New mums used to be told to sit tight for six weeks after having a baby, until their doc gave them the green light to exercise. No more. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently declared that “some women are capable of resuming physical activities within days of delivery” and that ob-gyns should, in the case of an “uncomplicated vaginal delivery, counsel patients that they can begin or resume an exercise program as soon as they feel able.”
“We’re not telling women, ‘You better get out there,’ but we’re saying it’s totally fine to do what you feel up to,” says ob-gyn Dr. Alison Stuebe, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. “Before, there was a sense of, ‘Go home, and don’t get out of bed.’” Feeling good is the key factor when choosing “fourth trimester” exercise, Dr. Stuebe says.
Ready to get moving, but you don’t know where to start? Try this circuit from Pilates pro Andrea Speir, the creator of the new Fit Pregnancy Plan workout digital series. Start with three days a week and work up to six. “The moves will give you endorphins,” Speir says. “You’ll feel ready to take on the day after, not depleted.”