When You Can Work Out After Giving Birth

After giving birth, it's not uncommon for women to want to get back to their normal routines as soon as possible — as "normal" as a routine can be with a newborn around, at least. If you enjoyed working out pre-baby or are just ready to hit the gym to feel more like yourself, asking "how soon after giving birth can I work out" is a pretty normal question. But before you get back to your squats and bench presses, it might be best to take things slowly. The answer to your question, like most, depends vastly on your labor experience and how well the healing process is going.

According to Baby Center, if you had a vaginal birth without much medical interference and things went smoothly, you can expect to work out fairly soon after you've healed. On the other hand, if you had a C-section, complications during labor, an assisted birth, or you didn't exercise regularly before birth, you may need to wait a bit longer.

Most mothers with safe, uncomplicated deliveries should wait four to six weeks before starting mild exercise, and even then they should keep it pretty easy, What to Expect cautioned. So no overdoing it, mama. For more complicated deliveries or if you had a difficult recovery, waiting even longer is recommended — probably eight to 10 weeks or so.

As with all post-baby activity, the best bet is to ask your doctor at your postpartum check up how they thing you're healing and what exercises they believe would be safest for your post-baby body. Don't get discouraged though, even though it takes time (and it usually feels like a lot of it) to be able to get your well deserved sweat on, waiting until your body is fully ready will ensure that your workouts are as safe and enjoyable (and effective) as possible.