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Exercise plan 12 weeks after pregnancy

If you want to do high effort activities, wait until at least 12 weeks after giving birth.

High effort activities include:

  • running and jogging
  • abdominal crunches
  • fitness training - such as circuit training or weightlifting

Before starting intense exercise

Having a baby changes your body. This can affect how soon you can do high-intensity and high-impact activities.

Pelvic floor muscles

Avoid high-intensity and high-impact activity until your pelvic muscles are stronger.

If you do high effort exercise with a weak pelvic floor, you could cause damage you cannot reverse.

How to do pelvic floor exercises

Pregnancy weight

Start with low-impact activity if you are a higher weight for your height (BMI) after pregnancy.

Low-impact activity includes:

  • fast walking
  • swimming

These exercises put less strain on your joints and pelvic supports.

Calculate your BMI -

Diastasis recti (DRAM)

During pregnancy your tummy muscles stretch. This can create a gap through the middle of your tummy. This gap is known as diastasis recti (DRAM). In most women, this gap is normal and causes no issues.

Check for diastasis recti (DRAM)

Running and other high effort activities

High effort activities, such as running, can put your body under strain. Wait at least 12 weeks after giving birth and start gradually.

Signs you are doing too much too soon include:

  • lower back, pelvic or joint pain
  • leaking urine (pee) when running
  • a feeling of pressure or a heavy sensation in your vagina

This strain can:

  • affect your ability to recover between runs
  • cause joints and muscles to ache after runs
  • put you at a higher risk of bone stress fractures

Read more about Exercise after pregnancy

Page last reviewed: 23 August 2023
Next review due: 23 August 2026

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.