Information & Advice
Jane is a personal trainer and pilates teacher with 24 years' experience in the fitness industry. She was voted the UK's number one fitness expert by the Independent newspaper and appears regularly on ITV1's Lorraine Show.
Her exercise DVD Jane Wake, Ante and Postnatal Exercise is available on Boots.com. It is based on her Baby A-Wake programme, a complete exercise programme she has developed for mums and mums to be. For Jane's prenatal exercise tips, read this feature.
After birth, Jane suggests, as soon as you feel able, start doing pelvic floor and gentle tummy exercises. You can read more about these in Jane's pregnancy exercise tips feature.
"Your midwife will let you know when it's ok to start these," says Jane. "If there are no complications you can start straight after the birth."
If your delivery was complicated, consult your doctor before resuming vigorous activity. The key to post-pregnancy exercise is building up gradually. Don't resume high-impact activity too soon.
"Start with gentle walks," says Jane. "Walking with the pram daily for 10 minutes and building up 3-5 minutes each week is ideal."
As soon as your midwife or GP gives you the go-ahead – usually after your six week check, according to Jane – you may be able to start to resume more vigorous exercise, such as swimming, cycling, walking and running.
Many new mums focus on toning their tummy with loads of ab crunches, but Jane says this is NOT the best work-out for new mums.
"Focus on hollowing abdominal exercises NOT ab crunches," says Jane. "Lie on your back, knees bent, tailbone on the floor, with a little hollow in your lower back."
"Take deep breathes and try to connect to your pelvic floor and deep tummy muscles by pulling up inside and drawing your belly button back to your spine."
"Keep your spine still (place your fingers under your lower back to check it doesn't move) and repeat 10 – 20 times daily.
See this clip from the Baby A-Wake postnatal DVD for more help on this:
"If you are new mum who is breastfeeding, research shows that moderate exercise will not affect your milk supply. Not drinking enough or eating an unhealthy diet, however, will," says Jane.
"Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy whole grain starches such as brown rice and wholemeal bread. Eat lean protein such as chicken and fish and drink lots of water, more when exercising."
For pregnancy exercise tips, watch this video.
Buy Jane Wake's DVD guide to ante and postnatal baby exercise here.
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