The Truth about Post-Natal Exercise

Written by Eleanor Searle April 23, 2018

The truth about postnatal exercise

The truth is that that I’ve been a bit too busy getting to grips with motherhood to think too deeply about exercising. I had grand plans about getting back into exercise this month and had hoped to have completed some post natal videos for you to download but being a new mum I just haven’t got around to it yet. Honestly, it has been more important to grab a few extra hours of sleep. So I’m just trying to listen to my body and give it what it needs. I have been pushing the buggy most days (weather permitting) since pretty early on and find that a good buggy walk helps me to clear away the cobwebs of the day, giving me some headspace and most of the time, getting him to have a nap, when he seems resistant to sleep. I’ve also been doing my pelvic floor exercises and really in the first 6 weeks or so that is all any of us should be doing. Now my baby is nearly 3 months old, I have just started yoga with Vikki at Hummingbird Pilates & Yoga, which is a lovely introduction back into exercises, enabling me to take my baby with me and get back into some regular practice. I then plan to gradually start introducing a few Pilates and yoga sessions of my own, which I will share with you online, as soon as I’ve done them and mastered the art of video editing. Exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do as a new mum but it really does have some great benefits: Boosting your mood by increasing your feel-good chemicals (endorphins) Protecting you from aches and pains. Boosting your energy levels. Improving your strength and stamina, which ultimately make looking after your baby easier Helping you to shift any excess weight. Exercise should be low impact to start with though. Yoga and Pilates taught mindfully in a small group is ideal postnatally. At Hummingbird Pilates and Yoga we have loads of classes for you to choose from so when you’re ready, think about trying our 30 day for £35 introductory offer www.hummingbirdpilates.co.uk, this doesn’t include the postnatal yoga but does give you the opportunity to try a range of classes that would be suitable from about 8 weeks postnatal, provided that you’ve not had any problems and 10 weeks post caesarean, following a satisfactory postnatal check up. Remember that the most important exercises in the first few days after birth are your pelvic floor exercises so start doing them as soon as you can. Strengthening your pelvic floor will to reduce swelling, aid healing and prevent incontinence. Pelvic floor exercises improve circulation to the vagina and perineum, helping to reduce swelling and bruising. After giving birth people often don’t feel like much is happening but this is normal, preserve with them and they should start working again quite quickly. If you’re concerned, get your midwife, GP, or women’s health physio to check your progress. Once you feel able to, try and take your baby out in their pram. Gradually increase your walking distance and remember to take some water with you, especially if you’re breastfeeding, as you’ll find that you need to drink lots more. When you feel ready gradually build up other forms of exercise but avoid anything too high impact, especially if your body isn’t used to it. Most importantly, listen to your body and don’t be tempted to start a strict diet or exercise regime in an attempt to get back into shape at celeb speed. Look after yourself for you and baby.

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