Having a child is one of the most fulfilling experiences that I have ever had – and although I’m a dad (not a mum) – I have first hand experience of the challenges having a baby can have on your health and well-being.
Sleep deprivation sucks!
The body also changes a lot – from hormones used to enable pregnancy, breast feeding, and the physical changes a woman’s body goes through pre and post birth.
All of this makes looking after yourself and exercise very difficult.
There is an abundant amount of info out there regarding exercise and pregnancy – which can be challenging to navigate.
Here are the simple facts:
- The changes to the body last approximately 6wks after birth – and sometimes a lot longer – so caution to over stretching and too much pelvic floor pressure – in other words keep the intensity lighter and less heavy abdominal work until your ligaments improve strength, and your pelvic floor and continence control improves
- Exercise enhances your fitness and energy levels – which can help fight that sleep deprivation fatigue!
- Gradually return to your normal activity – 1 week of bed rest can reduce your strength by 30% – so go slow and steady
- Pilates can be great if you’re having pelvic floor or core strength issues (but remember that if you are aiming for weight loss – you will need to do something else)
- Mums and bubs exercise classes can be great to socialise with other new mums – plus gives you a chance to get out of the house!
- Walk most days – walking is the best way to get back on track – it will increase fitness, help get you back to pre baby weight, and it is awesome to help get the little bundle of joy (or terror… depending on what kind of day you’re having!) to sleep.
- Get a good sports bra!!!! (this is one directly from my wife – she told me it is crucial!)
As any new parent can testify – finding time to exercise can be tough, but remember to take care of yourself – having a bit of ME time can be great to help you be a happy and healthy mum (or dad)