Postpartum weight loss or losing weight after pregnancy can be easy for some and quite difficult for others (like me). And defintily high intensity exercises are sold as a way of getting rid of your extra weight quite quickly. BUT these two, have to be exclusive of each other for women after child birth. The pressure of getting back to your pre baby body can be intense for some especially in the fitness industry or the media. And some women can end up doing more harm than good in the process. Here are 3 reasons why high intensity exercises are not a good idea for postpartum weight loss.

Postpartum weight loss is dependent upon the type of delivery you’ve gone through

What I mean by this is if you’ve had vaginal delivery, your pelvic floor and tummy muscles are actually expected to recover quicker than if you’ve had a C-section especially if it’s an emergency C-section. Let me explain why. These muscles go through a lot of stretching during pregnancy and ofcourse child birth. But with a surgery, in addition to this, there’s a big cut in the uterus or the womb that your body has to recover from. This adds to the recovery time. Getting back to high intensity exercises too quickly will actually interfere with recovery. It is usually recommended to wait at least 6 months to get back to high intensity exercises after a C-section.

Also the uterus itself takes 6 weeks to go back to it’s original position after pregnancy. In my opinion you should wait for at least 3 months even after normal vaginal delivery to try high intensity exercises for postpartum weight loss.

High intensity exercises do not include pelvic floor exercises for postpartum weight loss

pelvic floor

Pelvic floor muscles are the ones that make you pee or poo. And also literally push the baby out of you! So as you can imagine , they go through a lot of stretching and therefore weakening and sometimes tearing as well. So a HUGE part of postpartum weight loss is actually focusing on rebuilding the strength in these muscles. Otherwise you can end up with pelvic floor weakness or incontinence. High intensity workouts don’t take this into consideration. In fact they can actually put more pressure on these muscles and cause further weakness or bladder leakage. Especially so in the first few months after child birth.

High intensity workouts can increase stress making postpartum weight loss difficult

woman mid jumping jack floats above green grass scaled

The hormones can take upto 6 months to normalise after pregnancy. Sometimes even longer if you’re exclusively breastfeeding. In women in their late thirties to forties, these hormonal changes can wreck havoc. Especially cortisol, the stress hormone can in fact also cause chronic pain and make recovery difficult. High intensity exercises have been shown to increase the levels of cortisol in this age group. In addition to this, the exercises can be very jarring to the joints after pregnancy and cause problems like back pain after pregnancy.

I simply cannot stress enough the improtance of seeing a Physiotherapist after child birth even before you begin your post partum weight loss journey. I know this is not a norm and a lot of mothers are infact not even informed that they do need to see a physio after child birth. Even if you do see one at the hospital, no one really tells you how important it is to see a Physio once you begin any sort of exercise program. So if you’re reading this and either you or someone you know is planning to start their postpartum weight loss program, please see a physio before you do so! You can certainly see one from my team by clicking the button below or giving us a call!