*NOTE: Make sure to have clearance from your OBGYN or midwife before increasing your exercise regimen.*
Alright, mama!! You’re getting there!!
You’re either feeling two things right now.
1. You JUST had a baby what feels like only a few weeks ago.
2. You had a baby SO LONG ago!
If you’re closer to the 6 week mark, you have recently had your infamous postpartum 6 week visit where you may have been "cleared to exercise". Yes, you do need this clearance to up your exercise regimen, BUT here's a little secret: there is NO MAGIC WEEK where all of a sudden your body is in good enough condition to just go all out with exercise. So when can you really up your exercise routine again? When you have prepped your body to be able to handle the increased stress/intensity. If you have been following my previous two blog posts (Exercise After Baby Part 1 and Exercise After Baby Part 2), you're on the right track and it's time to progress. If you haven’t been applying everything mentioned in my previous two blog posts , now is still a great time to start.
If you’re closer to the 4 month mark, it’s time to be upscaling your workout regimen. Now is also a great time you could also steadily begin to run again if you haven’t already started. How do you know when the right time to run again is? Your local physical therapist specializing in postpartum athletes/weekend warriors/moms who just want to GO (hi, that’s me!) can screen you to determine if your body is ready to hit the trails or if more strengthening, balance, and/or endurance is required first.
If you have already begun to increase your workout regimen and you’re noticing pain and leaking- this does NOT have to persist. Your body is telling you something's not quite right, so scale back a little bit. I know I sound like a broken record, but I’ll say it again. Your local pelvic floor/postpartum physical therapist (hi, that’s me again!) can help with this! It may go away on its own, but in all likelihood, it probably won’t.
If you have been walking and doing your mobility exercises and stretches correctly WITHOUT symptoms (pain, increased muscle soreness beyond 3 days of working out, significantly increased fatigue, bowel or urine leaking, passing gas without control, etc) and you feel like you’re ready to progress, then go for it mama! BUT, make sure to begin by following these guidelines:
*NOTE: All exercises must be performed with good form and good breathing to prevent injury, pelvic floor dysfunction, increased prolapse, and increased diastasis recti abdominis.*
Do not pull/suck in the belly button, clench the pelvic floor, bear down (like pushing a bowel movement), strain, or hold breath
Intensity level of 25-50% of what would feel really intense or hard.
10-30 min per session
Start with intervals. 5-10 minutes of cardio
Focus on breathing and staying tall.
Elliptical, bike, walking, swimming
REPEAT, “JUST BECAUSE I CAN, DOESN’T MEAN I SHOULD.”
Looking to make things more difficult? Increase.....
Load (add in weights)
As always, just keep an eye on how your body feels; and if symptoms increase, scale back.
If you want help giving your body the best foundation it deserves to have the workouts you want or need, schedule an appointment with me and I'm happy to get you well on your way!
With love and encouragement,
Dr. Davida Murray, PT, DPT
Warning: This program is based on my personal experience. Not every program or exercise is right for every person, so you MUST consult with your healthcare provider before doing any exercises listed here. This is not a substitute for any kind of professional advice. You are responsible for yourself. Please stop any exercise immediately if you feel discomfort or dizziness and consult your healthcare provider immediately. Do not do this program if you have any pre-existing health or orthopedic conditions. If you do choose to do this program, you will not hold Danielle (Davida) Murray or New Moon Physical Therapy and Wellness, PLLC responsible for any illness, injury or issue that results from the program. In no case will New Moon Physical Therapy and Wellness, PLLC (including without limitation breach of contract, tort, negligence, gross negligence, or otherwise) be for more than the amount, if any, paid by you under this agreement to access the product and services delivered herein, in the year in which the claim arose.