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FAQ's About Postnatal Exercise


Postpartum Exercise/ Postnatal Exercise

Frequently Asked Questions About Postpartum Exercise

How soon after giving birth can I start postpartum exercise?

According to the American Council of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, with your doctor's approval, you can start postpartum exercise as soon as you feel that you are ready. Start slowly- give your body time to heal. If you have diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal muscles of more than three fingers width, do modified versions of abdominal exercises until the gap has narrowed to two fingers. If you had a C-section, wait at least six weeks before beginning abdominal exercises.

What is the best postpartum exercise?

The most important postpartum exercise that you should do is the kegel exercise. Since your pelvic floor muscles have been over-stretched during birth, kegel exercises are essential to regain muscle tone to avoid incontinence and prolapse, or falling, of your uterus and other internal organs. You can also begin light abdominal exercises, taking care to modify them if you have diastasis recti.
Generally, at four or six weeks, your doctor will give his or her approval to begin more strenuous postpartum exercise. At this point, you can do brisk walking, swimming, bicycling or other exercises.
The Perfect Postnatal Workout contains a short workout that you can do in your first month and two more vigorous 15-minute workouts that you can do with your baby after your doctor has given you approval for postpartum exercise. These are sculpting workouts-they will increase your metabolism and give you a more toned physique, helping you to burn fat faster.

Can I Diet For Postpartum Weight Loss?

Nursing mothers should not crash diet to lose weight. Milk production requires an extra 500 calories/day and doctors recommend that women who nurse maintain an extra five pounds. Although early milk production draws on weight gained during pregnancy, it is important to consume enough calories to keep up your energy level during this time of healing and change. You should not, however, consume more calories than necessary.
If you are not nursing, try to aim for a program of gradual weight loss. One to two pounds/week is the maximum recommended in order to keep up your strength and bone density.
Whether or not you are breastfeeding, daily exercise will improve your circulation and boost your metabolism, helping you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight.

How Do I Know If I'm Doing Too Much Postpartum Exercise?

A sure sign that you are too aggressive with your postpartum exercise is if your vaginal discharge, or lochia, turns bright pink or red. If you notice any changes, slow down. Notify your doctor if your lochia starts again after it has tapered off. Note: it is normal for your lochia to increase slightly with activity- a color change is the best indicator of new bleeding.

I've heard that I shouldn't exercise before feeding my baby. Is this true?

Some studies have shown that lactic acid from exercising changes the taste of breast milk, causing some infants to reject it, but everything returns to normal after an hour or so. To avoid this, you may want to feed your baby or pump a half-hour before you exercise. Your breasts will also be less heavy and your baby will be less likely to interrupt your workout due to hunger.

Does Postpartum Exercise Decrease Milk Production?

No- and it has no adverse effect on the baby. In a study at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where 40 overweight lactating women were assigned to either a diet and exercise group or a control group for 10 weeks, there was no significant difference between groups in weight or length of the infants before, during or after the study. The exercising mothers, however, lost as many as 18 pounds and 48% returned to their pre-pregnancy weight. The non-exercisers varied between a 10-pound loss and a 10-pound gain, with 21% at their pre-pregnancy weight.

Do I Need Any Special Equipment To Do The Perfect Postnatal Workout?

To do The Perfect Postnatal Workout, you will need a towel and a baby. If your baby is sleeping when you want to exercise or not in the mood, you can use something else to substitute for him or her.

What Makes The Perfect Postnatal Workout better than other postnatal exercise videos?

- Bonding. The Perfect Postnatal Workout is wonderful opportunity to give time and loving attention to your baby while getting back in shape. It is easy to find the time to do postpartum exercise and your baby will love it as much as you do.
- Total Body Toning. With The Perfect Postnatal Workout, you'll do more than put your baby in a carrier while you exercise; you'll involve your baby in a variety of different postpartum exercises to work your upper and lower body, abdominals and glutes.
- Practicality. The Perfect Postnatal Workout helps you adapt your body to your new life. you will develop the strength to lift and hold your baby effortlessly, without injuring yourself; rebuild your pelvic floor so that you can cough, sneeze or jump without fear of wetting your pants; and stretch and lengthen your muscles to release tension.
- Gradual Increase of Intensity. The Perfect Postnatal Workout starts off easy and becomes more challenging as your baby grows, allowing you to get stronger gradually as you adapt to his or her changing needs.

Is It Normal To Have Negative Feelings About Myself and My Baby?

Many women, approximately fifty to 75% of new mothers, experience "baby blues" in the first few days after birth. It is a feeling of letdown after the emotional birth experience which can trigger crying, irritability, restlessness and anxiety. These symptoms generally go away on their own, within a few days or weeks of giving birth and postpartum exercise can help.
One in ten new mothers experiences postpartum depression, which does not fade on its own for up to a year, but should be treated medically. Symptoms range from mild to severe. If you are experiencing postpartum depression, talk to your doctor. It is a disease that requires treatment, not a sign that you are a bad mother.
One in a thousand new mothers experiences the most severe postpartum disorder- postpartum psychosis. PPP usually develops in the first 2-3 weeks after birth and causes the sufferer to lose touch with reality. Symptoms include hallucinations, severe anxiety and suicidal or homicidal thoughts. PPP is a medical emergency and requires IMMEDIATE medical attention.

 

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