In the previous blog we spoke about exercising for the expecting mother, this time round we had another chat with Tsvety Ivanova, personal trainer at UFIT Orchard on what women can do to get back into training once they have given birth.
What is the general perception of postnatal training in Singapore?
T: Ladies in Singapore are usually ready to get back into exercising, mainly due to the fact that they are looking to lose the baby weight. Most of them however are not aware of the type of exercises they should start with as doctors do not usually tell them what they should avoid. A Women’s Health Physiotherapist would be able to check on their post-delivery recovery and readiness to start. Some of them may do some damage to their pelvic floor and transverse abdominal muscle by doing the wrong exercises.
What are some of the challenges in educating women to exercise post-pregnancy?
T: Obstetrics and Gynecology professionals here may not be giving out enough information on exercise post-pregnancy. So most of the women probably didn’t exercise much before they got pregnant and don’t know how exercise would affect them after the pregnancy.
What can we do to motivate women so they would like to exercise post-pregnancy?
T: We can make them aware of the benefits of exercising - namely fat loss, a stronger core, improved energy and strength. These are all beneficial after you have a child.
How soon can women start exercising again after giving birth?
T: This is different for everyone and is dependent on the delivery. You should consult a women’s health physio to get the go-ahead.
How soon can someone start exercising again if she had undergone a C-section?
T: 6 weeks would be the usual suggestion but again, seeing a women’s health physio would provide a clearer answer.
What are the exercises women can start doing after giving birth?
T: They can start with pelvic tilts and kegels almost right away, then progress to bridges, bird dogs, side planks and squats. Avoid leg raises, push-ups and crunches.
What is the most efficient way to reduce post-pregnancy weight gain?
T: Move more and breastfeed.
What are the core benefits to post-natal exercise?
T: The benefits are as below:
1. It helps strengthen and tone abdominal muscles
2. It boosts energy
3. It may be useful in preventing postpartum depression
4. It promotes better sleep
5. It relieves stress
6. It helps lose post-baby weight
Are there any key things women should look out for and/or avoid?
T: Avoid lift heavy things for this period until given the all-clear.
How long should women be exercising per session after giving birth?
T: This all depends on the intensity. If you can manage an hour a day that will be great but we all know that’s not how a mom’s life works. Anything is better than nothing.
When would women be able to start exercising at the intensity they were at before pregnancy?
T: In my experience most of the women are back to normal by the time they hit the 6th month post-partum. Many are able to return earlier but don’t rush it.
We hope you find the above information helpful to get you back into training once your child is born. Drop by UFIT Orchard and Tsvety we will be able to tailor a program that works the best for you post-pregnancy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tsvety specialises in strength training, plyometrics and metabolic conditioning. She has a keen interest in improving mobility, functional training, and Olympic lifting. Tsvety can assist anyone who is looking to improve their strength, body composition and overall fitness level. She is known for her patience and encouragement towards clients new to strength training,
She graduated from Northwood University, Palm Beach USA, where she received a Sports Scholarship in Indoor Volleyball.