Core stability and pelvic floor muscle training should commence as soon as possible after delivery, However, I must stress ‘Ab’ training (including sit-ups!) are to be avoided during the post-natal period until full closure of the diastasis recti. There are 3 stages on postnatal core training, level 1 can commence almost immediately after birth. A few examples of level one exercises are below:
Also, I would encourage gentle recruitment of the core stability muscles throughout the day. Mobility exercises are also recommended as they will help to loosen the body and reduce stiffness
First 3 weeks:
Regular cardiovascular exercise is considered extremely beneficial during the post-natal period providing the appropriate frequency, intensity, duration and type are performed. At this stage, stick to brisk walking for 10-15 minutes, three times per week, and gradually increase the time as you get fitter. The intensity of the walk will depend on how you feel and your pre-pregnancy fitness levels however, start with low intensity at this stage.
You can continue with cardiovascular activity up to 30 minutes low – moderate intensity, but avoid any high impact activities (i.e. Jogging should be avoided).
Remember your core and pelvic floor exercises. At this stage you should aim to be on level 2 or 3 however, remember this can vary depending on pre-pregnancy fitness levels.
After 6-8 weeks:
If you have had the all clear following your post-partum check-up, you may start reintroducing other cardio and resistance training into your exercise. As you improve your strength, you gradually increase intensity until your pre-pregnancy fitness levels are achieved.