When it comes to your fitness after giving birth, there are 4 R's to keep in mind that will help you return to the workouts that you love and want to do.
1. Rest - This is essential to everyone after giving birth whether you had a vaginal birth or C-section. The rest period will vary depending on your personal circumstances, but the recommended time to hold off exercising is 6 weeks for a vaginal delivery, and at least 6-8 weeks for a C-section or vaginal delivery with a tear or episiotomy. This doesn't mean no movement at all, it's important to be on your feet and walk if you can, but make sure you're taking the time to relax and kick up your feet. Your body underwent a lot of stress and changes during pregnancy, so it's important to take the time you need for your body to heal.
2. Recovery - Your body just grew another human in the last 9 months, all the organs in your body shifted around a bit, things stretched out, and you endured childbirth. The recovery period is so important to help you recover physically and mentally. Take the time you need. Move slower. Put your feet up. Have friends or family help with the household chores. Your body needs the down time to recover properly.
3. Rehab - Here are some things that let us know the core and pelvic floor could benefit from some rehab:
• Vaginal birth
• You had a C-section
• You want to improve your alignment and posture
• You have low back, SI joint, mid back, upper back or neck stiffness or pain
• You experience urinary incontinence
• You have pelvic organ prolapse
• You feel tension in your pelvic floor
• You experience pain or discomfort during, and/or after intercourse
• You have diastasis recti
4. Retrain - This is the stage where you will redevelop your strength and fitness. Jumping back into hard core workouts too fast will undo the progress you have made. You don't want to exercise too soon after birth and risk re-tearing anywhere. Taking a slow but steady approach will help you gain progress and reach your postpartum fitness goals faster.