Navigating the world of fitness after giving birth can be a confusing and an overwhelming experience. It’s important to stay focused on your goals and avoid the harmful diet culture advice that often targets new parents. Here are some tips to help you along the way. However, please remember to seek clearance from your GP or midwife first.

1. Recovery is a personal journey.

Recovery after giving birth is different for everyone. While exercise can help speed up post-birth recovery, it’s important not to compare yourself to others. Listen to your body and move at your own pace. As a new parent, everyday activities like changing nappies and carrying your baby can provide plenty of opportunities to move and support your recovery from the start.

2. Start small and within your comfort zone.

If you’re new to working out or returning to exercise after giving birth, start with what feels comfortable and gradually build up over time. Your body is still producing the hormone relaxin, which can increase the risk of injury. Therefore, it’s important to stick to familiar movements and work within your comfort zone.

3. Keep your goals in mind

Many postpartum individuals are unsure of why they’re exercising. While it may feel good, it’s essential to have meaningful goals in mind. Rather than focusing on “fixing” your body, set goals that empower and inspire you. Remember that all movement, from lifting weights to rollerblading, can work your core.

4. There are no “best exercises.”

Don’t be fooled by workouts claiming to have “the best exercises.” The truth is, the best exercise is one that is accessible, enjoyable, and motivates you. Find what works best for you and stick with it.

5. Your body is not a problem.

The fitness industry often treats postpartum bodies as weak and broken, expecting them to immediately “snap back” to pre-pregnancy form. However, bodily changes during and after pregnancy are not shameful, but rather evidence of the incredible adaptability of the human body. Fitness and strength are not tied to weight loss or looking the same as before. Focus on feeling strong and capable, rather than “fixing” your body.

Amy Snelling
July 19, 2023 — Aimee Baker