How to exercise gently after childbirth?

After childbirth, the body is shaken and has gone through some terrible trials. Very often, young mothers want to resume physical activity in the following weeks, but don’t necessarily know where to start. But above all, we must realize that all bodies are different and that the time to start exercising again differs from person to person. To start again gently, sports coach and fitness teacher Lucile Woodward advises starting with walking, which can be practiced as early as a few days after giving birth: “It can already be considered a physical activity that is good for the body and the head. of walking your baby with the pushchair. We can start fairly quickly once we have had a successful vaginal delivery. » Walking thirty minutes a day is an effective way to get back on your feet and keep your newborn close to to keep you.

What if we prefer to stay at home? Do not worry ! Between zero and three months postpartum, you can do a few moves like those practiced in yoga – we prefer the Yin and Hatha forms – as well as kicking and swimming, provided you don’t have a scar. “After that, it also depends on the mother, how she’s feeling, her level of fatigue, which also plays a big part,” Lucile Woodward added. To start exercising again, it’s important not to overlook, namely strengthening your legs, abs and back. Yes, muscle breakdown occurs during pregnancy, especially in the last two months. “We also produce hormones that relax the ligaments (relaxin), so we need to regain some control and regain muscle tone,” explains the sports coach. Muscle building can be very gentle and take the form of Pilates – very effective for the back – or bodyweight exercises, then very light weights. Watch out for joint pain, though, which can be a bad sign. “It means there’s a problem, like the muscles aren’t ready or there’s friction that puts you at risk of injury. †

As for the rhythm to adopt to gently find the tone, the professional has a clear and straightforward answer to the subject: “we can do everything: if you are a mother with a lot of time and a good care system for the baby, then you can doing muscle building every day or thirty minutes every other day. If you don’t have time because it’s the third child, you are exhausted and you have a job, ten minutes two or three times a week is fine. The important thing is to go slow »

The Importance of Perineal Rehabilitation

If there is one aspect that should not be overlooked, it is the rehabilitation of the perineum. Lucile Woodward is categorical: it is extremely important before resuming a more sustainable sports activity. This generally starts from the sixth week postpartum and lasts for five weeks with two weekly sessions. So we can exercise again when the baby is 3 months old. “It’s good to see an obstetrician or a specialist physiotherapist who will do a few sessions to repair the abdominal band. It allows you to become aware of your body, the pelvic floor and its use,” says Lucile Woodward.

If you’re not doing rehabilitation, all impact sports like dancing, running, trampolining, or even horseback riding should be avoided. The reason ? “We put gravity or load on the lower pelvis without retraining these muscles, which were very stretched during pregnancy and delivery, this can damage them even more. Over time, this can cause urine leakage or problems with the anal sphincter. On her website, Lucile Woodward has a program dedicated to strengthening this group of muscles and learning to use them in sports.

Lucile Woodward’s Advice To Get Back To Exercise Without Taking Charge

We will have understood: before the rehabilitation of the perineum, we therefore focus on yoga, pilates and exercises with the weight of the body. Then there is another point: that of the mind. Many young mothers feel guilty for not being able to resume a sporting activity soon. “You shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself either. It’s a really fine line that we navigate when we’re a young mother because we want to exercise but at the same time we’re exhausted. It’s good to start exercising again, but if you’re on a once you don’t feel the strength anymore, it really doesn’t matter,” the fitness teacher assures. One thing to remember: you have to go at your own pace. If you feel too tired, ten minutes of yoga can be more than enough to The way one recovers after childbirth also depends on one’s past as an athlete.A sporty person before pregnancy will find it a little easier than someone who has never exercised before.

For women who are breastfeeding, the coach recommends investing in a bra that protects and supports the breast well. Among those she loves? The Harmony model by Simone Pérèle, the Thuasne and Anita brands.

One last piece of advice from Lucile Woodward for new moms: never feel guilty about taking some time for yourself. “It doesn’t matter whether you leave your baby at the nursery or with his father for another 30 minutes to exercise. It feels really good and you don’t have to feel guilty. You can be a good sports mom who takes time for herself, to exercise. It’s all about balance.