Now that your little one is stuck to you like an adorable limpet, a few of the normal things you like to do aren't exactly on the agenda. However you liked to exercise before your baby arrived, you now need to find other ways of staying active and getting fit, so here are the best ways to exercise with your newborn.
To be on the safe side, it's wise to wait until after your six-week postnatal check before trying anything more vigorous than a walk in the park. This check-up is also a great opportunity to chat with your doctor about your health and fitness options, as they'll have plenty of tips they can offer, and might even know of a few groups or clubs you can join too.
power walking – with a buggy
Don your trainers, place baby in a well-sprung stroller and hit the pavements with a buggy fitness group. You can find these online or by asking around locally, although you could also just set up your own. Again, this will help you meet other parents, which is great for your social life and emotional health. Your cosy little one will love the stimulation of seeing new places.
If you’d prefer a gentle stroll, any walking will give both of you fresh air and stimulation. The easiest way to get a bit of exercise with a newborn is to pop them in a baby carrier. This is a lovely, snuggly way to get out and about, and a baby carrier offers an easier option than a buggy if you're heading on a woodland or coastal walk.
It's best that you wait until six weeks after your baby's birth before you get in a pool. If you go sooner there's a chance you could pick up an infection. If you've had a caesarean section or a perineal tear, your health visitor or GP may recommend that you wait longer than six weeks, usually until after your postnatal check. But there's no reason why your partner can't take your little one for a dip - it's a myth that they need their immunisations first.
Baby swim classes are a lovely way to start your little one off in the water. The logistics of taking a newborn swimming may require a bit of planning, but you’ll soon be a changing room pro. Take snuggly towels and a carrycot to pop them in when they're dressed (top tip: you’re likely to end up hanging around in a soggy cozzie, so pack a towelling robe). You won’t get much aquatic exercise yourself, but it’s a lovely experience.
Ease back into exercise gently and join a local postnatal yoga class. These sessions are designed to help with many common post-pregnancy problems such as backache and pelvic floor strengthening.
Frequently these classes involve bonding exercises where you and baby work together, as well as poses just for mum. While you stretch off all your aches, your little one will wriggle happily and watch you on a comfy nearby mat. What's more, attending classes is great for meeting other mums to share all your experiences with so far.
the home gym
If you want more energetic exercise – and your doctor’s agreed – maybe try a workout DVD. There’s no need to worry about childcare. Just make sure your baby is in a safe place where you can see each other, and they'll enjoy watching you!