The 4th Trimester is a term used to describe the time period immediately after birth to 12 weeks postpartum.
Exercise provides tons of benefits for both mom and baby during this time, and many moms will welcome getting into an exercise routine again, even if it is just walking. Many consider exercise to be a great stress reliever, while others feel like adding another item on their already full plate is overwhelming and will just create more stress. We recommend to moms that they should start exercising only when they feel physically AND psychologically ready to do so.
This can be a really crazy time for a new mom! Your body needs this time to recover and rest, while also getting the jist of caring for this new, sweet, little human(s) in your life. Many moms (us included!) will describe this time as a "black hole". Life as you knew it just got turned upside down, and as much as you prepared beforehand, there may be things that you didn't plan for or may surprise you. During this time, your main concern as a new mom should be bonding and caring for your new baby and yourself. For yourself, this means eating healthy meals, drinking lots of water, resting and sleeping whenever possible. Honestly, you shouldn't worry or have to many ambitions during this time to get much else done, including exercise.
During this time period, in addition to light stretches and walking, there are 3 main exercises that we recommend, starting immediately after birth, that you can do to help recover from childbirth and start preparing for a more structured exercise regimen starting at about 6-8 weeks postpartum.
6-8 weeks postpartum - 12 weeks postpartum - Continuation of 4th Trimester Moms are still going through a crazy time, but many are getting the hang of taking care of the baby and balancing their home life. This is the time when many moms may start feeling some motivation to getting a good work out in, and may have more energy to do so. Doctor gives them the go ahead to start exercising again, and they are ready! Remember, however, this is also time when your body is still actively recovering, so proceed with gentle exercise and a bit of caution when getting back in it. There is a wrong way and a right way to get back on track and this is why it is SO important to be taking classes with certified postpartum instructors who can explain the best and safest way to start your recovery.
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