Nailing a workout with a baby
One of the greatest challenges fitness-focused new parents face is finding the time to exercise. But creating moments of movement throughout the day can have a huge impact on your health and the health of your baby.
From boosting feelings of wellbeing in new mothers to an increase in healthy compounds passed onto your baby through breastmilk, exercise is about much more than getting your abs in order. Here Sophie Kay, a pre and postnatal fitness coach and expert at Biamother shares her tips for easing your way back into exercise – even when you’ve been left holding the baby.
Exercising with a newborn
Your first workouts as a new mother (apart from gazing adoringly at your new bundle of joy) should focus on your pelvic floor. Once you’re one week post-delivery you can start to gently contract your pelvic floor in connection with breath work. Every time you feed your newborn try doing five pelvic holds of 10 seconds on each exhale and then 10 quick pulses on an exhale, ensuring that you relax your pelvic floor completely when you inhale.
Once you've been cleared by your GP at your post-delivery check-up you can start to think about exercising again. With a newborn time will be tight, so try fitting in exercises when you can rather than attempting a full workout. For example, you could do 10 pelvic tilts every time you're standing at the changing table dealing with a nappy or 10 squats whenever your baby falls asleep.
Adapt to your 'new normal'
If you were a gym-goer before becoming a parent, it might not be so easy to get back in there, especially if your gym is not baby-friendly – so focus on what you can do at home. You can get a great workout from using your own bodyweight or whatever you have in the house, including water bottles, tins of food or even packs of nappies.
Pregnancy and early motherhood can play havoc with your posture because of the changes that occur during pregnancy and all of the hours spent cuddling and feeding your new baby. Focus your workouts on gently stretching out your chest, shoulders, and neck while also strengthening the muscles through your upper back and core to remain strong and upright. If you fancy an extra challenge, add some resistance bands.
Life can be quite overwhelming as a new mum so try not to compare your performance and body to anything that has come before. Look at every small achievement as a PB PB (post-baby personal best) and celebrate them. You and your body have been through an awful lot so cut it a bit of slack, you'll get where you want to be eventually. For more pregnancy tips and expert advice, you can download the Biamother app here (or via the link below) and new sign-ups can enjoy a 14-day free trial.
The views expressed on these pages are the views of the cited experts only and do not necessarily represent the views of Wellness Edit. Please always get a second opinion where specific medical advice is required.
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