slow return to full activity.”
Here are some “tips on what you can do in the first 6 weeks after delivery to begin getting your body back into pre-pregnancy shape.”
- Get help with tasks. During the first 6 postpartum weeks DO NOT LIFT ANYTHING HEAVIER THEN YOUR BABY.
- Breathe. Your diaphragm works as a breathing muscle and is a major core muscle. Breathing exercises will help you to restore stability in your trunk and to regain tone in your core muscles, so you can achieve that flat tummy look.
- Focus on your core. After birth woman’s abdominal muscles are stretched out and can sometimes develop a separation, called diastasis recti. During the first 6 weeks you can do some gentle Kegel and breathing exercises to get a jump start on your recovery. Avoid activities that put pressure on your abdomen such as getting out of bed by doing a sit up. A physical therapist can prescribe exercises to help “close the gap” between muscles.
- Strengthen abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. Women can do gentle Kegel (pelvic floor) exercises immediately after childbirth, whether the birth was vaginal or by caesarian section. Strengthening the pelvic floor also can improve sexual satisfaction and help prevent incontinence.
- Every minute counts. Try to incorporate fitness into your everyday routines—such as taking a family walk around the neighborhood or doing your kegel and breathing exercises while you are nursing or feeding your baby. New moms should sleep whenever they have the opportunity.
Click here for the full article