Post-pregnancy exercise Work-out for new mums

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Information & Advice


Post-pregnancy exercise: Work-out for new mums

Prenatal and postnatal exercise is really beneficial for both mums and babies, according to Jane Wake.

Keeping fit with a new baby

Top tips for keeping fit after your little one has arrived

Mum Sarah says

"Six weeks after I had my daughter Catherine, I joined a post-natal exercise class designed for new mums. It was great to get back to doing some exercise and invaluable for building a network of new mums, many of whom I am still in contact with today, three years later."

Like most new mums you've probably put on a few pregnancy pounds but are not sure how you're going to fit in doing any exercise when there are so many other things to keep you occupied!

You don't have to become a slave to the gym to get back in shape (phew!) so to help you out we've come up with some great tips to make it easy to incorporate some exercise into your everyday routine. Exercise will help your body to recover from childbirth and give you an energy boost - good news if you're on the receiving end of some sleepless nights.

We've also got guidance on how to do pelvic floor and deep stomach exercises correctly - if you're going to do them, you might as well get them right!

Time it right: It's recommended that you wait until you've had your six week postnatal check before doing regular exercise. If you exercised regularly before giving birth and feel fit and well you may be able to do so earlier. Discuss with your midwife or GP first


Great ways to get in shape

When you're running around with a baby all day it's easier than you think to fit in ways to keep fit. Here are some top tips to help you get back in shape:

  • When out and about with baby, push the pram or buggy briskly, keeping your back straight. Remember walking is great exercise so try to keep active as much as possible
  • If you've got older children, play energetic games with them. Having fun running about provides a great form of exercise
  • You probably go up and down the stairs several times a day so don't walk up - run!
  • If you're picking things up off the floor for your new baby, squat down and hold heavy objects close to your body. If you squat with your knees bent and back straight you'll strengthen your thigh muscles and won't hurt your back - a win-win all 'round!
  • Once any postnatal bleeding has stopped you can start swimming. Swimming is a great way to exercise and relax. Go along with a friend who has a new baby and take it in turns to have a swim
  • Borrow or buy an exercise DVD so you can workout at home if you're struggling to get out to a class. Let Daddy have some bonding time while you find time for some keep fit
  • Keep up your postnatal exercises as they will strengthen vital muscles. You'll probably be given information about how to do pelvic floor exercises, but if you're not sure read on to find out more with our handy guide

Your guide to postnatal exercises

Knowing how to do certain exercises is just as important as actually doing them! Follow these step-by-step instructions to pelvic floor and deep stomach exercises as well as some tips to help ease back pain.

Pelvic floor exercises (also known as kegel exercises)

Strengthening your pelvic floor after a baby is important because it can help to ease incontinence and can also improve your sex life! If that already sounds good, the news about pelvic floor exercises just gets better.

You can do these exercises anywhere - sitting or standing. It doesn't matter if you're watching TV, washing up or even queuing at the supermarket till - there's always time to fit in a few pelvic floor exercises.

Here's how to do them:

  1. Squeeze and draw in your back passage at the same time. Close and draw up your front passage (vagina) upwards
  2. Do it quickly, tightening and then releasing the muscles immediately
  3. Then do it slowly, holding the muscles for as long as you can (but not more than 10 seconds) before you relax
  4. Repeat each exercise 10 times, four to six times a day

Deep stomach exercises

If you want to firm up your post-baby belly, this exercise may help:

  1. Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent
  2. Let your tummy sag and breathe in gently
  3. As you breathe out, gently draw in the lower part of your stomach like a corset, narrowing your waistline
  4. Squeeze your pelvic floor at the same time
  5. Hold for a count of 10 then gently release
  6. Repeat 10 times

Easing back pain

If pregnancy has left you with backache, try these exercises to help:

  • Cushion behind your waist
  • Kneel or squat to do low-level jobs, such as bathing your baby or picking things up off the floor. Avoid bending your back
  • Make your knees work instead. Change nappies on a waist-level surface or while kneeling on the floor
  • To lift heavy objects, such as a carrycot or an older child, bend your knees, keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. Make your thigh muscles work as you lift
  • Keep a straight back when you push a pram or buggy. Alternatively, carry your baby in a sling

Read more like this:
Safe and happy travel with kids
Memorable milestones: Your baby's first year

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Keeping fit with a new baby

Top tips for keeping fit after your little one has arrived

Like most new mums you've probably put on a few pregnancy pounds but are not sure how you're going to fit in doing any exercise when there are so many other things to keep you occupied!

You don't have to become a slave to the gym to get back in shape (phew!) so to help you out we've come up with some great tips to make it easy to incorporate some exercise into your everyday routine. Exercise will help your body to recover from childbirth and give you an energy boost - good news if you're on the receiving end of some sleepless nights.

We've also got guidance on how to do pelvic floor and deep stomach exercises correctly - if you're going to do them, you might as well get them right!

Time it right: It's recommended that you wait until you've had your six week postnatal check before doing regular exercise. If you exercised regularly before giving birth and feel fit and well you may be able to do so earlier. Discuss with your midwife or GP first

Time it right: It's recommended that you wait until you've had your six week postnatal check before doing regular exercise. If you exercised regularly before giving birth and feel fit and well you may be able to do so earlier. Discuss with your midwife or GP first

Great ways to get in shape

When you're running around with a baby all day it's easier than you think to fit in ways to keep fit. Here are some top tips to help you get back in shape:

  • When out and about with baby, push the pram or buggy briskly, keeping your back straight. Remember walking is great exercise so try to keep active as much as possible
  • If you've got older children, play energetic games with them. Having fun running about provides a great form of exercise
  • You probably go up and down the stairs several times a day so don't walk up - run!
  • If you're picking things up off the floor for your new baby, squat down and hold heavy objects close to your body. If you squat with your knees bent and back straight you'll strengthen your thigh muscles and won't hurt your back - a win-win all 'round!
  • Once any postnatal bleeding has stopped you can start swimming. Swimming is a great way to exercise and relax. Go along with a friend who has a new baby and take it in turns to have a swim
  • Borrow or buy an exercise DVD so you can workout at home if you're struggling to get out to a class. Let Daddy have some bonding time while you find time for some keep fit
  • Keep up your postnatal exercises as they will strengthen vital muscles. You'll probably be given information about how to do pelvic floor exercises, but if you're not sure read on to find out more with our handy guide

Your guide to postnatal exercises

Knowing how to do certain exercises is just as important as actually doing them! Follow these step-by-step instructions to pelvic floor and deep stomach exercises as well as some tips to help ease back pain.

Pelvic floor exercises (also known as kegel exercises)

Strengthening your pelvic floor after a baby is important because it can help to ease incontinence and can also improve your sex life! If that already sounds good, the news about pelvic floor exercises just gets better.

You can do these exercises anywhere - sitting or standing. It doesn't matter if you're watching TV, washing up or even queuing at the supermarket till - there's always time to fit in a few pelvic floor exercises.

Here's how to do them:

  1. Squeeze and draw in your back passage at the same time. Close and draw up your front passage (vagina) upwards
  2. Do it quickly, tightening and then releasing the muscles immediately
  3. Then do it slowly, holding the muscles for as long as you can (but not more than 10 seconds) before you relax
  4. Repeat each exercise 10 times, four to six times a day

Deep stomach exercises

If you want to firm up your post-baby belly, this exercise may help:

  1. Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent
  2. Let your tummy sag and breathe in gently
  3. As you breathe out, gently draw in the lower part of your stomach like a corset, narrowing your waistline
  4. Squeeze your pelvic floor at the same time
  5. Hold for a count of 10 then gently release
  6. Repeat 10 times

Easing back pain

If pregnancy has left you with backache, try these exercises to help:

  • Cushion behind your waist
  • Kneel or squat to do low-level jobs, such as bathing your baby or picking things up off the floor. Avoid bending your back
  • Make your knees work instead. Change nappies on a waist-level surface or while kneeling on the floor
  • To lift heavy objects, such as a carrycot or an older child, bend your knees, keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. Make your thigh muscles work as you lift
  • Keep a straight back when you push a pram or buggy. Alternatively, carry your baby in a sling

Read more like this:

Safe and happy travel with kids
Memorable milestones: Your baby's first year

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