Q. Why are we advised to wait for at least six weeks (or 8-10 weeks for a C-section) after having a baby before exercising? I kept active during my pregnancy and I’m now four weeks postnatal. I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight and feel ready to hit the gym again! But every bit of info says I must wait six weeks. Can you tell me why?
I know the feeling but it’s crucial that you wait! You still need all that time to make sure you heal properly. A doctor told me they had to treat a woman for a hernia, who had had a C-section and had gone back to fitness to early. You definitely don’t want that to happen to you; she had to take an extra three months off. Your stomach muscles will have been given a chance to properly heal by twelve weeks.
For women who had a natural birth, six weeks is a must also, to allow your body to recover. Before starting an exercise regime, make sure to start your pelvic floor exercises, so you avoid leaking while working out.
Some women develop a gap in their abdominal muscles as their stomach expands during pregnancy and labour, a condition called diastasis recti. It takes four to eight weeks after giving birth for this gap to close. If you start doing abdominal exercises before the gap closes, you risk injuring those muscles, so be really careful and take things slow.
The hormone relaxin will also still be in your system, this makes your joints more elastic, which makes you much more prone to injury.
Let your body heal
The bottom line is, take the time out to recover, there’ll be so much time for you to go hell for leather, and as much as you can, try to enjoy the time you can’t work out, it’ll fly by and you’ll soon be able to go for it!