The Best Ways to Exercise in the Postpartum Period

After your baby is born, you can resume exercise gradually. In this article, we'll tell you the best physical activity to do in the postpartum period.
The Best Ways to Exercise in the Postpartum Period

Last update: 29 January, 2019

Physical activity is often recommended after your baby is born. In this article we’ll tell you about some of the best ways to exercise in the postpartum period.

Physical activity during pregnancy is also recommended, so don’t be afraid to work out. Among other things, being active in pregnancy improves or maintains your physical condition, helps with weight control, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, and improves psychological well-being.

Certainly, resuming exercise and incorporating new routines after childbirth are important to support healthy habits. 

You can go back to your exercise routines gradually after pregnancy as soon as your doctor says it’s safe. It all depends on the mode of delivery and if there were medical or surgical complications.

Some women are able to resume physical activity in the days after childbirth. If there weren’t medical or surgical complications, going back won’t have adverse effects.

Generally, you can return to physical activity as long as your pelvic floor muscles have returned to normal and don’t have back pain, vaginal heaviness or loss of urine during or after exercise.

In any case, it’s always important to consult with your doctor before you start to exercise in the postpartum period.

The best ways to exercise in the postpartum period

If you had a healthy pregnancy and a normal vaginal delivery, you should be able to start exercising again soon after your baby is born.

Exercise in the postpartum period is an ideal way to focus on yourself. If possible, you should exercise two or three times a week to get back in shape. However, you must be patient and respect the recovery period.

The Best Ways to Exercise in the Postpartum Period

1. Walk and run

The simplest way to exercise in the postpartum period is walking. Certainly, the first stroller rides are an excellent way to connect with your baby and rebuild your cardiovascular and muscular endurance. In addition, you get a nice change of scenery and some vitamin D.

If you want to start running, you must first start by increasing the intensity and duration of your walks. Then, start with 2-minute running and 2-minute walking intervals. You’ll see how as you get better, you can increase the amount of time you run and decrease the time you walk.

2. Pilates

Pilates is one of the best workouts you can do, as it’s an extremely safe way to exercise after childbirth. It’s ideal to strengthen the important muscles necessary for recovery

Almost all of the exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Pilates also helps treat postpartum problems, such as stress and lack of control.

The Best Ways to Exercise in the Postpartum Period

3. Swimming

Swimming is an excellent way to start exercising again after giving birth because it has a relatively low impact. Among other benefits, swimming helps you lose weight and restore muscle tone.

Low-impact, low-weight swimming is an excellent way to get back into exercise without putting pressure on your joints and ligaments. In any case, you should be aware of the symptoms that indicate problems, such as bleeding or increasing pain.

If you have these symptoms when swimming, consult your doctor as soon as possible about what kind of activity you can do.

Finally, don’t forget that fatigue and excess exertion during exercise can increase the risk of injury. Therefore, it’s important that you listen to your body and figure out how you feel while training.

Keep in mind that combining strength training and low-impact cardio is the best way to get back into shape. In conclusion, avoid becoming too obsessed with calories, especially if you’re breastfeeding.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

    • ACOG Committee on Obstetric Practice. (2002). Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period. Obstet Gynecol99(2), 171–173.
    • Blum, J. W., Beaudoin, C. M., & Caton-Lemos, L. (2004). Physical activity patterns and maternal well-being in postpartum women. Maternal and Child Health Journal8(3), 163–169.
    • McCurdy, A. P., Boulé, N. G., Sivak, A., & Davenport, M. H. (2017, June 1). Effects of Exercise on Mild-to-Moderate Depressive Symptoms in the Postpartum Period: A Meta-analysis. Obstetrics and Gynecology. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.