Mom doing postpartum workout at home with baby.

Best Postpartum Workouts You Can Do at Home

Your body is capable of some amazing things, but just like it took time for your baby to develop, it’s going to take time for your body to recover. This can be especially challenging for some women, but returning to your pre-baby weight and fitness level is possible with some hard work, dedication, and, most importantly, time. Postpartum workouts can help you rebuild your strength and endurance after childbirth. Since most new moms barely have time to rest, getting to the gym is probably an impossible endeavor. Luckily, there are several postpartum workouts you can do in your living room or kitchen. To help you get the most out of your time, we’ll explore some of the best postpartum workouts you can do at home.


Tips for Safe Postnatal Exercising

Childbirth can take a toll on your body and regardless of how determined you are to start working out, you need to take some time to heal. Therefore, it’s imperative that you only begin a workout regimen after getting clearance from your doctor. This could take several weeks or more, depending on your labor and delivery.

Once you’re given the okay to start, ease back into it slowly. You shouldn’t go from resting to training for a full-blown marathon in a few days. Instead, start slowly and gradually add more exercises, more weight, or more time to your workouts as you progress. If you push yourself too fast or too hard, you introduce the risk of injury, which is only going to set you back in the long run. For example, if you’re a runner, consider starting with short, brisk walks and gradually increasing your time. You can then advance to some speed walking, jogging, and eventually running. Just don’t forget to stretch before and after your workouts.

Another key to safe postnatal exercising is to listen to your body. If bleeding resumes after you perform heavier or more intense exercises, tone it back down. Your body is great at telling you what it can handle, you just need to listen to it.


The Benefits of Post-Pregnancy Workouts

Exercise is great for a healthy body, mind, and soul, so it makes sense that it’s beneficial during your postpartum period. Moving your body offers some unique benefits that can help you get the most out of your recovery. Exercising during this stage can help:

  • Improve your energy levels
  • Promote more restorative sleep
  • Alleviate stress or anxiety
  • Boost mental health and wellbeing
  • Strengthen and tone abdominal muscles
  • Lose excess weight gained during pregnancy
  • Speed up postpartum recovery
  • Reduce the risk of certain postpartum complications
  • Improve milk supply
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Although there are several benefits to postpartum workouts, everyone is different. Make sure that you speak with your doctor regarding your specific childbirth experience and recovery to ensure that it’s safe to start exercising.

8 Postpartum Workouts You Can Do at Home

It’s no secret that pregnancy changes your body. Even if you have a fast or easy labor, it’s important to recognize that your post-pregnancy body might be a little different, at least for a while. You deserve some rest, but if you want to start exercising again, that’s great too. You don’t need to join a gym to start working on your health. To help, here are eight great postpartum workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home.


1. Diaphragmatic Breathing

A great postpartum workout that every new mom should do is diaphragmatic breathing. Although it might not seem like your traditional “exercise,” diaphragmatic breathing can help with recovery, and it can be started almost immediately following delivery. It’s used to help restore your body’s natural breathing patterns, reduce stress, and strengthen your core stability.

To perform this exercise, lie on your back, place your hands on your belly, and take a deep breath in through the nose. Breathe in for a few seconds and then exhale slowly. You should feel your belly rise and fall as you inhale and exhale. Do this exercise for several minutes at a time, as often as you need throughout the day.


2. Pelvic Floor Exercises

The pelvic floor muscles are usually weakened during pregnancy and childbirth, so focusing on exercises that can strengthen them after delivery is great. Kegels are one of the best exercises to do this, as they’re discreet and have impressive results. Simply contract the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine. Hold the contraction for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat this exercise several times a day.


3. Postpartum Yoga

Postpartum yoga is a great way to improve flexibility, reduce stress, and promote overall wellbeing. Many yoga studios offer postpartum classes, but you can also find videos online to follow along with at home. When practicing yoga after giving birth, be sure to avoid poses that put too much pressure on the belly and lower back.


4. Core Strengthening Exercises

Your core helps support the spine and facilitate everyday movements, but it can be weakened during pregnancy as the abdomen stretches apart to make room for your baby. Planks, crunches, and bridges are all excellent exercises to strengthen the core and can be done with no equipment! Just be sure to start with beginner variations and gradually increase the intensity as you build strength. If you experience any discomfort, stop exercising and talk to your doctor.


5. Walking

Although it’s not exactly something that’s fun to do around the house, walking is a low-impact exercise that is perfect for new moms. Walking can help improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress, and promote weight loss. Start by going on short walks. Once you feel more comfortable, gradually increase the distance and speed.


6. Glute Floor Bridges

Glute floor bridges are another great postpartum workout that can be done at home. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground and hold for a few seconds before lowering back down. Repeat this exercise for several repetitions.


7. Body Weight Squats

Bodyweight squats are an excellent exercise that targets several major muscle groups in your body while improving stability. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down as if you are sitting back into a chair, and then stand back up. Repeat for several repetitions. You can also use a chair for added support.


8. Modified Push-Ups

Push-ups are a great way to build upper body strength, but they can be challenging for new moms. Modified push-ups are an excellent alternative. Start on your knees and lower your body down to the ground before pushing back up. Try to do three sets of 10 and gradually increase your repetitions over time.


How to Get Started with a Postpartum Exercise Plan

The hardest part of any new exercise plan is getting started. Once you get the okay from your doctor, try to schedule some quick workouts into your day. Start by choosing only one or two exercises you want to try. You don’t need to spend 45 minutes sweating in your living room to start reaping the benefits of postpartum workouts. Remember, doing something is always better than doing nothing, so don’t be hard on yourself if all you have time for is a few Kegels throughout the day.

Once you start to make exercising a habit, consider scheduling in longer “sessions.” If you’re getting enough sleep, try doing a quick exercise routine while your baby is napping. However, be gentle with yourself and don’t overdo it. If you need to take a quick nap instead of doing some squats, that’s okay. Sleep is just as important as exercise, so don’t feel like you need to prioritize one over the other. Another way to stay committed to your new routine is to try out different exercises and find the ones that you enjoy most. This way, you’ll be more excited to do them during the week. If you have any questions or concerns about your postpartum workouts, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.

Finding the time to work out can be difficult when you’re nursing, but a breast pump can help. Breast pumps give your partner the opportunity to take over feedings, so you can spend some time doing a postpartum workout. All you need to do is order an insurance covered breast pump from Byram Healthcare then start pumping. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all new and expecting mothers are eligible to receive one at zero out of pocket costs. To learn more about your options and get started with the ordering process, check out our breast pump product selection guide today.