7 Healthcast: Post-partum exercise
Obstetrician Michael Randell encourages his patients to exercise post-partum, but depending on the type of delivery, he tells them to take it slow.
"The hormones of pregnancy can affect the ligaments that support the joints and it makes it very, very relaxed," Dr. Randell said. "So you have to remember, you don't want to do anything that's going to increase the chance of injury."
Randell tells patients who have vaginal deliveries with no complications to stick to mild exercises shortly after the birth.
"Walking 15 minutes a day, maybe three days a week, then increasing that to maybe five days a week," he said.
C-section patients are told to wait six weeks before exerting themselves.
"With a c-section you have a surgical incision and that wound needs to heal," he said.
And when it does, Randell says a good exercise program is one of the best ways to burn calories, build muscle strength and return to pre-pregnancy weight.
How active you were during your pregnancy also affects how long you'll have to wait before you start exercising again. If you weren't active or cut back on your workouts as the weeks went on, it may take longer before your body is ready.
That's why it's important to talk with your doctor before starting any exercise program.(Copyright 2008 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)