Exercise after a vaginal birth

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It is essential to obtain medical clearance from your doctor before embarking on a training program. Generally, you can start moderate exercise six to eight weeks after giving birth. If you have had uncomplicated vaginal birth, you may be able to start training as soon as your body feels ready.

1. Start slowly, gradually increasing the intensity as you go along.

2.Become as mobile as possible after giving birth. This is essential for improving circulation and muscle strength.

3. Start with Kegel exercises. These are basic exercises which can be done almost immediately after an uncomplicated birth. Pelvic floor exercises are good for assisting your perineum and vagina to heal quicker. They will aid in circulation and help to heal any bruising that may have occurred.

4. After a period of regaining mobility and being given the all clear from your doctor, any form of low-impact exercise can be attempted. Walking with your baby and pram is a great form of exercise. Initially, start with 10-minute walks, gradually building up to 20 minutes. Try stationary cycling and maybe some aqua-aerobics or swimming.

5. As your body adjusts and you start feeling more confident, you can venture back into the gym. Exercises that will help improve your strength levels are helpful. Basic circuit training with light weights and higher repetitions are most beneficial in order to gain muscle tone and allow for improved strength. This will also help to elevate your basal metabolic rate, which will allow for better weight management.

Am I overdoing it?

Though you may be commended for doing exercise, it is important that you note the following are signs of pushing your body too far:

  • Nausea
  • Persistent dizziness 
  • Vaginal bleeding 
  • Calf or ankle swelling 
  • Change in body temperature
  • Blurred vision 
  • Fluid leaking from vagina 
  • Fainting 
  • Abdominal or chest pains 
  • If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercising and seek advice from your healthcare professional as soon as possible. 
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