Postpartum exercise

“Just over a month and a half after the birth, I slowly yet surely started running again, alternating walking with light jogging.” Petra Månström talks about exercise after pregnancy.

BABYBJÖRN Magazine – Petra Månström runs to keep fit as her postpartum exercise.
Petra Månström got up and running with her postpartum exercise a few months after giving birth.
Photo: Jonas Hansen

How and when can you start postpartum exercise?

For my part, I rested completely for two weeks after giving birth. Partly because my muscles were massively sore after giving birth, which is not unlike running a marathon, and partly because I didn’t have either the mental or the physical stamina for exercising. All my focus was on this tiny new arrival in my life and establishing new routines as much as I could.

Kegel exercises make great postpartum exercise

After two weeks had gone by, I took up spinning again, which went very well. I felt energized and strong, and I appreciated getting out of the house for a few hours and having some “me time.” Just over a month and a half after the birth, I slowly yet surely started running again, alternating walking with light jogging.

I was persistent with my Kegel exercises and even used some workout apps. In the beginning I had some problems with slight incontinence, but that soon stopped.

I did my first “real” run in the middle of January, just over two months after my son Adrian’s birth. And it went soooo slowly, but I was still very proud to be up and running again. No offence to spinning lovers, but running is definitely my passion.

Your postpregnancy workout – different strokes for different folks

Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to exercise during pregnancy or start working out again relatively soon after giving birth. It all depends on your own experience of pregnancy and giving birth, so you’ve got to be in tune with your body. Read more about exercise during pregnancy.

It may sound like a cliché and easy for me to say, but in the grand scheme of things pregnancy accounts for only a tiny fraction of an entire life. You’ll soon be enjoying your workouts again and gain new perspectives, which I for one found very positive.

So, a postpartum workout is important but it’s not the end of the world if you miss a session or two. Maybe you need to catch up on your sleep or you’d rather cuddle with your baby than go out running. And that’s perfectly OK – the track is out there waiting for you when you’re ready.

BABYBJÖRN Magazine – Petra Månström with her son after giving birth.
Photo: Jonas Hansen

Petra Månström

Age: 39.
Family: Partner Jonas and son Adrian.
Works as: Journalist specializing in fitness and health. Manages the Marathon Podcast, Scandinavia’s most popular podcast on endurance sports, and blogs at Published her book Det är bara att springa (“Just run“) in 2014.