When to Resume Exercise After Childbirth

Updated on August 23, 2009
M.G. asks from Trenton, NJ
7 answers

Hi moms! I had my second child about two and a half weeks ago (no complications) and recovery is going really well. I worked out on the treadmill throughout my pregnancy and am eager to resume a workout routine. My midwife gave me the greenlight to start working out again when I feel ready, and while I feel ready now, I don't want to rush anything. How long did you all typically wait before working out again? Thanks. :)

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So What Happened?

Thanks all you moms for the great responses! I resumed exercising yesterday (starting out very easy) and I will listen to my body every step of the way to make sure I am not pushing myself too hard.

More Answers



answers from New York on

Follow your instincts. Take a long walk (w stroller) and stay hydrated. Go to the gym now. I went to the gym 2 wks after my 2nd child was born, but I just took it slow to regain my stamina. After 6 months I joined a bootcamp and lost all the weight. I was doing it 2x a week, sometimes 3x but now I do it 1x a week with other days yoga class. My baby is now a year old!



answers from New York on

Hi M.,

Congratulations on your second child. The fact that you are already wanting to exercise, along with your midwife's permission, is a testament to how well you are doing. As a perinatal fitness trainer, I normally have new moms get the okay from their doctor/midwife after their six-week check up. This is typically the desired amount of time for a healthy new mom to wait before getting serious about exercising after birth.

I encourage you to take it slow and, although it sounds like you have the energy, here is a link to an article I wrote for new moms and exercise. If you are wanting to get back on the treadmill, this breathing exercise will help strengthen your abs, being mindful of posture as you walk/run.


Begin slowly and pay attention to your body so you don't push too hard, especially in the beginning, and good luck!

S. Caesar
Maternal Dance/Rhythm For Life



answers from San Francisco on

My OB said 4 weeks with my first child, which I respected, but was out hiking and back to running 6 milers on that 4th week. With my second child, I was back in the swing of things closer to the birth - but my labor was 4 hours the second time around (vs 12) and the baby came out with 2 pushes (vs 2.5 hours of pushing), much less stressful on my body. I say if you feel good, try an easy workout and see how your body responds.



answers from New York on

Hi M.:

Every woman's body is different. As a suggestion, start out with gentle, easy stretches and walking. Your body will let you know when to move onto something else.

All the best,
Holistic Maternity Care Provider



answers from New York on

My doctor said to wait 6 weeks but if you already have the ok try a slow start. Don't expect to go back to where you were the 1st day! My doctor also said that if my bleeding gets heavier or resumes when I start doing more to back off. More bleeding is a sign of stress on your system and that it needs more time to heal. Good luck and congratuations! A.



answers from New York on

The recommended time is 6 weeks post vaginal delivery. I too was given an ok by the doctor even at the hospital as long as there was no heavy bleeding anymore. If you have stopped bleeding and feel up to it, go for a walk or so to start. I began walking outdoors almost immediately as last September was a beautiful month. I did walk some hills too by the 6th week. Have fun and listen to your body! Oh and Congrats!



answers from New York on

Hi M.,
I also had two great pregnancies and deliveries. I started walking my newborn about a week after she was born. But I did not push it. Even though you feel great your insides have to heal. I took short walks to the park, went window shopping, walked my older daughter to school. Things like that. I think within 4 weeks, you could start a regular work out routine. Goodluck and stay well.
C. F.

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