Following the birth of your baby your initially thoughts are about recovering from you recent birth, ensuring your new bundle of joy is nourished, dry and sleeping. As a new mum you are also trying to get some nutrition and sleep for you!
As the days roll into week, and the weeks come around to that 6-8 week point many mums start to thinking about reintroducing some exercise back into their routines. Before this point in time of the post-natal recovery period it is important that new mums limit their exercise in duration and intensity to ensure that their body is able to recovery from the recent birth.
It is important to discuss your return to exercise with your GP or obstetrician at your 6 week appointment. Your doctor will assess you recovery, and usually discuss any concerns regarding your pelvic floor and your return to exercise.
As a new mum your exercise needs to be introduced gradually. New mums must realise that they can’t just resume their pre-pregnancy exercise routine, their body and pelvic floor will take time to become strong again.
Initially start with gentle exercise of walking, swimming or post-natal pilates. Once you have developed a solid foundation of exercise, you can start to introduce a greater variety of exercise.
It is paramount that during the 12 month post-natal period you continue regularly do your pelvic floor exercises to ensure that your pelvic floor regains the strength and muscle integrity that is required to increase exercise intensity. Should you have any concerns that your pelvic floor is not recovering from your recent birth, it is paramount that you see a women’s health physio to ensure your recovery is optimised.
If you choose to attend exercise classes at a gym or bootcamp environment it is extremely important that the instructors understand the post-natal recovery period and the impact on a new mums body. The increased levels of hormones (relaxin), the energy demands of breastfeeding, the recovery of the pelvic floor are just some of the changes a new mother’s body is experiencing. Many fitness professional do not understand the changes, and the modifications to regular exercises that can be made to ensure that post-natal woman can exercise safely without damaging their recovering bodies.
Sally Muir – Personal trainer