Seeking Post-partum Exercise Advice

Updated on March 11, 2009
E.B. asks from Ridgefield, CT
11 answers

I had my 2nd child, via vbac, 3 weeks ago yesterday. Thanks to breastfeeding my newborn and chasing my 2 1/2 yo around all day, I am only 5 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight and have virtually lost my belly. I want to continue this trend and get toned and in shape again. However I know the general recommendation is to basically not do much physically until the 6 week post OB visit.

My question is, have any of you successfully implemented any exercise strategies at this stage? Any ideas for low impact, body sculpting things? Did anyone go back to yoga or pilates this early?


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answers from Syracuse on

Hi E.! Congratulations on your new baby and being 5 lbs. away from you pre-pregnancy weight already. I am an aerobics and yoga instructor. It is not a good idea to strength train just yet. I know you feel great but your muscles are what you are worried about. It takes those muscles up to 6 weeks to get back to normal. Straining them could cause tearing and permanent damage. Even yoga is too hard on those muscles. Eating right and breastfeeding will probably drop the last 5 lbs. before you know. Going for walks however is ok. As long as you don't get over tired as you are walking. Walking at a semi-brisk to brisk pace everyday will help tremendously. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Hi E.,

I completely relate to your concern! My second little guy is 6 1/2 months old now, still breastfeeding, and I am weighing in about 22 pounds less than when I got pregnant with him (which is 32 pounds less than when I got pregnant with my now 2 year old). I forced myself not to really weigh until 6 weeks post-partum, but did do walking and gentle abdominal exercises on the floor. At six weeks I started working out once a day with videos which my 2-year-old loves to do with me. Because of the strain on your abdominal muscles from pregnancy, I would wait until your 6-week check up to make sure it is safe to do more intensive exercises, but after that you will probably get the green light on pilates and such. You could probably get away with gentle arm toning with dumbells sitting down. The main concern with overdoing it at this point is even though you probably feel great, your body's been through quite an ordeal. If you've stopped bleeding, it could possibly start up again if you jump in too quickly. Hope this helps!! Good luck. :)

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answers from Binghamton on

Congrats on your new baby!

I just want to add my 2 cents worth! I agree with what everyone else said about waiting. From experience, I did too much after my 2nd daughter was born, mostly because I didn't have a choice, but long story short I ended up having to have a historectomy after my 3rd daughter was born and my bladder repaired as the uterus had "fallen" and brought my bladder with it. Believe me that you really do not want this to happen. I honestly had no issues with having the historectomy as I was done having children and now I don't have to worry about the monthly issues, but till I had it done I had a bladder infection almost every month and so many other issues.

So your doing well with out pushing your self, wait till you see the OBGYN before going any further!



answers from New York on

Congrats on your beautiful daughters and congrats on feeling like exercising 3 weeks after delivery! With the breastfeeding and healthy eating you'll have no problems staying on track- even with waiting until you have your OBGYN's go-ahead for exercise at the 6-week check-up. If you do too much too soon, your body will have trouble healing and you'll bleed and bleed... speeking from experience! I didn't try to exercise, but just running around after my toddler when my second child was born slowed my healing enough that I bled 11 weeks post-partum. It's much better to take it east to start with than to move backwards! Good luck!



answers from New York on

E. -
I think walking is also best for at least the next few weeks. It is really easy to rip the connective tissue between your abdominal muscles doing anything strenuous. Then your insides are going to hang out until you get it repaired. (not a pretty injury) Sounds like you are on your way - a couple more weeks won't make a huge difference - and you can still have a six pack by July! Good luck.



answers from New York on

I had my first child almost a year ago, and i really wanted to loose the weight fast so i turned to a rounded diet and a web side that i was refered to by another mother.
long story short visit this hidden treasure ............they have everything here.Remember to drink a lot of liquids



answers from New York on

Why not wait the 3 more weeks to be safe because keeping up with the newborn and 2 1/2 yo seems to be working for you. Give your body some time to heal before you ask more of it than you do now. A.



answers from New York on

When I was in the hospital the OB said I can return to exercise anytime I wanted as long I was up to it. I live in Englewood and was walking the hills right away. I think if the OB oks it, you are not bleeding heavily and you feel good, exercise is fine. I would think gentle yoga would be no problem. I would avoid heavy weightlifting and jumping. I would also recommend checking if you have a diastasis rectus abdominus (abdominal separation common from pregnancy) before you do those sit ups. I happen to treat women potpartum and see these common mistake early on.
Since you are breastfeeding, make sure you increase those good calories even more if you are going to exercise now. Have fun!



answers from Albany on

Don't do anything yet. Your body needs the extra fat to make milk and your muscles need recovery time. Why be in such a hurry? Just get as much rest as you can. If it's only 5 lbs and you are only 3 weeks from delivery, you are way ahead of the curve! Don't be surprised if it takes a while to lose those last few pounds. Your body will probably hold onto them, especially if you work too hard to lose weight. You could also run the risk of increased bleeding if you start working out too early! Right now, your primary concern should be your baby. Make sure you are eating healthy (that includes eating foods with good fats in them) and drinking lots of water so you have enough energy to produce the milk that your baby needs. You can take short walks with your baby but nothing else until your doctor gives you the ok. Even then, you need to make sure you take it slow and don't overdo it. I lost most of my baby weight just by breastfeeding and walking every day after my son was born.
Then, when he was a little older, I started taking a mom & baby exercise class called Stroller Fit, which I highly recommend. See if there is one in your area.


answers from New York on

The best excercise at this point is walking. Throw the kids in a stroller and hit the block. It'll clear your head and get the kids some nice fresh air. I've lost quite a bit of weight just walking.



answers from New York on

I would wait until the 6 week checkup and ok from your Doctor even if it was a VBaC. Why push yourself if you're losing the weight anyway, it's more important to be safe and not overdo it. I just walked a lot (I had a C-section) after my son's birth and only started up w/ the yoga again about 7 weeks after his birth.

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