Postpartum Exercises that Help Heal Physically, Mentally & Emotionally
You're at least 6 weeks postpartum, and you're already thinking about wanting to get out of the house and get active. Struggling with what to do? Here are some great facts and stats that will show you why movement and physical activity are crucial for new moms.
POSTPARTUM EXERCISE FACTS & STATS
- Returning to exercise is linked to a decrease in postpartum depression.
- Women who took structured group exercise programs after delivery showed more success at losing body fat and keeping it off 1 year postpartum than those who didn't exercise.
- Women who brought their babies and exercised in a group with others in a fitness class had less guilt about leaving their baby with a caregiver, were able to stop and feed the baby any time, and were able to build a community.
SAFE EXERCISES TO DO DURING FIRST 6 WEEKS POST DELIVERY
- Walking - ONLY if it makes you feel good!
- Abdominal hollowing (Also known as cat/cow) - pull belly button toward spine during exhale and imagine pulling bottom ribs toward each other, and hold for 3-5 seconds. Do in a sitting or all-4's position.
- Chest stretches (bring hands behind back, interlace fingers, open chest)
There are 3 types of postpartum emotional and mental woes:
1- Baby Blues- women feel weepy, overwhelmed, and irritable. It can last up to 10 days, and 80% of women struggle with this, post baby. Extra sleep and some time away from baby helps lessen the symptoms.
2- Postpartum Depression - women feel sad, anxious, have changes in appetite, insomnia, and/or guilt. Can last 2 or more weeks, and at least 15% of women struggle with PPD. With counseling and/or medication (and exercise!), women can begin to see a decrease in symptoms.
3- Postpartum Psychosis - women feel manic, paranoid, severe depression, violent thoughts and/or tendencies. Only 5% women struggle with PPP, and they are able to find peace and comfort through inpatient psychiatric treatment.
Read more at Postpartum International at www.postpartum.net or call (800) 994-4PPD.