If you’re itching to work out and are due for your 6-week postpartum check-up, this one’s for you! We’re going to explain what you should expect at your next appointment and when you’ll get the green light to start working out.
What To Expect At Your 6 Week Postpartum Check-Up
Congratulations, you’ve reached this wonderful early stage in your new adventure as a mom. So, what can you expect at your 6 week postpartum check up?
A personal health check: Pregnancy can take a toll on your whole body, From your intestines and gut to your skin and iron levels. During this after-birth check-up, your doctor will need to ensure you’re recovering well and you’re getting enough vitamins, minerals, and iron. If you’ve had stitches during birth, your doctor will also need to examine you during your 6-week postpartum checkup to make sure you’re healing. However if you are experiencing pain, swelling, discharge, or redness after birth from an incision or stitches contact your doctor immediately. There is no need to wait until your check-up.
A pelvic examination: Your doctor will also carry out a pelvic examination to check your body and that your reproductive organs are free of infection, swelling and are healing too.
A breasts check: Whether you’re breast or bottle feeding, your doctor will be examining your breasts for any changes, abnormalities and infections during your postpartum check up.
Mental health check in: Becoming a new mom is a massive change and can feel quite overwhelming. So it’s important that your doctor asks about your mental health, and can put you in touch with a support group or a nurse if you’re not feeling yourself.
Is Now an OK Time To Work Out?
Bouncing back into your former figure is a common goal for new moms but the reality is, you’re going to have to take things easy for a while. Your body has just performed a miracle, and the past 9 months have been an ordeal! From carrying around the additional baby weight to your skin stretching to accommodate your bundle of joy, your body is going to need time to recover and heal. It’s advised to wait for a least 6 weeks until you work out, and especially if you plan to do high-intensity exercise such as jogging. Even if your doctor says it’s OK to work out, it’s important to listen to your body before hitting the gym or trying to jump back into your old workout routine.
What Can Happen If You Work Out Too Early?
If you ignore your body and your doctor’s advice and decide to work out too early, you could cause damage to your body. Something you certainly won’t want to deal with as you care for a newborn. Here’s what could happen if you hit the gym before you’ve fully recovered.
Incontinence: Unfortunately giving birth can weaken the muscles around the bladder and pelvis, and it can take between three to six months for your body to fully recover. Hitting the gym too early can cause significant incontinence problems, so if you notice bladder weakness during a workout, stop and switch to something less intensive.
Pelvic pain: Your pelvic muscles have gone through a lot during childbirth and putting your pelvic muscles under more strain when they’re already weak is not a good idea. To minimize or avoid additional pelvic pain, try postnatal abdominal muscle bracing and pelvic floor exercises after 6 weeks to strengthen your muscles.
Painful intercourse: If you push your body to work out and do the things you could before you gave birth, you’re heading down a dangerous path. Many women have been left with painful health conditions by trying to bounce back into shape too soon. From painful intercourse to suffering a prolapse, it’s simply not worth the risks.
Remember to Love Your Body!
So when you finally reach your 6-week postpartum check-up, rather than feel down about the number on the scale, and try to force yourself to work out, reward your body with plenty of fresh fruit and nutritious snacks. Your body has given you the greatest gift of all! So respect it, care for it, and most of all show it unconditional love.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us today! We would love to help you with any postpartum fitness goals you have.
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