For some new mums the thought of exercising after having a baby may be the last thing on their mind, while others are keen to get back into their pre-baby routine. It is important to listen to your body and not try and do too much, too soon, with most advice saying you should wait until your six-week check with your GP before getting back into anything strenuous. Generally medical advice suggests you avoid aerobics, running and high intensity exercise for the first few months in order to allow your muscles and joints to recover fully from pregnancy and birth.
Of course your individual pregnancy and birth will affect when you are able to start exercising again and there is no pressure to get back in the gym if you don’t feel like it - everyone is different and you should do what is right for you!
For those like nutritionist Fiona Campbell, who stayed active throughout her pregnancy (read her exercise tips here), getting back exercising was important to help her get back in shape and feel good. Gentle activity, such as walking, is a great way to get moving again and can be done with your baby. Specially adapted prams mean that you can even get running and there are many workout classes designed for mums and babies, also providing a great opportunity to meet other new mothers.
Exercise can also provide much needed 'you' time after having a baby and help boost your much needed energy! However it is important to remember that your body needs time to recover after birth and that you should gently ease back into your exercise routine.
Here Fiona told us her personal experience of getting back in shape after giving birth to her daughter.
How long did you wait before starting your exercise regime after giving birth?
I started off with gentle walking as soon as the visiting midwife had checked me over, and then built up slowly again from there. I wasn't doing any brisk walking for the first six weeks and it did take some time to build back the muscle mass I'd lost.
Did you find it difficult to get back into exercising? (motivation, physical challenges)
Certainly! I had to take it slowly as having a baby presents a number of challenges, both physically and mentally. Everything feels a bit overwhelming at first and I think that's normal!
How did you juggle exercising with a new baby? (finding time, exercising while they sleep etc.)
I took her for a walk in the pram every day - and most of the time she slept.
What exercises would you recommend for new mums?
A combination of walking and postnatal Yoga is ideal in my opinion. It definitely worked for me and at 9 months in I'm up to 8 miles a day with the pram and love my country walks. I'd recommend it to anyone
To Find out More about Fiona, visit her website and social media pages below:
Fiona Campbell: www.fionanutrition.com.
Facebook: Fiona Campbell Nutrition
Looking for some new kit to motivate you to get active post or during pregnancy? We've got flattering tops and comfy layers to inspire you to get moving.