The ACOG (1994) recommend that women should avoid all physical stress for two weeks (ie. don’t carry anything heavier than the baby!) and not resume full daily activities for a minimum of 6 weeks after their postnatal check up. It is also advised that women who deliver by Caesarean section should not exercise for 8-10 weeks after delivery to allow proper healing time.

The 3 principle goals for most post-natal women are:

  • A return to pre-pregnancy weight
  • A rapid improvement in abdominal tone
  • An improved body image

Benefits of post natal exercise

  • Improved posture
  • Increased local muscular endurance
  • Increased stamina
  • Increased energy
  • Increased metabolic rate
  • Increased weight loss, improved body image
  • Increased self confidence
  • Reduced anxiety

Exercise implications

All movements should be performed within a normal range ofmovement. Stretching to increased flexibility should be avoided for 16-20 weeks.

Avoid high impact activities for first few months. If commencing jogging for the first time, then caution should be exercised and correct technique encouraged. High impact activities can increase risk of stress incontinence and underlines the importance of pelvic floor exercises.