Postpartum fitness: first weeks

You just had your baby,

CONGRATULATIONS to you dear mama!

You did it!!! 

You might know already that early postpartum is the time when you need to take good care of yourself, you need to be pampered, you need to be loved and celebrated! 

When planning your early postpartum fitness sessions you must respect your body and its healing needs. 

Your body needs to be supported right now more than ever! 

Healthy mama, healthy family! 

Your body needs rest, relaxation, warm nourishing food, massages, warm baths, mindfulness and breathing practices. Ideally on a daily basis. It also needs exercises that are gentle and safe to do in early postpartum. 

I know we don’t live in the ideal world and sometimes it’s not easy to find time to relax and rest, especially if you don’t have help around. But please try and organise that help for yourself. Establish your priorities right from the start! 

In the first two weeks it is best to spend as much time in bed as possible. But that doesn’t mean you cannot do anything. You can speed up healing with self-care practices, such as gentle postpartum exercises in bed (e.g. restorative yoga), breathing exercises and meditation. 

Postpartum Fitness Phases

I prepared for you a series of three postpartum fitness video sessions to practice yoga in early postpartum. These videos are arranged by phases depending on how far postpartum you are. Your first postpartum workout should begin in phase 1, especially if you have never practiced any postpartum fitness exercises or classes yet.

These are the postpartum fitness phases:

Phase 1: 0-2 weeks postpartum

Phase 2: 2-4 weeks postpartum 

Phase 3: 4-6 weeks postpartum 

Postpartum Fitness Sessions

The postpartum fitness sessions below are gentle, however, each of us had a different birth experience and have different challenges, so make sure to listen to your body. 

These sessions are great for beginners to postpartum yoga and fitness. Even if you’re later than 6 weeks postpartum these exercises are still beneficial for your body and you can do it either in bed or on the mat. 

MAKE SURE TO STOP if you feel uncomfortable sensations in your vagina or tummy or overall in your body. 

And also please make sure that you’re enjoying these exercises. If you feel discomfort, this is your body telling you that it might not be what it needs. 

PLEASE always listen to YOUR body!

Phase 1

0-2 weeks postpartum. 

In this video session, I show you what kind of yoga poses you can do in bed and breathing exercises that will speed up your body’s healing. 

For this postpartum fitness class, you will need 2-4 pillows.

In this session you’ll practice:

  1. Rib cage opener – side lying: You need pillows to support the ribcage and head.
  2. Restorative Fish pose – heart opener  
  3. Supportive Child’s pose (legs closed) – lower back breathing: You need pillows under the chest and belly. Note: If you had a bad tear during birth or had a c-section, skip this just for now. 
  4. Savasana with relaxing breathing 

These poses will help you get your circulation moving and move those muscles that were squished during pregnancy. 

Phase 2

2-4 weeks postpartum. 

In this postpartum phase, you should still focus on rest and relaxation, nourished foods and enjoyment with your baby. 

As for exercises, it’s good to progress into the breathing work that reconnects the pelvic floor and the whole core. 

Focus on having a neutral pelvis and spine when possible.

DON’T lift anything but your baby. 

You can repeat this session as many times as you want every day. It’ll help you to bring your awareness and sensations back to your pelvic floor muscles. 

In this session you’ll practice:

  1. Constructive rest pose and breathing work
  2. S-breath
  3. Tabletop and core engagement
  4. Final relaxation pose

Phase 3

4-6 weeks postpartum. 

In this postpartum phase, you should still focus on relaxation, but you can already start postpartum exercises that engage your abs and pelvic floor. However, make sure you have permission from your doctor to start exercises. 

For this practice, you’ll need a chair, a blanket, and a small towel.

In this video I guide you through the movements to activate your pelvic floor, glutes, and whole core. Make sure to let yourself relax in the final pose. 

You’ll practice: 

  1. Pelvic floor breathing exercise supine with feet on the chair
  2. Pelvic floor and adductors engagement 
  3. Pelvic floor, adductors engagement, and arm extension 
  4. Reclined lunge with hand on the knee 
  5. Savasana final relaxation

No matter how your healing is progressing please trust your body!

Don’t compare your progress to other people’s progress. We are all different and have different bodies. 

I hope these practices help you get a good start with your postpartum fitness. Remember postpartum is all about your body and healing. Please do anything you need for yourself to feel safe, happy and enjoy your motherhood from the start! 

As always, I’m here for you if you need me! 

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel Mama Self-Care,

I created it specifically for you!