How and when can you start post-natal exercise?
I rested completely for two weeks after giving birth. Partly because my muscles were massively sore after giving birth, which is not unlike running a marathon, and partly because I had neither the mental or physical stamina for exercising. All my focus was on the tiny new arrival in my life and establishing new routines as far as possible.
Pelvic floor exercises make great post-natal exercise
After two weeks had gone by, I took up spinning again, which went very well. I felt energised and strong, and I appreciated getting out of the house for a few hours and having some “me time”. Just over a month and a half after the birth, I slowly yet surely started running again, alternating walking with light jogging.
I persisted with my pelvic floor exercises and also used some workout apps. In the beginning I had some problems with slight incontinence, but that soon stopped.
I did my first “real” run in the middle of January, slightly more than two months after my son Adrian’s birth. And it went soooo slowly, but I was still very proud to be up and running again. Spinning is all well and good, but running is definitely my passion.
Exercise after pregnancy – everyone’s different
Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to exercise during pregnancy or start working out again relatively soon after giving birth. It all depends on your experience of pregnancy and giving birth, so you’ve got to be in tune with your body. Read more about exercise during pregnancy.
It may sound like a cliché and easy for me to say, but in the grand scheme of things pregnancy only accounts for a tiny fraction of your entire life. You’ll soon be enjoying your workouts again and gain new perspectives, which I for one found very positive.
Exercise is important but it’s not the end of the world if you miss a session or two. Maybe you need to catch up on your sleep or you’d rather cuddle with your baby than go out running. And that’s perfectly okay – the track is out there waiting for you when you’re ready.
Text by Petra Månström
Family: Partner Jonas and son Adrian, 4 months.
Works as: Journalist specialising in fitness and health. Manages the Marathon Podcast, Scandinavia’s most popular podcast on endurance sports, and blogs at blogg.mama.nu/petramanstrom. Published her book Det är bara att springa (Karavan förlag) in 2014.