After your doctor has cleared you to return to your exercise routine, you may return to your normal workouts. Be prepared, however, just because you don’t have to modify any movements does not mean that you won’t be scaling any exercises or weights! In fact, in my experience, my clients often have to scale back their weights more during those first postpartum weeks than they did during their pregnancy. Labor and delivery is demanding on your body and so is caring for an infant during those first 6-8 weeks so don’t be unrealistic about your expectations in the gym. Returning to exercise should be stress relieving not stress-inducing…you have enough to worry about with your new little one! The good news is that resuming your workout routine postpartum is not only good for your body, it is good for your mental health as well. That hour at the gym can be some much needed “me time” for a new mom and will help give her a little boost of self-esteem when she may need it most.
Make sure you continue to eat healthfully and don’t try to reduce your calorie intake too much! Especially if you are breastfeeding and exercising, the pregnancy weight will come off but slow, gradual weight loss is healthiest for you and your baby. Paying attention to your milk supply can be a good indicator if you are attempting to do too much too soon or if you are not getting enough food to fuel your workouts and produce enough milk.