Support postpartum recovery with nutrition, fitness & more!

Giving birth is a life-changing experience, so it’s no wonder it takes time to adjust afterwards — physically and mentally. Every new mother is different and recovers at their own rate. Many feel back to their usual selves in six to eight weeks, while others may need a few months. Taking time to care for your body as it adapts to its new role as a parent can be very beneficial. Whether that’s getting a relaxing ‘mummy massage’ or establishing a postnatal yoga practice.

This page suggests some practices that can support your postpartum recovery. However, the list is by no means exhaustive! There are many other options available, and you may find that some things work better for you than others.

Learn more about postpartum recovery

1. Nutrition: your best postpartum ally
2. Discover the benefits of postpartum acupuncture
3. Fitness after giving birth: when’s a good time to exercise?
4. I’m feeling ready! What are the best postpartum workouts?
5. Zooming in on postnatal yoga – what is it exactly?
6. How do mummy massages support postpartum recovery, and how often should I get one?
7. Find your parenting dynamic with family coaching

1. Nutrition: your best postpartum ally

Healthy eating is a really great way to boost your postpartum recovery. For a holistic healing process, you might like to focus on nutrition alongside physical activities such as postpartum massages and workouts. Whole foods, packed with nutrients, can speed up the recovery process. Anti-inflammatory fruit and vegetables, alongside protein-rich eggs, dairy, and nuts can repair muscle and rebuild strength. You may wish to add these to your daily meals. If you feel particularly exhausted throughout the weeks after giving birth, you might find it helpful to take vitamins, such as prenatal supplements, to fight fatigue. Another way to raise your energy levels is to stay hydrated. It’s especially beneficial if you’re nursing, as upping your water intake can promote breast milk production. If you’d like more support on breastfeeding and lactation, you can find more information on our IBCLC page.

2. Discover the benefits of postpartum acupuncture

Acupuncture uses fine needles to trigger specific points on the skin and stimulate the nervous system. It’s used to treat all sorts of conditions and is particularly beneficial in the weeks after giving birth. Postpartum acupuncture can:

– Speed up recovery. 

– Balance hormones.

– Promote healthy milk supply.

– Relieve aches and pains.

– Calm the sympathetic nervous system.

– Reduce stress. 

3. Fitness after giving birth: when’s a good time to exercise?

It’s great to get back into a healthy fitness routine after giving birth. However, it may be a good idea to give your body a break before jumping into a strenuous postpartum workout. Generally, after a c-section, it’s recommended that you wait at least four to six weeks before taking on a postpartum workout. Your abdomen has been through a lot, so you might want to hold off working on your core for a couple of months. After a vaginal birth, two to four weeks is the suggested break before trying any high-impact exercises. If you feel up to it, you can start with gentle workouts earlier. However, there are some activities you can practice right after giving birth. Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) and diaphragmatic breathing, for example, can assist in healing and strengthening.

4. I’m feeling ready! What are the best postpartum workouts?

As with all these treatments and practices, everyone is different. Listening to your body and going at your own pace is the safest way to get back into an exercise routine. Always check with your midwife before starting any kind of postpartum exercise. They may offer some ideas on how to begin, but as a basic guide, you might find it most comfortable to start with low-impact aerobic activity, such as going for a brisk walk. Likewise, for the upper body, there are some simple exercises you can build upon, like single-arm rows. You can start with small dumbbells and gradually increase the weight as you feel more confident. You may like to complement your workouts with a postpartum massage to manage any muscle tension.

5. Zooming in on postnatal yoga — what is it exactly?

Yoga is another fitness technique you might find helpful as you recover. It’s a holistic practice that unites breath and body through movement. Postnatal yoga is a great way to ease tension, improve your flexibility, and gradually rebuild your core strength after giving birth. As with any physical exercise, it’s best to check with your midwife before starting any postnatal yoga practices. However, yoga has mental benefits, as well as physical. Mindful movement can relax you and encourage postpartum body positivity. Meeting other mums at postnatal yoga classes is also a nice way to build support networks and discuss shared experiences.  On the other hand, if you prefer practicing at home, there are many online yoga classes you can do from the comfort of your living room!

6. How do mummy massages support postpartum recovery, and how often should I get one?

A postpartum massage, or ‘mummy massage,’ is a full body massage that occurs in the first 12 weeks after giving birth. You can book a postpartum massage whenever you feel ready, and many mothers find getting one soon after giving birth to be incredibly beneficial. However, it’s a good idea to get advice from your doctor first if you had a c-section or any birth complications. Some massage therapists won’t carry out a mummy massage if you’ve had a caesarean in the past six weeks. Postpartum massages help release the muscle memory of labour, realign the body, and relieve tension. In addition, mummy massages can balance your hormones and improve your blood circulation, promoting milk supply if you’re breastfeeding. When you go to a postpartum massage appointment, you can discuss your needs with the therapist — would you like a gentle, restorative massage? Or something deeper to work out any knots?

There’s no real limit on how many mummy massages you can get! Some women like to make it a part of their weekly routine. Others prefer to just have one or two mummy massages when they can. After all, getting a moment alone can be tough as a new parent, and a mummy massage is an excellent way to carve out some self-care time. So whether you go for one postpartum massage or many, you can reap some lovely benefits. Why not check out our perinatal massage page to learn more about mummy massages and find a local massage therapist?

7. Find your parenting dynamic with family coaching 

The parenting journey can seem daunting — and that’s okay! Support from a family coach can help you and your loved ones embrace this new step and find your own unique way of parenting. Whether you’ve just had your first baby or wish to support your children with the arrival of a new sibling, family coaching sessions aim to create a positive environment where the whole family can flourish. You might like advice on family dynamics and challenges or want to gain perspective on your parenting style. Whatever your needs, you can discuss them with your coach so they can tailor sessions to you and your family.

Browse through our selection of postpartum recovery experts and book your appointment now! 

Want to get in touch or book an appointment now? Browse through our network of recommended providers, select the one who most closely meets your needs and get in touch or plan an appointment whenever suitable. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our team at hello@parentally.nl. We are here to help!  

Looking for other types of support? Discover our lactation consultants or browse through our selected list of child sleep coaches.


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Welcome to the Parentally Blog.

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The Parentally team


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