Strength Training After Having a Baby

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Published: November 10, 2022

Pregnancy is a special period in every woman’s life. Your body changes to accommodate a growing baby. Now, exercising during pregnancy is a bit of a controversial topic even among experts. But most would agree that healthy pregnant women should keep exercising if they don’t have strict contraindications. Training during pregnancy has more benefits than risks. However, no matter how much you train, your body will change during pregnancy, and changes in your exercise routine will be necessary. Then, comes the next big dilemma: when can you start working out after giving birth? Well, it all depends on your health and fitness levels. You should consult your doctor and personal trainer Dubai on this topic. As strength training after having a baby is a popular way of getting back into shape, we will go over some of the best practices.

When should you start strength training after having a baby?

Having a baby is a big change, not just for your body, but also for your mind. Additionally, giving birth can be a very painful and traumatic experience. For this reason, you will need time to heal after giving birth and starting to exercise again. The earliest time to start training after a normal birth without complications is 6-weeks postpartum. More time is needed after a c-section.

When you begin, you should first start with gentle exercise and an easy to more intense workout in about 12 weeks postpartum. As young moms don’t have enough time for themself or to go to the gym, a home workout is a good option to start training again. Also, you can go for a walk with your baby or do gentle stretches while the baby is sleeping. The best time to start strength training is around 12 weeks postpartum if you are feeling good.

a smiling woman holding a baby
Start training again after you get approval from your doctor or nurse

What is your goal after giving birth?

There are a couple of ways pregnancy affects your body. The first and most obvious one is weight gain. Another not-so-noticeable one is that your core abdominal and lower back muscles could be weaker than before. Additionally, in the first couple of months, ligaments and joints are more flexible. So, if your main goal is to lose weight, you should hire a weight loss trainer who will make you a training plan. Cardio and strength exercises bring different results.

However, if you combine cardio and strength exercises, you will improve your stamina and overall health, as well as reduce weight. So, if your main goal is to lose weight and get stronger, you should first do strength exercises and then cardio. However, if you want to improve your stamina, then do the cardio first and weights after.

How to start strength training?

It’s understandable that you want to see results fast and start intensive workouts as soon as possible. However, as your ligaments and joints are more flexible, there is a higher chance of getting hurt if you start an intense workout too soon. For this reason, if you don’t have a personal trainer for muscle building to help you out, you should first start with the core and pelvic floor exercises. You can do a minimum of 10 squats and 10 deadlifts without a problem, but without any additional weight.

After these exercises, you can start adding weight with a kettlebell or dumbbell of 10-20 lbs. When you manage to complete 40 repetitions, you can start adding the weight by 5-10 lbs. You can continue increasing weight until you reach the desired goal. If you feel any problems at any moment while training, you should go back to the previous lower weight.

a woman doing pelvic floor exercises with a female personal trainer
First, start with pelvic floor exercise and then progress to strength training after having a baby

How should you eat during strength training?

Diet is very important for gaining muscle or reducing weight. Training alone will not bring you desired goals. For this reason, your personal trainer will give you a meal plan for muscle gain that you need to follow. Moreover, women also need proper nutrition after birth to heal and breastfeed. Therefore, restrictive diets are not advisable for women who breastfeed or are recovering after a c-section or difficult birth.

If you are in any of these two situations, you should have a balanced diet with a lot of vegetables and fruit and drink a lot of fluid, mainly water. If you have a personal trainer, you should tell them that you have recently given birth and are currently breastfeeding. Your personal trainer will know what to do in this situation. Also, it’s important to get enough rest and sleep which can be challenging with a newborn baby in your home.

When should you stop training?

You might feel pressure to get back into shape fast after having a baby and start training too much too fast. For this reason, you might experience symptoms that are not normal. They include stabbing pain anywhere in your body, urine leakage, heavier postpartum bleeding, etc. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should stop training and visit your doctor. Urine leakage is a pretty common occurrence in women after giving birth. Usually, this problem goes away in a week or two after delivery without any medication.

However, some women have this problem longer or their whole life. In that case, you should visit your doctor or your nurse for advice. Urine leakage is treatable but it can take a lot of time and dedication. The three ways to treat urine incontinence are:

  • Medication
  • Exercises
  • Surgery
A woman wearing active wear and holding her back representing potential injuries when strength training after having a baby
Don’t overdo it when exercising as you can get injured easily

Listen to your body

You should start strength training after having a baby when you feel like you can. Also, you should get permission from your doctor and consult with your personal trainer. There are many benefits of training during pregnancy and after giving birth. However, you shouldn’t feel pressured to get back into shape fast or right away after giving birth. Moreover, don’t compare yourself to other women. Every woman is different and some get back into shape faster than others. You should listen to your body and train as much as you can. Additionally, you now have a baby to care for and give a lot of love.

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