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7 Reasons You Shouldn't Exercise After Having a Baby

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Updated September 07, 2010

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Exercise after having a baby is something most of us are ready to get back to as soon as we look into the mirror postpartum or try clothes on. For the vast majority of women, working out is not a problem fairly soon after having a baby. But there are some reasons that you will want to avoid exercise after having a baby, at least temporarily:

  1. Fever
    Working out when you are sick or have an infection is a bad idea. Not only do you not feel well but your body needs to rest not be pushed.

  2. Not Feeling Well
    You should avoid exercising after having a baby if you have nausea, feel dizzy, faint or are short of breath.

  3. Bladder Issues
    If you are having trouble urinating or pain when you urinate, its' not time to start working out yet. And, if after 4-6 weeks, you still leak urine, you need to avoid exercise until you've had a physical exam and talked to your practitioner.

  4. Unhealed C-Section Incision
    If your c-section incision is still draining or is open, it is not time to exercise yet. Your doctor can help you know when the right time will be for you to work out.

  5. Issues with Your Legs
    Painful spots, redness or warmth in a spot on your leg can be a sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This is a reason to see your doctor or midwife, and a reason to avoid exercising after having a baby.

  6. Breast Tenderness
    If your breasts are engorged, painful, red or swollen, you may have mastitis or a blocked duct. You should avoid exercising when these postpartum warning signs are present.

  7. Pain
    If you are simply not feeling well or have residual pain, avoid working out. If the pain is not going away, seek medical opinions for the reasons. You may require something specific for healing which may include physical therapy.
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