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For New Mothers: Staying Fit After Delivery

After you deliver your baby, you can start to exercise whenever you feel ready. Let your body be your guide. Most women are ready to exercise after 6 weeks. If you’ve had a cesarean section, you may need more time.

Exercise Tips for New Mothers

You can start doing Kegel exercises as soon as you deliver your baby. Do them at least 10 times a day to help avoid bladder problems later on. You will want to resume other exercise gradually. Always exercise with care. Limit yourself to special postpartum or low-impact exercises for at least 6 months before trying to do more demanding exercises. Look for ways to combine exercising with being with your new baby. Try propping your baby up in a carrier so that he or she can watch you exercise at home or in a class. Or, strap your baby into a front pack and take a walk.

Woman lying on back, hands crossed over abdomen, knees bent and feet flat on floor. Ghosting shows her raising head and shoulders off floor.

Strengthening Stomach Muscles

Many new mothers want to strengthen their stomach muscles after giving birth. Try this exercise when you’re ready to resume your program. It will strengthen the front and side muscles of the abdomen.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your stomach. Use your fingers to gently pull the sides of the stomach toward the middle of your body.

  • Exhale and try to pull the stomach muscles toward your spine. Gently raise your shoulders off the floor, no more than 6–8 inches. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

 

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