Postnatal Exercise: Core exercises for new mothers
The journey of becoming a mother is one of the most delightful and alluring experiences for a woman. The pregnancy period, from conception to childbirth, is a period of mixed feelings of excitement and worry for new mothers. Motherhood is a journey where a woman experiences emotional and physical changes in her body. She puts most of her efforts into having a healthy and fit pregnancy.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes great transformations to keep the baby safe and healthy. After all the ups and downs and painful labour, you are blessed with a little bundle of joy who has completely changed your life.
However, after delivering the baby, a woman’s body starts to change again. During the postpartum period, the body experiences many discomforts and changes. Therefore, postnatal exercises are very important for new mothers, as they ensure you recover properly from labour and delivery. You must prioritize your health in addition to your newborn’s.
In this case, gentle postnatal exercises for new mothers can help you heal and recover. Postpartum core exercises for new mothers are the best way to start with physical activity, maintain the overall mobility of the body, and lose postpartum weight.
BENEFITS OF POSTNATAL EXERCISE
Postnatal exercises are very important after childbirth, as they not only make your body strong but are also beneficial for your overall well-being. It is advised to start doing gentle exercises during the first few weeks after the delivery.
Some benefits of postnatal exercise include the following:
- Relieves stress and helps prevent postpartum depression.
- Maintains and improves the strength of abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles.
- Promotes weight loss.
- Helps you get sound sleep.
- Helps to improve energy levels.
- Reduces the postpartum blues with a healthy mind.
- It helps get rid of aches and pains
- Tones your body, making it flexible.
Postnatal Exercises for New Mothers
Now that you know some potential benefits of postnatal exercise, let us look at some core exercises you should focus on as a new mom.
01. Deep belly breathing
Deep belly breathing is also known as diaphragm breathing or abdominal breathing, which targets your diaphragm. This exercise includes abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor to provide stability to the trunk of your body.
Abdominal breathing helps you use your diaphragm correctly. In this exercise, you consciously use your diaphragm to take deep breaths. While in normal breathing, the lungs are not used to their full capacity, diaphragmatic breathing helps to use the lungs to their full capacity to increase their efficiency.
Benefits of deep belly breathing
Deep belly breathing does not take a toll on your postpartum body. It is a very gentle exercise for new mothers and comes with many health benefits, including:
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Reduces heart rate.
- Improves lung capacity.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Strengthens abdominal and pelvic floor function.
02. Pelvic Bridge
Bridging exercise is useful for increasing the hip extensors’ muscular strength and promoting trunk stability. This exercise strengthens the lower back and hip muscles and also helps to promote better posture. After pregnancy, pelvic exercises help strengthen your pelvis, back, and neck.
Bridging exercise is a great way to strengthen your postpartum body and regain strength. The pelvic bridge exercise is a very light and effective exercise to strengthen the muscles that support the spine and reduce belly fat post-delivery.
Benefits of a pelvic bridge
- Strengthen pelvic muscles.
- Helps to avoid urinary incontinence.
- Reduces swelling and bruising after delivery.
- Promotes a fast and healthy recovery.
03. Horizontal forearm plank
This exercise is the best way to engage and tone your core muscles. Planks help engage all the muscles in the body and are one of the most effective exercises for building full body strength. However, if you are facing any difficulty doing planks, you can modify the posture according to your health condition. This exercise is done by adjusting and aligning your body and making it perpendicular to the ground. Planks can be done in many ways, like the side plank, the high plank, and the push-up plank.
Benefits of horizontal forearm planks
A forearm plank is an ideal way to lose belly fat and regain muscle strength post-pregnancy.
- Helps make the spinal cord stronger and more resistant to joint pain.
- Strengthens your core muscles
- Boosts metabolism
- Reduces belly fat
- Helps improve posture
Try performing planks for a minimum of one minute at a time for the best results. Perform this exercise under supervision and guidance.
Walking is one of the most important exercises to keep you fit. It is also advisable for new moms to walk just after the delivery to avoid forming blood clots in the body. During the first few exhausting weeks after childbirth, walking helps to provide a huge mood boost.
Benefits of walking
- Help get rid of extra baby weight
- Reduces postpartum depression
- Boosts energy
- Helpful in mood upliftment
Childbirth is an exhausting process that requires a lot of energy. Your body might need more healing time. Therefore, do not try to push yourself for rigorous exercise. Regular walking helps you get your shape back.
05. Bird Dog exercise
This is a very simple core exercise that improves stability and relieves lower back pain. The bird dog pose targets the whole body and strengthens the hip, core, and back muscles.
There are several variations of the bird dog exercise, which you can modify according to your ease and comfort. It engages your abdominals and stabilizes your lower back.
Benefits of bird dog exercise
- Helps develop good balance and posture
- Aids lower back pain
- Strengthens the core
Postpartum is a very challenging period for new mothers as it comes with many changes in the body and life. Pregnancy and childbirth change your body in many ways, including weakening your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. Therefore, it is very important to regain strength, and postnatal exercises for new mothers are the best way to prevent pelvic organ prolapse in the future.
Including these exercises in your daily workout session can help to strengthen the core muscles, boost mood, and improve overall health.