If you are like many women, you want to know when you can get back to what you were doing before you had your child? Maybe you did CrossFit, HIIT workouts, yoga, or you went to boot camp style workouts. Maybe you lifted weights at home or did home videos and are wondering, is it ok for me to go back to doing these activities? How much can I do? How much should I do?
You are not alone. Many women wonder these same things, how much is too much?
It is best to wait until you get the "all clear" from you Ob/Gyn or midwife to return to activities. It will depend on your labor and delivery, your pre-pregnancy health and fitness, and your health and fitness routine while you were pregnant. However, if your Ob/Gyn is anything like mine, her words were "...just ease back into it." That was the extent of my instructions.
This conversation with my Ob/Gyn is exactly why I journeyed down the road of women's health physical therapy, but that's a story for another time.
Easing back into things does not mean loading up a barbell with 60% of your pre-pregnancy max at 8 weeks postpartum; it does not mean jump into a workout that includes jumping, running, and other dynamic movements with weight. It does not mean stretch back into a 90 minute hot yoga class doing all of the movements in the same way you did pre-pregnancy.
Easing back into things means start with breath work. Start with foundational movements. Start with the basics. In postpartum recovery, slow is fast. The slower you go, the more attention to detail, the more focused you are on rebuilding and restoring normal strength and range of motion back to the muscle that have been hanging out in a stretched position for 9 months, the easier your recovery will be, the less likely you will be to have an injury and the more likely you will be to return to lifting heavy weights, running a marathon, return to HIIT workout, or just be able to play with your kids.
Each person is different and each person needs an individualized plan. If you have questions or are ready to get back into your fitness routine again, seek the help of a professional to help you ease back into your health and fitness routine. As always, we're here to help and answer any questions you may have as you embark on the 4th trimester!