Get Your Body Back: The Postpartum Workout Plan (While Breastfeeding)

quick postpartum workout for busy moms

Whether you are a fit mom or not (yet), there are certain rules and aspects that you should consider before you jump into your new postpartum workout plan.

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First of all and most important: get approval from your OB/GYN.

After a vaginal delivery, you should be able to start with easy workouts in about 6 weeks postpartum. If you’ve had a c-section delivery, you might have to give your body some more time to heal – usually around 8 weeks. So, once you are approved, you can start off slowly.

Before I got pregnant, exercising was a regular part of my life. I wanted to prevent my body from gaining too much weight during pregnancy so I tried to be active and worked out until the 7th month of pregnancy.



Your body and muscles remember the previous shape so it is much easier to get back your pre-baby body if you’ve been fit before.

I’ve got to be honest with you here:

Jumping back into my workout routine the first weeks after childbirth was the very last thing on my mind. And you are probably the same.

Just give yourself some time to recover, heal and most importantly, to bond with your little one. Don’t push it because you might end up hating the whole fitness thing.  As you get stronger and you get used to life with your baby, you will naturally start to feel the need for physical activity.

My current postpartum workout plan is actually very simple, living-room friendly and safe for breastfeeding moms. I haven’t experienced any decrease in milk supply or quality change. I alter my routine according to current family situation 🙂

There will be days when you are not able to go out for a walk, or you’re just too exhausted to do any workout. Sick kids, vacation, season holidays, headache or dreadful night – you name it.

But hey, life happens, right?

Try to do the best you can. Even if you do just 50 sit-ups that day, it is way better than nothing!

What do I do to lose that baby weight

I aim to exercise at least 5 times a week. I focus on doing cardio every day and try to squeeze in some strengthening exercises. My ideal week looks something like this:


MONDAY

  • 1-hour moderate walk (wearing a baby)
  • 6×12 walking lunges
  • 3x30s plank

TUESDAY

  • 30 mins brisk walk + 30 mins leisure walk (with a stroller)
  • 3×10 push-ups
  • 3×10 triceps dips
  • 3×100 arm circles
  • 3×15 situps

WEDNESDAY 

  • 1-hour moderate walk (wearing the baby)
  • 6×12 squats
  • 3x30s plank

THURSDAY

  • 30 mins brisk walk + 30 mins leisure walk (with a stroller)
  • 3×15 glute bridges
  • 3×15 side leg raises
  • 3×15 squats
  • 3×15 sit-ups

FRIDAY

  • 1-hour moderate walk (wearing the baby)
  • 6×12 walking lunges
  • 3x30s plank

I usually spend my weekends with both my kids so I don’t get to walk that much as we usually end up at a playground. I try to enjoy time with my family as much as I can, so I hardly ever do any workouts during weekends. Besides, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and playing around with kids burns a hell of a lot calories, right? 🙂

Walking is essential

For me, walking outdoors is a regular daily task. I don’t even take it as a workout. It’s like giving a bath to your baby – it is a part of your routine. It has become so much a part of me that on days when we´re not able to go out because of sickness or bad weather, I feel uneasy.

postpartum workout plan

I try to alternate walking with a stroller and a baby carrier. The main difference is that with the stroller, I am able to do speed or a brisk walk (about 3mph/5kmph). This is an amazing cardio exercise, totally comparable to running (which I hate).

On the other side, walking with a baby in a carrier is more of a workout with extra weight, which helps you to tone your muscles. I always add an extra series of lunges or squats while wearing a baby. It’s like working out with a sandbag or dumbbell 🙂

If you want to know what exactly you should do to lose baby weight by walking, check my latest article here.

On stroller days, I usually do an additional short toning workout at home. It takes no more than 15 minutes and I mostly exercise with the baby on me or next to me. For some reason, he finds it very amusing and giggles all the time. Jumping jacks are his favorite! Fun time for both of us! I guess 😀

Get your workout right

Although right now you feel that all you need to do is get rid of that mommy tummy, your postnatal body needs full body strengthening exercises to get back into the previous shape.

You don’t have to rush to the gym – these exercises work the whole body effectively without any gym equipment. Before you start, check out how to do them correctly to prevent injuries:

Plank

Plank is great for retraining the weakened core. To perform a plank, lie down on your tummy with elbows under your shoulders. Then push up onto your forearms and toes engaging your abs. Your body has to be in a parallel position with the ground and your back is flat. For the start, try to stay in this position 20-30 seconds, then release.

Glute Bridge (Pelvic Thrusts)

Apart from gluteal activation, this exercise has the ability to assist in correct posture and strengthening the pelvic floor. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent about 90 degrees, feet firmly on the floor hip-width apart. Lift the pelvis up, squeezing the glutes. Hold for one count, then slowly release down to the floor.

Sit-ups

When it comes to effective stomach exercise, I choose sit-ups over crunches as they are multi-muscle exercise. Sit-ups work the abdominals as well as other muscle groups, including hips, lower back and chest. Before doing sit-ups or crunches, you need to make sure your postpartum ab-separation is not an issue.

To perform sit-ups, lie down on your back and bend your legs. Put your feet on the ground firmly to stabilize yourself. Put your hands on your chest and lift your upper body all the way up toward your knees. Return to the starting point slowly.

Walking lunges

Walking lunges provide greater benefits to your body compared to stationary lunges. I perform them while taking walk outside as finding suitable space in our rather small apartment is kind of difficult 🙂

To perform walking lunges, take a long step forward, bending your legs so both knees are 90 degrees. Your rear knee should be almost touching the ground. Then lift through the heel of the front foot and extend both knees to raise yourself back up. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Triceps Dips

This exercise works perfectly to tone and shapes up those flabby arms. Stand in front of a chair or sofa and place hands shoulder-width apart on the seat behind you. Extend your legs out in front of you. Dip your body bending your arms in elbows at about 90-degree angle and come back up.

Squats

Squats strengthen your glutes and legs and improve your lower body mobility. To perform squat, stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and tense your abs. Squat down by pushing your knees to the side while moving hips back.  Don’t let your knees go inward. Return to the starting position slowly. You can hold your baby while squatting for a weighted squat 🙂

Doing a squat may sound easy, but it actually takes practice to perform it correctly, so all the right muscles are engaged. Check out here on how to do a perfect squat:

Push-ups

Push-ups are an amazing total-body exercise that works multiple muscles but you have to be very careful to do them in the correct way.

To perform a push-up, take up a face-down kneeling position on the floor and put your palms down on the floor in shoulder width apart. With your arms straight and abs tensed, steadily lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle or smaller. Keep your head facing forward.

A proper full push-up takes a lot of practice and strength. I am still not able to do a full push-up, so I do an easier alternation with my knees on the ground. And the baby beneath me. A mommy push-up 🙂

Mastering a proper push-up takes a lot of practice. Steve from NerdFitness guides perfectly through the process of learning a correct form for push-up in his article here.

Leg Raises

All you need for this exercise is a chair. A wall or a tree (when performing outside) will also do. Stand tall behind the chair and hold onto it.  Bend your right leg slightly, extend it out to the side and slowly lift as high as you can. Hold your leg in this position for a couple of seconds and then lower down. Repeat for 10-15 times before switching sides.


What’s the bottom line?

It’s not rocket science and you don’t have to spend hours working out at the gym. A few simple exercises and everyday walking.

Find your own pace and time. Early morning or late at night. With the baby or without.

See what suits you the most and do it. Make it a habit.

If I can do it (and I am quite a lazy person), so can you!

I would love to know what is YOUR post-baby workout routine! Let me know it the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “Get Your Body Back: The Postpartum Workout Plan (While Breastfeeding)

  1. I remember that time in life well, even though it was long ago. You’ve put together some sound advice and great tips for new Moms. Life is hectic enough with little ones that getting to the gym, getting a sitter etc can feel overwhelming. This do it at home is a wonderful program.
    Well done.
    Sydney

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