The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says it's okay to gradually resume exercising when you feel up to it. But your doctor or midwife may ask you to wait until your six-week postpartum checkup so she can see how you're doing first.
Generally, if you exercised throughout your pregnancy and had a normal vaginal delivery, you can safely perform your pregnancy workout — or at least light exercise, such as walking, modified push-ups, and stretching — within days of giving birth. After your first postpartum week, a slow to moderate 30-minute walk three times a week is fine. As you regain strength, you can increase the length or number of walks.
If you had a c-section, expect to wait about six to eight weeks to exercise. However, walking at an easy pace is encouraged because it promotes healing and helps prevent complications such as blood clots.
If you weren't active during your pregnancy, or tapered off your fitness routine as the weeks went on, start slow and check with your doctor or midwife before you begin exercising.
In any case, remember that your joints and ligaments will still be loose for about three to five months, so watch your step to avoid spills. If you want to take an exercise class, try to find one taught by a postpartum exercise specialist or go for a low-impact class focused on toning and stretching. Many YMCAs, recreation centers, gyms, and yoga studios offer exercise classes for new moms.
Exercise is good for you, but in the first few months after you give birth, don't overdo it. Your body needs time to heal, and you need time to adjust to your new role and to care for and bond with your baby.