You’re going to need to take it easy for a few weeks to recover from labor and delivery, no matter what kind of birth you had. But when you’re ready to slip those sneakers on, make sure to consider the following:
Go slow and steady
The last thing you want is to push yourself too hard, too fast. Remember, it took months (10 if you’re counting) for your body to grow and change into what it is today. At your six-week postpartum appointment, your doctor will likely green light your return to exercising. With the exception of a light walk around the neighborhood, you shouldn’t be lacing up your running shoes before you get that thumbs-up. Try putting your newbie in a stroller or carrier and going for a walk down the street. As you set out on a stroll, aim for short distances at first. Over time, you can go for longer stretches, and when you feel your body is ready, take it up a notch with some light jogging.
In addition to taking it easy, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of supportive garments while still recuperating. SRC Health offers a variety of recovery products that can be used in everyday scenarios including physical activity—because all movement matters after labor and delivery. Their recovery shorts and leggings assist in healing and speeding up the recovery of abdominal muscle separation, perineal tears and stitches, C-section wounds and lower back pain; they are also ideal for exercise and being worn under fitted clothing for aesthetic purposes long after the initial postpartum recovery period is over. SRC Health even has a special sports garment to be used after the initial 8-12 weeks of post-pregnancy for when you may take your routine up a notch and no longer need to address abdominal separation. The recovery garments are recommended by health care professionals for their ability to improve mobility and pelvic muscle function after birth. Give your body the best opportunity to regain strength while also caring for its healing parts.
Fuel up and hydrate
Just like proper nutrition played a critical role in pregnancy, you’ll want to continue to take in enough calories and water throughout your days postpartum—especially while exercising. Aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day, and if you’re breastfeeding, add an additional quart (or 32 ounces) to stay properly hydrated. Snacking on protein-rich foods will help sustain your energy while keeping you full. Nuts, hummus and veggies, fruit, hard boiled eggs and nut butters are all great options.
This post was made in partnership with SRC Health, a line of supportive garments for pregnancy, postpartum and beyond.