This Is When It's Safe To Work Out Again After Giving Birth

There are many questions that come with having a baby. And while 99 percent of these questions are related to the newborn, the remaining 1 percent relates to the mothers who just gave birth — one common question being, "When is it safe to work out again?" 

According to Gina S. Nelson, M.D., fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and OB-GYN at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, "Postpartum recovery time is different for every woman." Speaking to Shapeshe explained, "My impression, based on experience alone, is that your pre-pregnancy level of fitness is the biggest determinant of how you'll do in postpartum recovery. That said, the vast majority of women will be able to resume all normal activities, including exercise, by six weeks postpartum."

However, two weeks post giving birth, light exercise such as walking is usually fine (via Mom). The key is to start slow — you need to remember what your body has been through. Being kind to your body has never been more important.

If you delivered via C-section, you may need to wait to resume exercise

For those who delivered via C-section, though, it may be a little longer before you can begin light exercise — around the three to four weeks mark. "It's important when returning to an exercise plan that you consider the level of exercise being performed prior to pregnancy," Pamela Promecene, M.D., professor and obstetrician with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth/UT Physicians in Houston, told Parents. "Although the surgical incision is healed by this time, most mothers are still not sleeping through the night and can have significant fatigue, which can affect exercise tolerance."

Ultimately, "Listen to your body," personal trainer and postpartum exercise expert Charlie Launder told Women's Health. "Everyone is very different in their recoveries after birth — even if you were advanced in the gym before pregnancy, your body may need you to take it back to basics now in order to build your strength back up." 

Don't be afraid to consult your doctor if you need more guidance, and don't put too much unnecessary pressure on yourself.