What Happens During Postpartum Exercise?

Postpartum Exercise-smiling woman resting on gym equipment after exercise before water intake Knees Over Toes Exercises


Postpartum exercise refers to physical activity after pregnancy, typically focused on recovery, core and pelvic floor strengthening, increased calorie burn, and gradual return to exercise.


  • Postpartum exercise should start gently after medical clearance, about 4-6 weeks post birth depending on delivery.
  • Focus initially on breathing, gentle stretching, and stabilizing the core and pelvic floor through transverse contractions and pelvic tilts.
  • As conditioning improves, incorporate walking, plyometrics, bodyweight and resistance training for strength and muscle rebuilding.
  • A supportive postpartum belt, proper nutrition, and modifying high impact exercises assists recovery. Listen to your body.


  • Breathing exercises and kegels 6 weeks after a C-section.
  • Supported bodyweight squats and walking up to 45 minutes daily after 8 week checkup.

Related Terms

  • Diastasis recti, C-section recovery, pelvic floor, core stability

Common Questions

  • How soon after birth can I work out? Wait at least 4-6 weeks and consult your doctor.
  • What if I had a complicated delivery? Take it extra slow and be cautious of overdoing activity.

Do Not Confuse With

  • Prenatal exercise – Exercise adaptations during pregnancy before childbirth.
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