Exercise Tips

Posture
Not only is it important for you to walk as soon as you can after delivery, but it’s also important to be aware of your posture. Practice good posture by standing up straight and contracting your stomach muscles when you walk. This helps keep the strain off your back muscles and tone your stomach.

Leg Positions
Be sure not to cross your legs when you’re sitting or lying in bed. After giving birth, you want to keep your blood flowing smoothly to avoid any blood clots. Crossing your legs can constrict the blood flow to your legs and feet.

Kegels
The kegel exercises that you did during your pregnancy are especially good after you deliver. Doing kegels will help to re-tone the muscles that were stretched during pregnancy and childbirth. Try to squeeze the muscles you use to control the flow of your urine, since these are the muscles that need to be toned. Simply tighten for five seconds, then relax the muscles. Try to do this 10 times, several times a day. These exercises will improve your bladder control, help heal your perineum, and improve the tone of your vaginal muscles.

Pelvic Tilt
Pelvic tilt exercises will help to tone your lower back and lower abdomen. Here’s how to do a pelvic tilt:

Get down on your hands and knees, putting your hands shoulder-width apart. Your hips and shoulders should be at a 90-degree angle. Tuck your pelvis under by tightening your buttocks and arching your lower back toward the ceiling. Then relax your pelvis so that your back is flat and level. Never let your lower back hyperextend or sag toward the floor. Inhale while you’re relaxing, and exhale while you’re tilting your pelvis.

You can also do a pelvic tilt when you’re standing up. Start with your shoulders against the wall, your feet shoulder-width apart, and your hips and knees slightly bent. Press the small of your lower back against the wall by tightening your abdominal muscles, buttocks, and thigh muscles. Practice this exercise, either standing, or on your hands and knees, 10 to 20 times a day.

Swimming
You can usually start swimming about six weeks after your baby is born. Swimming is an ideal exercise for toning your muscles and controlling your weight. As with all exercises, be sure to check with your healthcare team before starting or resuming a swimming routine.