Published on October 24, 2022
Returning to Exercise Postpartum
Post-natal fitness and exercise have many unique benefits including strengthening abdominal muscles, boosting energy levels, promoting better sleep and reducing the symptoms of postpartum depression. While you may be eager to head back to the gym after giving birth, it is important to consider your safety and consult health professionals during the process.
So, how long after childbirth can you return to the gym or your favorite fitness program? Servus Credit Union Place’s Mind Body and Special Populations Programmer, Megan Kroschinski shares her recommendations below.
According to the most current Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Guidelines, the length of time one is ready to return to the gym or fitness program can be different for everyone. Most guidelines suggest that exercise can resume after bleeding has ceased and you have reached your six-week postpartum checkup. “However, these general recommendations do not account for potential complications that require additional time for healing” - Davenport, Margie. “Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period”. There are many factors that can lengthen your recovery time and you should always listen to your healthcare professional’s advice on a return to fitness timeline as it may be recommended to wait a little longer.
As a pre- and postnatal fitness professional, I always recommend moms seek out a pelvic floor physiotherapist. They will be able to guide you through appropriate movements, breathing cues and deep core and pelvic floor exercises to start - even the day you give birth! Following their professional guidance will ensure a successful transition back to fitness once your body and doctor or midwife say you are ready.
Prenatal moms who are attending fitness classes or working with a personal trainer should let their trainer know that they are pregnant, so staff can best tailor a program for the different stages of pregnancy. Trainers should also be aware of any exercise considerations that your doctor or midwife has recommended. More information on pre-natal fitness can be found using the Canadian Guidelines for Physical Activity through Pregnancy.
Once you are ready to return to fitness, be gentle on yourself and know that your body may not feel or move the same as you remember. That’s normal! Try to seek out a class or personal trainer who has experience with post-natal fitness journeys.
Servus Place has many programs and personal trainers who have knowledge in these areas. Drop-in classes and registered programs such as Stroller FITT, Mom & Baby Aquafit, Stroller Bootcamp, and Yoga for Mom & Baby are great options because they allow you to bring your baby to class. Knowing that your classes will have instructors who can safely modify for your return to fitness, are flexible in you and your baby’s needs, and provide a supportive environment are all keys to a successful start.
Registered pre- and post-natal programs are available with a 15% discount for all annual members at Servus Place. Over 50 drop-in classes are also included in your membership for all ages and interests, so there really is something for everyone – even the new dads too!
Learn more about benefits and get started with an annual membership to Servus Place. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help facilitate your return to fitness journey safely!
For more information on returning to post-natal fitness, please contact Megan Kroschinski at email@example.com.
Last edited: October 24, 2022