As every mother will know, maintaining a fitness routine while pregnant – or getting back into one after having a bub isn’t always easy. Pregnancy and childbirth are incredibly physically demanding on the body, and on top of that comes the added mental and emotional load involved with caring for a newborn. Shoutout to sleep deprivation! To help make the post-birth transition back into exercise smoother, we interviewed the experts at MumSafe. MumSafe was founded by the fitness professional and author of How to Love Your your Body as Much as Your Baby, Jen Dugard. Jen has also developed a Safe Return to Exercise certification and she’s on a mission to completely change the industry when it comes to providing customised fitness care for mums.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Returning to Exercise As a Mother
Returning to exercise as a new mum can be overwhelming. But it’s one of our most favorite topics ever and I’m here to help!. Having spent a whole decade working face to face with mums I know how life changing having the right information and guidance can be at this time.The thing to remember is that exercise as a new mum is not just about what squats and lunges you could do but about shifting the focus to consider your whole self. In this article I’m going to cover off my top Do’s and Don’t’s for you to think about when you choose it’s the right time to get started.
Do put your bilkers on and compare yourself to no-one. Remember, every conception, pregnancy and birth experience are different. Comparison will do you no good. Tune into your experience and every step of the way ask yourself “Does this feel right for ME”.
Don’t go too hard too fast! I see many postnatal women strive for an aesthetic goal over and above all else. Going too hard too fast especially in the early postpartum period can lead to injury and frustration. Take your time. We want you to be moving safely and effectively for many years to come!
Do remember your worth is so much more than the size of your body. You are not better or more lovable if you ‘lose the baby weight’ quicker. Your relationship won’t get better, and you won’t love yourself more just because you are smaller.
Don’t forget to learn about your pelvic floor – this group of muscles basically keep all of your insides in their rightful place, bladder, uterus, bowel. Take a trip to see a Women’s Health Physiotherapist, understand a proper PF contraction, do the rehab and not only will your postpartum self-thank you but also your menopausal self-will too in years to come.
Do monitor your energy levels and adjust your workout accordingly. Layering on a super tough, high intensity workout when you are sleep deprived and emotional doesn’t help anyone!
Don’t underestimate the worth of a great Personal Trainer or Group Exercise class that specifically caters for mums. Check their credentials to make sure they hold a pre & postnatal certification and take the opportunity to get out of the baby bubble, connect with others and talk to other real-life grown-ups for a few hours each week!