Here's what to consider before you break out the post-pregnancy workout kit!
By Dr Janice TUNG, Associate Consultant and Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Visiting Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital
Now that your bundle of joy has entered the world, you're probably thinking of exercising so you can return to your pre-pregnancy weight and enjoy wearing your old clothes.
But did you know there's a bonus benefit to regular exercise at this period? Getting sweaty helps you power through the post-partum recovery process, boosting your mood and arming you with extra energy.
Assuming you underwent a smooth delivery, a good time to start light exercise is about six weeks after birth. If you had a C-section or any complications, check with your doctor before starting an exercise programme.
Tip: What time of the day is best to get your workout on? Aim to exercise after breastfeeding — your breasts will be less full, so you will feel more flexible. Importantly, it's also best not to breastfeed soon after exercise, so that there is no build-up of lactic acid in your breast milk.
Related: Returning to Pre-pregnancy Weight and Shape
Looking to tone your belly muscles? Great! Just make sure that if you've had a C-section, your abdominal muscles have fully healed. You can:
Related: Pregnancy Exercises
It's best not to expect that you'll go back to your pre-baby shape immediately — a healthy amount of weight loss is one to two kilos a month.
If you're raring to exercise harder, you won't have to wait long: four months after delivery, you can go on to running or moderate/high-impact aerobics.
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Read these next:
The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific
Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore
This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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