Post-pregnancy Exercises for Indian Moms

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Exercises after C-section/Normal Delivery for Indian Mothers

Wondering how can you lose weight after delivery? Confused as to how long should you wait for starting the exercises? Not sure about the exercises that are the best for you? Well, it all depends on how fit you are to start the exercises but one thing is for sure; intensive abs workouts post pregnancy will be the last in your weight loss plan. So, let’s have a look at some basic exercises that you can start about 1 week post delivery. But remember, since every delivery is unique, you must consult with your doctor before you get on with a workout plan or start a fitness regime.

When can I start exercises after C-section?

Regardless of it being a C-section or normal delivery, during exclusive breastfeeding for the first 3-4 months you might not feel comfortable doing heavy exercises. The two main reasons are, you may experience milk leakage if you do heavy exercises and secondly, your body is not ready as you need rest to recover from all the stresses of baby birth. So, it’s better to wait till you finish the exclusive breastfeeding period of 6 months after the delivery to start with the workout for shedding some kilos. Nevertheless, you can start with simple yet effective light exercises mentioned below just after the delivery. Remember that C-section is a major operation; you must consult with your doctor before you do any exercise. However, the exercises mentioned below are basic and you can start them within a week after your c-section or normal delivery.

Basic Exercises Soon After Delivery

Pelvic Tilt
This is the most common and safest exercise suggested by gynaecologists which you may start 2-3 days post-delivery.
Method:
1. Lie on your back and bend your knees.
2. Tighten your stomach and buttock muscles.
3. Allow your pelvis to tilt upward.
4. Flatten your back against the floor as you inhale.
5. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale and relax.
6. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Do this exercise 4-5 times a day.

Pranayam/Breathing exercises
The below mentioned breathing exercises are simple, absolutely safe and very useful to all the women.
1. Deep Breathing: Long, deep, slow and noise less breathing.
2. Anuloma-Viloma/alternate nostril breathing
3. Bhramari/Nasal Snoring/humming bee breathing
(Though it is safe to start Kapalbhati after 6 months of delivery, you should confirm with your doctor before starting)

Meditation
You can go for meditation to reconnect with yourself after your baby birth. Because of the day and night “baby duty”, you will feel stressed and exhausted. To release all the pent up stress, especially during the first 40 days after delivery, it can be very relaxing to practice meditation. Few minutes of meditation can provide you the energy to deal with your chore prolifically. And if you have some help around, you can take some time off for yourself. Meditation technique: Sit upright and still. Breathe evenly. Close your eyes and hold steady. Clear all the thoughts from your mind. Do Omkar chanting. Sound of your Omkar will benefit your little baby too. Meditation should be effortlessly. Learn some more techniques and follow them.
Find on wikihow a wonderful article regarding the correct methods of chanting OM :
http://www.wikihow.com/Chant-Om

Post natal Yoga

Yoga is an effective way to keep the post natal diseases, stress and obesity out of your body. Yoga brings you back in shape offering you complete peace of mind. You can regain your physical and mental harmony and strength after the delivery trying the basic post natal yoga postures. There are numerous postpartum-Yoga. Click here to know more.
Postnatal yoga best explained on this website: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/Pages/postnatal-yoga.aspx

Kegel Exercise

Your bladder must be empty while you do this exercise.
Method:
1. Lie on your back.
2. Tighten pelvic floor muscles (like you are trying to stop urination).
3. Hold the contraction for 5 secs and then relax for 5 secs.
4. Repeat it 4- 5 times in row.
Increase the time of contraction and relaxation up to 10 seconds each. Do kegel exercise 3-4 times a day. You can do it any time of the day.
Benefits: Kegel exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles (which support bladder, uterus, small intestine and rectum.) These exercises also correct urinary inconsistency.

Neck Stretches

Long time breastfeeding sessions and carrying baby can make your neck stiff. Doing these simple stretching exercises few times every day will help relax your neck.
1. Drop your neck forward. Relax and let the weight of your head pull your neck and stretch
it.
2. Hold it for 5-10 seconds. Lift your head.
3. Tilt your head to right and gently touch your right ear to your right shoulder. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds.
4. Repeat it on the left side. Bring your neck back to the center i.e. the normal position.
5. Turn your head backwards, look upward and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat as often as you like.

Stretching legs

To avoid blood clots and stress in legs do these exercises.
1. Sit up in bed, bend your knees.
2. Slide one leg gently to stretch it straight ahead. Fold it back while extending other leg simultaneously.
3. Repeat this 10-12 times for each side. Do this gently and slowly.

Rotating legs and arm

1. Lie on bed. Lift your legs up a bit.
2. Rotate both feet from ankle and make circles.
3. In the similar fashion, now rotate both legs from hips. Keep legs straight.
4. Repeat same exercise with your arms.

Exercises after 6 weeks of delivery:

After doing the above mentioned simple exercises for around 6 weeks, you can start the following exercises:
1. Lie down on your back and get up without any support i.e. without holding bed or holding your laps. This move works on your abs.
2. Lie down on your back raise your both legs at an angle of 20 degrees up. Hold for 10 sec and without putting them down raise 20 degrees further up making an angle of 40 degrees.
Again, hold for 10 seconds. So in 5 steps and in a minute your legs are at 90 degrees. This is a highly effective exercise that works well on abdomen. Don’t do this exercise if you have lower back pain.
These post pregnancy exercises are good for blood circulation.
Once you finish 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding and your doctor gives you the green signal, you can start the heavy exercises for effective weight loss and flat belly.
After the delivery, you may be tempted to start the post-natal abs workout as soon as possible but it’s important to let your body get recovered. You should also use a post-pregnancy belt soon after delivery which helps get tummy back in shape. It also helps in getting the loose skin get tighten. Do the exercises step by step. You may not want to rush to the intense workouts for a flat belly and loose back or knee health.

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Sapana

Software professional - now work at home mom

9 Comments

  1. My gynecologist told me this in hospital after delivery to wait for few weeks to begin the weight loss exercises. I also had C-Section. I agree that we need time to let body recover from baby birth.

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  3. What an awesome post, I think us Indian women have more belly fluff than other ethnic groups but I think age has a lot to do with it, I had 3 kids and 3 c-sections and after the first it was so easy to bounce back plus I had time too. My toddler is now 20 months old and I’m still struggling with the pregnancy weight.

    • Sapana

      Totally agree with you, Indian mothers are blessed with big belly.. I also found it very difficult to get back to pre-pregnancy shape (Cant say I am 100% successful) after second delivery compared to first.

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