There’s plenty of exercise you can do after pregnancy. Not everyone can get child care while they go to the gym or to a class. Luckily, there’s plenty of exercises that you can do with your baby in tow.
For a normal vaginal delivery, you may be able to do light exercise a few days after birth. Depending on your activity level before and during your pregnancy, your doctor or midwife may recommend that you wait 6 weeks postpartum after starting any exercise program – particularly if you had tearing or a c-section.
Walking & Hiking
Walking is a great low-impact exercise for new moms and their babies. It can be as simple as a walk around the block with your stroller or a hike on an easy trail with your baby in a carrier. If you decide to hike, make sure you wait until all bleeding (lochia) has stopped and you’re not taking any pain medication.
Exercises To Do At Home
Looking for something a little less time consuming than a hike for a walk around the block? Here’s a quick workout you can do in the comfort of your own home with Baby:
- Abs: Set Baby up in a bouncer seat, or if she is old enough, have her sit). Place Baby facing you while you plank for 20 seconds. Sing Baby a song to pass the time!
- Glutes: Use the same setup as above, but lie on your stomach, knees bent at a 90° angle with Baby in front of you. Using your glutes and lower back muscles, lift your knees of the ground for 20 seconds. Baby would love some eye contact and conversation with you!
- Lower body toner: With Baby in a carrier, stand with you feet wide apart. Keeping your weight over your heels, tailbone pointed toward the floor, and lower abs engaged, squat as if you were sitting in a chair. The added weight of Baby makes this a great exercise.
- Core: Lay on your back with Baby on your belly. Lift your legs so that your legs are bent at a 90° angle. For an added challenge, place Baby on your extended legs. To complete the exercise, lift your lead and shoulders to gaze and interact with Baby.
- Upper body: This one is a no brainer. While holding Baby, slowly lift her up and down 12 times, rest, then repeat for 3 sets. Make sure you keep your weight centered over your feet, tailbone tucked in, and ab muscles engaged.
These are great exercises to do while being engaged with Baby. Eye contact, singing, talking, and – if you’re able to – even playing with small toys is a great way to interact. Get active – and creative!