Postpartum Physical Activity Guidelines

There are numerous health benefits that can come from being physically active including weight-loss, stress relief, increased energy levels, enhanced muscle strength, and preventing or decreasing post-partum depression.

Moderate-intensity activities—like walking and light gardening--have great health benefits and do not negatively affect breast milk volume or milk composition.

When should you start?

This will be different for everyone, depending on factors such as the type and length of birth. If you had a C-section or a complicated birth, it is vital to talk with your doctor or health care provider before starting physical activity. Following most births, you can typically start easing back into physical activity whenever you feel ready. Start slowly with low impact activities such as walking. Your health care provider can help you determine an appropriate timeline for resuming physical activity, specific activities, and if there are any activities you should avoid.

Find support!

Your family and friends are there for support, so don't be afraid to ask them to join you for some physical activity--they may appreciate and need it as much as you do!

Find time!

Listed below are some suggestions for how to incorporate physical activity in the postpartum period:

  • Use a workout video. While your baby is sleeping, be active with a workout video set on 'mute.' This way you can still monitor your baby while getting some physical activity.

  • Go for a walk. Go for walks throughout the day with your baby using a sling carrier or stroller. Make sure to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, and to protect your baby using a hat or a lightweight blanket.

  • Dance. Put on some upbeat music and dance, stretch, and use hand weights to create your own unique home workout! Your baby may enjoy dancing with you, at times, too!

Make the most of your new life by being physically active! There are lots of benefits to being physically active after the delivery of your baby, but allow yourself time to ease back into a physical activity routine.