Postpartum Exercise Tips


These essen­tial exer­cis­es can help to realign your body after birth, pro­vide sta­mi­na, and increase strength. Remem­ber:

  • Pro­tect Your­self
  • Do Not Over­reach Your Abil­i­ties
  • You are Respon­si­ble for Your Body

Constructive Rest Position


  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor a com­fort­able dis­tance from your but­tocks
  • If need­ed, place a pil­low under the back of your head
  • Fold arms over your chest, or rest hands on the abdomen
  • Rest and breath slow­ly, let­ting the back of your tor­so melt into the floor
  • In this posi­tion, the pull of grav­i­ty assists in relax­ation of mus­cles and allows bones to realign in a non-preg­nant pos­ture. Rest here 10 to 20 min­utes, while baby sleeps.


While You Are Nursing

  • WHEN SEATED place pil­lows under the baby to bring her/him to the breast; this way your shoul­ders do not have the strain of the baby’s weight and your hands are free to inter­act with the baby
  • LYING ON YOUR SIDE bring the baby to the breast
  • AFTER VIGOROUS EXERCISE your milk may con­tain lac­tic acid, which some babies object to, so express milk before you exer­cise to give to the baby after­wards

Total Body Stretch


  • Stand with feet togeth­er, then stretch one foot back
  • Press back heel into the ground, bend front knee and lean for­ward slight­ly
  • Put palms of hands togeth­er and stretch them for­ward
  • Length­en the line from the fin­ger tips to the back heel
  • Breath in and out 3 times, then slow­ly return to upright and do the oth­er side


Cardio, including stroller aerobics

Car­dio, or aer­o­bic exer­cise, is the source of many of the ben­e­fits of exer­cise dur­ing the child­bear­ing year. Burn­ing fat and pro­vid­ing new moms with the ener­gy and endurance to enjoy par­ent­ing are two ways car­dio can be a major plus!

Yale AD SD 4_08 2

C-Curves™ or Hiss/Compress Exercises

Fol­low­ing birth, the C-curve exer­cise is crit­i­cal for deep abdom­i­nal strength and low back sup­port. In case of a cesare­an, wait 2 weeks before try­ing this.

4 start pp5 c-curve pp

  • Sit­ting upright, inhale.
  • Exhale and com­press the deep abdom­i­nals, mak­ing the shape of the let­ter “C.”
  • Return to upright.
  • Repeat 8 or 10 times.
  • Rest
  • Repeat

Be sure you can main­tain the com­pres­sion or pulling in action before begin­ning actions that stress the abdomen, such as curl-ups.16 curl up

Also, check for dias­ta­sis rec­ti, or sep­a­ra­tion of the rec­tus abdom­i­nal mus­cles. Seek the assis­tance of a qual­i­fied pre/postnatal instruc­tor.


08 3Basic core strength exer­cis­es — curl-ups, planks, push-ups, etc. — can be fun for both mom and baby! Make sure you use good form.

Inter­act­ing with your baby on the floor is a chal­lenge. Con­sult Take A Class to find an instruc­tor to help you meet your goals.


Kegels (refer to pregnancy exercise tips)

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