When you’ve had a baby, whether you’re a first time mum or a few years down your parenting journey, you might be keen reclaim your body back to its’ pre-pregnancy form. This can be especially true if you were very active before or during your pregnancy.
Exercise is beneficial for everyone, and in particular for new mums, and it’s not all about outside appearances.
You’re likely to be carrying around a small bundle a lot now (who will only get heavier) so regular exercise helps to keep your muscles supple and prevent any aches and pains in your back and arms. Targeted exercise can also help to reduce any long term effects from the separation of the stomach muscles (diastasis recti), as can be a cause of back pain. The muscles from the abdominal area don’t usually snap back together after having a baby and the bulge that runs down in the middle of the stomach is one of the Symptoms of Diastasis Recti.
Exercise is excellent for helping your body to recover after birth, in particular if you’ve had surgery such as a caesarean section. It’s great for correcting posture issues and muscle imbalance, as well as a reset for your core and pelvic floor.
Exercise is also great for helping you to lose any extra pounds that you may have gained during your pregnancy in a sustainable and sensible way, rather than embarking on a crash diet. You’re more likely to keep the weight off doing it this way, plus extreme dieting is not recommended if you are breastfeeding.
Parenting requires a lot of stamina and strength, especially for multiple wake ups in the night and exercise is great for building this. Even though you may feel tired immediately after exercise, the long term impacts on your body will be very positive and it should improve the quality of sleep you get (even if it’s in small chunks!)
Just like in pregnancy, exercise can be a super boost for your mental health and can help minimise or prevent post-natal depression. This is all due to the endorphins in your brain, which jump to an increased level as you exercise..
There is no rush though and it can take a while for your body to adjust to your new life, so take things slowly.