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Gentle Postpartum Fitness

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

With my first I had an emergency C-section and also had diastasis recti. My recovery felt very slow, my core and back strength took a very long time to build back up. Postpartum is a time to be gentle on your body as there is a lot going on with hormones, your organs shifting, caring for a newborn and allowing your body to heal in many areas.

My postpartum fitness mostly consisted of walking. My baby was soothed by being in my arms and being walked. I quickly got in the habit of wearing my wrap carrier around the house and a pair of indoor running shoes. I'm not sure if anyone else had this issue but the weigh of my pregnancy caused my feet to also need support during postpartum. On nice spring days I would put on my outdoor running shoes and my structured carrier and just go for a gentle walk outside, sometimes I would grab a coffee or stop in the park. The fresh air would put my baby right into a deep nap and being outside did wonders for my mental health as well. Stroller walks are great postpartum fitness as well and I would pick one of babies many nap times to just get out and walk. I had several neighbourhood loops I would do and I would just walk for as long as I could building back up my strength without putting too much stress on my body. If your neighbourhood or area you like to walk doesn't have perfectly paved sidewalks I would suggest a jogging stroller with good suspension on the wheels as to not wake baby going over uneven pathways.

Once my scar was healed and my postpartum bleeding was finished another fitness activity I did during postpartum was swim. The water takes some of the weight off so you can move your body in ways I didn't feel ready to do on land. I would use a flutter board and do flutter kicks across the pool to help build back, core and leg strength. Treading water and water aerobics with an aquafit belt to help you float are awesome for gentle postpartum fitness as well.

First always follow the advice of your doctors, listen to your body and seek out physiotherapists support for diastasis recti they will give you a list of proper exercises to do to support your recovery. Same if your pelvic floor feels weak seek out a specialists and do the proper treatments before attempting any high intensity fitness.

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