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Post-Pregnancy Exercise Mistakes You Should Avoid


Congratulations on the arrival of your new family member. While you may be overjoyed with your family expanding, you may also notice a lot of new changes in your day-to-day life. New mothers aspire to return to many things, from getting more quality sleep to getting back into shape. These wishes are feasible; however, they require proper preparation and patience. So, if you want to start exercising again, here are some common post-pregnancy exercise mistakes you should avoid during such a time. 

Not letting yourself heal properly

When it comes to getting in shape after giving birth, it's crucial to remember your body needs to heal first. It took your body nine months to grow a brand new life, and it will take time for it to repair and be ready for new challenges. New mothers are typically advised to wait 4 to 8 weeks before beginning to exercise. However, you may require less or more time depending on your situation. Consult your doctor about your pelvic floor and core health and see where you can go from there. In some circumstances, therapy may be required, while in others, moms are back to normal in just a few weeks.

A woman laying down with a towel wrapped around her enjoying her time at a spa center. 

Creating life is no easy task, take the time and treat yourself to spa treatments you always wished to.

Exercising too much, too soon

One of the most common and harmful post-pregnancy exercise mistakes is exercising too much and too soon. Most mothers want to get back to the way things were, but remember that slow and steady wins the race. How quickly you can adequately exercise is primarily determined by how simple or challenging your childbirth was. You must listen to your body, stop whenever you are in pain, and realize change won't happen overnight. If you need extra help, you can always contact personal trainers or check out websites like that provide their readers with lots of helpful info about exercise in their daily posts. No matter what, realize change is coming, but it will take more time than you may expect.

Not adjusting the ways you exercise

Just as your life has changed since your new bundle of joy, so will your ways of exercising. If you've been used to exercising for a long time each day, you may need to find ways to sneak exercise into your daily routine. Understand that even a 10-minute walk is beneficial when you cannot find more time. Additionally, the exercises you choose will also have to change. You will not be able to do the same routine you've done before; your body will need time to reach that same level. Start slow, experiment with new exercise routines until you find what suits your current situation.

Not focusing on what you eat and drink

While you may be preoccupied with what workouts you can do and when you can do them, don't forget to pay attention to what you put into your body. It’s one of the essential mistakes women make after pregnancy when they want to get back into shape. What you eat and drink will significantly impact your benefits from working out. If you prefer having guidelines, choose from various weight loss meal programs available. However, don't put too much pressure on yourself by going on fad diets that promise incredible results. You must consider what you eat, get the nutrients you need, and gradually drop the weight you've gained. Furthermore, focus on your intake of water. Get a bottle that you can fill up once or twice a day (depending on your water intake needs) and carry it with you wherever you go. 

Six jars filled with different mixes of grains and fruits. 

As a mother, you may greatly benefit from meal prepping, so you have one less worry on your mind.

Not avoiding specific exercises

No list of post-pregnancy exercise mistakes would be complete without mentioning the list of exercises new mothers should avoid. These exercises, which should help you get back into shape, could be worsening the condition you're trying to solve. To put it as plainly as possible, any movement that forces the abdominal wall forward may further divide the abdominal muscles. This worsens an existing separation (called diastasis recti) or can even cause one in an otherwise healthy abdomen. If you're unsure if you have diastasis recti, have it checked by a midwife, physiotherapist, or another specialist. This gap will close by itself in most cases, while it may require specific exercises in others.

Some exercises you should avoid are:

  • any kind of crunches

  • sit-ups

  • yoga poses that push the abdominal wall forward

Not focusing on your form and breathing

Now more than ever, it is vital for you to focus on your form and breathing when exercising. Due to the physical changes that women go through during pregnancy, it can be challenging to maintain their previous form when exercising. This is quite normal. Keep a close eye on how your body feels and moves, and avoid doing an exercise if you can't maintain perfect form, as this could further hurt your body. However, while you're at it, don't forget to breathe correctly. Start by taking a few deep breaths to calm your mind and body and ready yourself for what's to come. Remember to focus on your breathing throughout the workout and alter your training accordingly.

A woman exercising in her living room by holding dumbbells in her hands and stepping forward. 

Even if you exercise for only a short amount of time, make the most of it and do it properly.

Comparing yourself to others

Do not forget your post-natal journey will be vastly different from any other woman's. This is why you should not compare yourself to anyone else. We understand, however, that comparing ourselves has become second nature with the prevalence of social media. Other ladies may appear to be "bouncing right back" after pregnancy. However, this should not deter you from continuing on with your own journey. Stop telling yourself you must do more and look better at the same rate as you think other people are. This is one of the most overlooked post-pregnancy exercise mistakes. So, because recovery is both physical and mental, approach it with as much grace and patience as possible, and try to enjoy yourself while doing so. Celebrate your small successes and enjoy the journey no matter how much time it might take.

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