A lot of people have different ideas about what is safe to do for strength training after they’ve had a baby. We wanted to give you some recommendations for what to do as safe exercises after you’ve had a baby.
Typically postpartum moms go to the OBGYN or other healthcare provider at around the six week mark for a check up. They typically get told “ All looks good, you’re safe” and are released to go back to whatever form of activity they were previously doing.
At this point, you have been given the green light to go back to anything, but here is where we want you to stop and think about a couple of things before getting into any strength training routine.
1) Focus on proper breathing – There is a huge tendency to hold your breath when starting to lift weights because it feels like you are generating better strength and stability however when you are doing this, you are putting a lot of pressure on your abdominal wall and pelvic cavity. We want you to instead focus on your breath pattern and exhale as you exert yourself and lift the weights.
2) Focus on proper form – If you are lifting weights make sure you are lifting them with good quality and focusing on quality over quantity.
3) Focus on gradually progressing the loads – We don’t recommend starting off with deadlifting 200 pounds even if you could do it. Start with a lighter weight and work on form and breath pattern and then gradually increase your weights over time. This will minimize your risk of injury and set you up for more success in the future.
4) Focus on being mindful with your movement – Be mindful of your breathing, your movements your load amount. Start where you are right now, not where you were prior to pregnancy. We want you to reach your goals, but honor where you are right now and progress yourself carefully so there is no risk for injury.
5) Focus on ensuring you are asymptomatic for what movements you are doing. During the post-partum period you likely hear a lot about diastasis recti, bladder leakage or pelvic organ prolapse or pain. If you are experiencing any of these, don’t ignore it. If you got to deadlift 100 sounds but feel a ton of pelvic pressure, you might need to decrease your load and build up your pelvic stability. We don’t recommend pushing through it to complete the exercise.
If you feel like you are unsure of where to start for a safe return to fitness in the post-partum period check out our fitness offerings including our Moms Made Strong Program that guides you through exercise routines that are safe and will meet you where you are at!