When and how to return to sport after childbirth?
Some recommendations before continuing the sport
- Be patient and attentive with your body (after carrying your baby for 9 months, you need some time to recover).
- Resume your activities gradually by limiting your physical efforts.
- Carry out a postnatal visit and perineal rehabilitation sessions.
The ideal moment to reconnect with physical activity
You will have to wait at least 6 weeks and then carry out a postnatal visit to assess the tone of your perineum. You will need 5 to 10 perineal rehabilitation sessions to get back on your feet. The rest will depend on the opinion of your midwife or physiotherapist at the end of this rehabilitation. Never forget that exhaustion remains your worst enemy. Listen to your body and relax as needed to restore lost energy. This will help you return to sport in the best conditions.
What about walking after giving birth?
Daily outings are essential for the baby and the mother. However, short hikes (15 to 20 minutes) are more popular. You can program and practice on a long distance track or circuit depending on your physical condition. Pay close attention to back pain, in the perineum region as well as feelings of heaviness. The appearance of these signs means that you are overdoing it. Moderate your efforts a little to avoid possible complications.
When is swimming possible?
To allow the cervix to close, the mother needs to wait for 1 month: a condition to respect if you have undergone an episiotomy or cesarean section. Swimming is therefore prohibited during this period to avoid possible postnatal complications.
Opt for gentle sports for recovery
Choose walking to start resuming your physical activities. You are also free to cycle, unless you have had an episiotomy which could cause you pain when you cycle. It is possible to gradually practice yoga and pilates after a week of giving birth.
Exercises that should be avoided postpartum and in the months that follow
Pulse sports are prohibited a few weeks after giving birth: skipping rope, trampoline, zumba, Swedish gymnastics, racket sports and jogging. Also refrain from playing sports that could strain your abs. Weight training machines such as the step machine and the rower should be avoided when resuming activities. The efforts during these activities are channeled downward, which could hinder the rehabilitation of your perineum. In the worst case, this muscle will deteriorate if it has not yet regained its tone.
Adopt a good diet
To quickly regain her strength, a mother needs a balanced diet. Prioritize the intake of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. The use of a weight loss diet is strongly prohibited, especially if you are breastfeeding. Otherwise, your body will suffer from a lack of nutrients. Snacking between meals is not good for your digestive health, but eat at regular times (3 to 4 meals per day). Even if your baby spends all your time and energy, that's no reason to neglect your diet. Opt for fruits and vegetables rich in fiber and antioxidants. Hydrate yourself properly to avoid any risk of urinary infection.
Circumstances where practicing sport is not recommended
There are certain contexts where practicing sport after childbirth is impossible. You may encounter many symptoms that help you understand that your body is not fit to resume physical exercises. The most common signs are urinary leakage, a feeling of heaviness, or pain in the perineum.
How to dress to return to sport after baby?
We advise you to wear a pair of structuring leggings, with very slight compression on the abdomen which will motivate you to pull in your stomach. Combine it with the physiomat belt (recommended postpartum by older women) which will help you both with your posture but above all to tighten your pelvis during your sessions. And to avoid having your body exposed during "downward facing dog", opt for a slightly shaping stretch tank top over a comfortable sports maternity bra .