work it out:
kicking off your postnatal exercise routine
Yep, postnatal exercise is a big deal. Not only will it help you feel better physically and mentally, but it’ll also help shift some of that pesky baby weight. Pretty awesome, huh? The question is then: how to get started?
when can i exercise after giving birth
No matter how fit you were pre-pregnancy, you shouldn’t do strenuous exercise until after your postnatal check up – around six to eight weeks after birth. After you’ve been given the go-ahead from your health advisor, you should start gentle and listen to your body.
start slow (and low)
Health experts advise starting pelvic floor exercises in the first few days after giving birth. Pelvic floor exercises will help your perineum heal faster. They also help with bladder control which can be tricky after birth. In the first few weeks it might feel like nothing is happening but inside you're moving mountains.
Doctors also recommend doing gentle tummy exercises in the weeks after birth. Try lying on your back while doing pelvic floor exercises and pull your belly button in at the same time. This will gently work your lower tummy muscles and your pelvic floor.
pounding the pavement
As soon as you feel up to it, hit the road! Getting out with the buggy for a brisk 10 or 20 minute walk will help clear your head and (as an added bonus) escape from kid’s TV. It’ll also give you a good workout and a much-needed energy boost.
don’t over do it
The most important thing to remember with post-pregnancy workouts is to listen to your body. After you’ve given birth, your ligaments and joints are still soft so it’s extra easy to injure yourself by overdoing it. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop what you’re doing and see your GP.
making it routine
Post-natal exercise classes are a great way to meet other new mums and get your little one involved. If you have older children, play games with them that require some energy to make working out extra fun.
Building physical activity into your daily routine will get your body used to exercise. A weekly swim is a great start, but you should wait at least seven days after your postnatal bleeding (lochia) has stopped before you dive in.
you are what you eat
Juggling looking after yourself and caring full time for a new baby? Hard work doesn't even begin to cover it! Fortunately, you don’t need to cut calories now. Just keep your diet balanced with lots of starchy foods and fruit and veg. Avoiding sugary snacks and high-fat foods is always a good idea – these can lead to an energy slump later on.
how exercise can help
Exercise might (understandably) be the last thing on your mind post pregnancy, but it really is a good idea to try to fit it in. Getting a bit of physical activity into your daily routine will help to give you an energy boost and build your stamina. Exercise also releases endorphins that help to keep you feeling positive, no matter how many times baby tugs on your hair.