Some new moms feel ready to jump back into their running routine mere weeks after giving birth, but in general, it’s best to wait until at least six weeks postpartum, experts say. (Photo: Gallery Stock)
Yesterday Hilaria Baldwin announced on Instagram that she’s back to hitting the pavement — just nine days after giving birth to her third child, Leonardo.
The 32-year-old yoga instructor and wife of Alec Baldwin stated that her original intention was to jog for only five to 10 minutes, yet her first postbaby workout lasted 23 minutes instead.
“I am not telling women to begin working out as quickly as I am after having a baby,” she wrote. “That is between you and your doctor…as it is between me and mine. This post is for those of you who want to begin a workout (man, woman, kids, no kids…) and it seems daunting.”
A photo posted by Hilaria Thomas Baldwin (@hilariabaldwin) on Sep 21, 2016 at 9:59am PDT
But Mrs. Baldwin’s recent post begs the question: Generally speaking, is a woman’s body ready for exercise a week (or so) after going through a “typical” vaginal birth?
“After giving birth, the ligaments of the body are loose, which allows the pelvis to open and make room for the baby to come through the birth canal,” Sara Gottfried, MD, a gynecologist and author of The Hormone Reset Diet: Heal Your Metabolism to Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 21 Days, tells Yahoo Beauty. “The ligaments stay loose for several weeks afterward, probably four to six weeks, making your pelvis unstable.”
Therefore, Gottfried is not in favor of a woman engaging in any type of strenuous activity during this time “because injury is more likely when ligaments aren’t pulling your bones together.”
However, she understands the motive behind Baldwin’s decision. “After my first baby, I went running one week after giving birth because I felt so fat and frumpy,” confesses Gottfried. “I could literally feel my pelvic bones sloshing around — it wasn’t good! I had to stop and resort to brisk walking.”
Along with opting for a power walk, the Harvard-trained physician also recommends chi walking or Yin yoga for the new moms who may have a little extra time to burn. “But nothing that requires you to suck in your abdomen — so no barre or core work.”
As a general rule, Gottfried feels that the majority of women who deliver a baby via a vaginal birth should be physically capable of reintroducing high-impact exercises into their routine about six weeks after their newborn arrives.
“Yet some women — especially [those who underwent] a cesarean section — need longer,” she says, “more like eight to 12 weeks.”