Having a baby is never the same experience for any mother. Some women really do find it a ‘walk in the park’ and wonder what all the fuss is about, while others find it an arduous and traumatic event. If your baby was born by Caesarian section then your body will take much longer to recover than a vaginal birth. Even the latter can vary hugely from woman to woman. There are other factors to take into account, such as:
- What were your fitness levels like prior to giving birth?
- Did you exercise regularly?
- Did you have complications during pregnancy, which impacted on your health?
- Did you have an assisted birth or multiple deliveries?
- Have you had bladder problems since your delivery?
I work with many new mums at Valkyrie and enjoy supporting them to get their fitness back, lose weight and tone up. But as a general rule, it’s advisable to give your body time and wait until after your six- week postnatal check up. This will identify any problems and give you reassurance about returning or starting an exercise programme.
It is important to find time to do your pelvic floor exercises. This will strengthen your muscles and can avoid bladder problems.
Some exercises will put your pelvic floor under stress, so allow it time to recover. It is best to avoid exercises such as:
- Swimming – there is a risk of infection
- Running, aerobics and tennis
- Sit ups
It is always a good idea to invest in a good sports bra which will make exercising much more comfortable. Also, check that your trainers still fit you properly. Your body will have experienced lots of hormonal changes in preparedness for birth and these hormones can affect your joints and ligaments, making them less stable. This will have an effect on your hips, ankles and pelvis. Ankle support is a very important consideration.
After your six-week check, I can take you through a series of low impact exercises, which will help your muscle tone and work on your core strength to protect your back. There are buggies on the market, specifically designed to allow you to push the buggy and exercise at the same time. Remember to engage your core and also be aware that the price tag of these buggies can make them attract to thieves. The last thing you want is to go for a coffee or to play school, take your new baby inside and find someone has swapped their old buggy for your brand new one.
I normally recommend you wait three months before engaging in high impact exercise, irrespective of your level of fitness pre- pregnancy.
Finally, be kind to yourself. Be patient and do not have unrealistic expectations, particularly if you have had a caesarian delivery. It can be very hard seeing celebrity mums in the media who have got their figure back and look stunning. What you have to remember is that they often have a team comprising of stylists, nutritionist, personal trainer and sometimes a nanny. They don’t have to balance the demands of home, siblings and sleep deprivation. Enjoy your baby and when you have healed and feel ready, I will help you get back to fitness, tone up and fit into your favourite jeans.
If you have any personal training requirements, or would benefit from sports massage therapy, please do not hesitate to contact me on [eeb_content]07973 483314[/eeb_content]