Skip to main content

Physical Activity After Childbirth

Can I start exercising again?

Yes, for the majority of women, you can start becoming physically active again, but listen to your body and start gradually. It is encouraged that whether you were active prior to childbirth or not, you should start again slowly. Short walks are a great place to start. Avoid high impact activities for at least 6 weeks to ensure healing and vaginal discharge has stopped.


Click on the picture to see the current government guidance on exercise following childbirth.

I had a caesarean section operation, is the advice different for me? 

It will take several weeks to recover after your C-section, as it is a major operation. There will be stitches in your lower abdomen which need to heal, so avoid activities that lead to high strain such as prolonged standing or lifting heavy weights (including shopping bags) for at least the first 6 weeks.

After having this operation, you should see a healthcare professional post-operatively, such as a midwife or women’s health physiotherapist (GP referral needed), who will give you further guidance on when it is safe for you to start exercising again.

Should I continue with those pelvic floor exercises?

Yes, you can start as soon as you feel able to. As part of your childbirth, if you have experienced a grade 1 or 2 tear or an episiotomy, you can start your pelvic floor exercises as soon as you have passed urine. If you had a 3 or 4 degree tear which has required stiches, you would normally start pelvic floor exercises at 6 weeks after having a baby. Please speak to a women’s health physiotherapist (GP referral required) if you have any concerns.

Generally, women are encouraged to do pelvic floor exercises throughout their whole life. The pelvic floor can become weakened from pregnancy and childbirth, but also from chronic coughing, constipation, repeated heavy lifting or being overweight. This can result in incontinence, increased risk of prolapse of pelvic organs, reduced sensitivity in intercourse and decreased pelvic support.

They are just like any other muscle - they need strengthening to work effectively.

Where can I find more advice or exercises?

If you want more advice and examples of exercises to do, follow the link below:

Cookie Notice

Find out more about how this website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience.