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Postpartum Exercises and Why You Need The Benefits

May 23, 2008
Having a baby takes a toll on a woman physically and mentally and many women are not sure how to react to certain postpartum issues, including exercise, hormones and emotions. Many women are not even sure how soon after giving birth they should start to exercise to get their pre-pregnancy body back. Hopefully the information contained within will help them understand what is happening during this wonderful and occasionally stressful time in their lives.

Postpartum Exercise: Just What The Doctor Ordered:

Most women can start doing postpartum exercises as soon as their doctor says they are able. This could be anywhere from the day after giving birth to six weeks later if the they have a C-section. As long as they start slowly and allow their bodies time to heal, exercising is a good way to restore ones energy and refresh their spirit and mind. Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor and are probably the best exercises to begin with. They will help the body in the prevention of incontinence and prolapse.

Mothers who are nursing should not change their diet to go along with their postpartum exercises. It is better for them to have an extra five pounds on their bodies so that their milk does not dry up prematurely. If the mother is not nursing then they will want to lose the weight gradually, not more than about one or two pounds per week. This will keep them from losing bone density. It will keep your metabolism moving and help your circulation.

Postpartum exercise does not cause a nursing mother's milk to decrease. The only thing it will do is help the mother lose the weight she gained during pregnancy. However, there have been indications that postpartum exercise will cause a change in the taste of the mother's milk because of the production of lactic acid.

To avoid rejection of the milk by the baby, mothers should feed or pump their milk before exercising, or wait at least an hour after exercise before nursing. The hour between exercise and nursing will aloe the mother's milk to return to its normal taste and then there is no chance of the back rejecting it.

In today's market there are many new and exciting work out equipment available for the new mother's to incorporate into their work out routine. If they have done Pilates in the past, they can substitute their baby for the Pilates equipment in the appropriate exercises, such as plies. Otherwise, a mat or soft surface and a place for the baby to sit and watch - or sleep - are all that is needed.

Postpartum workouts during the first week after birth should be done easy and only require the stretching, tensing, and releasing of muscles. Also, mothers who are up to it and want to get outdoors can add a walk to their routine, which will help boost their aerobic activity and get the blood pumping. The combination of fresh air and moving about will invigorate the mother and help her along in her exercising routine.
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