Dossier: Sport after childbirth

Ease the strain on your shoulders!

After the birth you’ll spend a lot of time carrying your child, breastfeeding and doing housework. All these activities can put strain on your shoulders and lead to pain in your back and arms. We’ve put together a few loosening and stretching exercises for you.

To relax your shoulders, arms and back muscles (can be repeated as often as required)

  1. Stand with your legs hip-width apart
  2. Your feet should be parallel with toes pointing forwards.
  3. Distribute your weight evenly between both feet.
  4. Bend your knees slightly
  5. Pull in your belly button
  6. Breathe in through the nose and out slowly through your mouth
  7. Lengthen your spine by pulling up through your head
  8. Interlock your fingers in front of you so your arms form a circle (palms facing you)
  9. Generating swing from your shoulders, lift your arms over your head and stretch them above you without releasing your fingers.
  10. Look up at your hands
  11. Maintain the pose for a few seconds
  12. Feel a gentle stretch in your arms, shoulders and upper back
  13. Breathe in and out
  14. Release your fingers and stretch your arms out wide to circle them down and repeat the stretch
  15. Shake it out


this is supposed to be a gentle stretch and shouldn’t hurt. You can do this exercise anywhere and at any time. If you feel up to it you can start this exercise shortly after the birth.

Video (only available in German)

Katharina Quack Lötscher
Doctor and president of PEBS (preventive nutrition and exercisecounselling during pregnancy and up to a year after birth)