Pregnant - Nursing - Post Partum Exercise? (tmi?)

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02-26-2011, 10:50 PM
For all of those that have already had babies, when did you start working out after having baby without any issues? I had an uncomplicated pregnancy and labor and delivery, no tears, normal med-free vaginal delivery. With my first, much the same and I was on the go pretty much as soon as we left the hospital although I was 7 years younger then. Riding four wheelers, swimming and kayaaking after a week. I stopped bleeding with my son after 3 days and was good to go.

This time I stopped bleeding at 5 days. At a week pp I decided to simply start walking. I don't normally exercise, I'm obese for a reason afterall. ;) So I figured I would start off slow. It wasn't fast and I didn't go far, about 2 miles total. I walked to pick up my son from school. After the second day I was hurting at the end, started cramping and the bleeding came back. So I stopped walking. Now, as of Monday I will be 4 weeks pp. I went walking the other day at an outdoor outlet mall and when I was done I was cramping horribly for a bit and had a bit of blood - although this time, not bright red like previously. Now it's gone again but I'm really afraid to start up with any sort of exercise. My husband comes home from deployment in a few short weeks and I really wanted to lose at least some weight before then and I'm getting a little down about feeling great (I really do!) yet being useless like this. We found out we were expecting only about two weeks before he deployed. So, I still looked "normal" and I was still in regular clothes. Right now I'm only a couple of pounds from pre-pregnancy weight but still can't fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. It's depressing. I have all of this motivation and there isn't anything I can do with it. I'm just ready to get on with it but obviously, I don't want to hurt myself or set myself back any further.

How do you know when your body is ready? How many weeks pp were you before you could exercise without any issues?

02-26-2011, 11:52 PM
I didn't start exercising until maybe 2-3 weeks after my last delivery. It was much the same, complication free and only spent 36 hours in the hospital from start to finish.

Just start very easy and see what your body can handle. Even if you were exercising all 9 months of your pregnancy, your body went through a huge change and can't resume that level of activity immediately.

Also, it takes 4-6 weeks on average for your uterus to shrink to its pre-pregnancy size, so it's no wonder you can't fit in your pre-pregnancy pants. I couldn't fit into mine until 2-3 months after even though I hit my pre-preg weight around 6 weeks. Just give it some time and you'll get there.

Congrats for you and your new baby. :)

02-26-2011, 11:57 PM
Physically I had a terrible labour (almost 4 days, episiotomy, 4 hours pushing, baby injured at the delivery stage) but I was able to walk the block on day 2 and was doing 1 hour walks by week 1. I could do weightlifting by week 2. Of course, I ended up with an extremely colicky baby so it wasn't until month 4 I got more than 3 hours total sleep per night!!! hehe.

My body healed quickly but lack of sleep took a major toll. I still dont' fit my old pants (I think my near 10lb'er bent my hips out another 2-3 inches) but I think I look pretty decent!

Every pregnancy is sooo different. I would just suggest on trying to get in whatever exercise you can (but not at the expense of sleep!) and try and make healthy choices. My uterus didn't shrink for at least 6 weeks!

02-27-2011, 03:44 AM
I wasn't ready to start exercising until about 8 weeks after giving birth. I had a good labour (if you can call labour good!!), but my body just wasn't ready. I wanted to, I felt the motivation, but it didn't happen. Now I'm losing every week, the pounds are dropping. I think you're body just isn't ready, don't rush it. DH loves you and will be so happy to see you and your little one!

02-27-2011, 11:23 PM
I had the same kind of birth, the only med I had was pitocin and I had a couple stitches, but no complications. As soon as my pubic bone stopped hurting, I could walk as much as I wanted, but I started back exercising at 4 weeks and had to stop because of horrible cramping and bleeding. At 5 weeks pp, I tried again and had the lovely bright red bleeding again, but no cramping. The spotting continued when I exercised until just this last week, so about 7 weeks pp.

02-27-2011, 11:23 PM
Thank you ladies. I guess I should just stop trying to rush things. It just sucks to feel so great and motivated only to be left sitting on the sidelines. I just keep imagining the weight I could be losing right now. lol I am going to try walking again this week. *fingers crossed* I hope it goes well. Also, hoping you are right on the 4-6 weeks to shrink the uterus. It would be nice to be able to button my old jeans again, especially since I'm only a few pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. lol I will be 4 weeks pp tomorrow. Hoping things start progressing soon. Thanks a bunch for the responses. Glad to see I'm not alone.

02-27-2011, 11:44 PM
Aww you are only 4 weeks PP, it's hard because sometimes we have unrealistic expectations. I recently posted my 6 month PP goal thread I think you should look at & take a look at the uterus, it takes sooo long to shrink.

My befores were just over 6 weeks post partum, then 6 months after. I know 6 months seems like a long time (esp. since you are probably sooo sleep deprived right now too the days never end) but it's really not considering what a dramatic trauma the body goes through with a baby. I remember crying thinking I would NEVER go back to the way I was (well, you don't lol, but you can be pretty darn close!).

PS I still dont' fit my old pants!

02-28-2011, 10:05 AM
You need your OB/GYN's approval to start exercising again. Until you have a follow-up check-up you don't know if you're healed enough to exercise. The soonest I was ever cleared for any exercise was at my 2 week post pardum check up but he said light exercise that doesn't cause pain only. Most docs won't want you doing anything until 6 weeks but it all depends on your check-up and how your uterus is doing. How you feel isn't always an effective indicator as you might have more will and pain endurance than your body can handle. You don't want to do anything to prolong your recovery.

02-28-2011, 10:34 AM

You can definitely lose weight without much exercise at this point. It is said that losing weight is 20% exercise and 80% what you put in your mouth. I didn't start exercising regularly until my little one was about 2 months old and I lost all my baby weight + about 8 lbs in that time. It can definitely be done without causing complications in healing. Of course, you do need to be mindful of your milk supply if you're nursing. I started counting calories but I kept them pretty high so as not to jeopardize my my milk supply.

Goddess Jessica
03-03-2011, 01:11 AM
I'm going to ditto Gale. It's great that your motivated -- put that towards menu planning and eating. Two miles is a lot! Especially if you don't exercise. Don't push it or you'll end up injured and then you really won't be able to exercise.

My tiny friends who have had babies don't get back into their jeans for awhile. Don't sweat it. Yes, it's discouraging but just think of it as a nice surprise later.