Exercise Recommendations Post Pregnancy

At the outset, let’s define the postpartum period and things to bear in mind specific to this phase while planning an exercise program.

What is the postpartum period? 

A postpartum (or postnatal) period begins immediately after the child’s birth. This period is distinct in three phases: 

The initial or acute period involves the first 6–12 hours postpartum.

The second phase is the subacute postpartum period, which lasts 2–6 weeks. During this phase, the body undergoes major changes. 

The third phase is the delayed postpartum period, which can last up to 6 months, This is the time of restoration of muscle tone and connective tissue to the pre pregnant state. 

Commonly seen *musculoskeletal issues* in new mothers are as follows :

1. Back pain 

2. Decreased bone density

3. Urinary incontinence 

4. Decreased Muscle strength 

5. Increased laxity of ligaments which can predispose a new mother to injury 

6. Diastasis Recti ( longer than normal abdominal separation ) 

7. Pelvic organ prolapse

8. Faulty posture 

Additional weight, poor posture, stress and control of the centre of gravity are interdependent. A change in the centre of gravity affects posture which causes the muscles to work harder.

How does exercise help?

Nowadays everyone desires to have a flat tummy as soon as possible after delivery. It is a trend and women may directly start exercises without proper guidance.

Points to be kept in mind while starting exercise programs:

Anuja Mhatre, Consultant Physiotherapist, Mind Your Fitness!

Anuja specialises in cardiac rehab, ante and postnatal care.

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