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I'm too tired to exercise!
Q: I'm nine weeks postpartum. I'd love to resume my exercise routine, but I feel exhausted. Is it a good idea to exercise when I'm this tired?
A: It would be good to know whether your fatigue is entirely due to your new parenting schedule – interrupted sleep, 'round the clock feedings – or whether there is more going on. Some women are anemic after their delivery and require supplemental iron in order to feel stronger. Other women develop postpartum thyroid deficiencies, which account for their fatigue.

Most moms, however, are simply adjusting to the demands of motherhood and need more rest. Try to nap when your baby does. Ask a friend or family member to watch your baby to give you a little time off. If you feel energetic after resting, gentle exercise can be a good idea. You shouldn't begin with a heavy-duty workout. Taking a stroll around the block with your baby may be a good first objective. Dancing to your favorite music with your baby is another option. Floor exercises and stretches can be started at home; follow an exercise book or watch a video for guidance.

As your endurance increases, consider joining a class for postpartum moms. These offer supportive and relaxed environments, allowing you to exercise alongside your baby. When you resume exercising, you're likely to find your energy increasing and an improved ability to sleep soundly. Before you begin a new exercise program, however, consult your doctor if you are at all suspicious that your fatigue is related to a medical problem.
Laura E. Stachel M.D. Obstetrician & Gynecologist