Exercising itself can be pretty daunting and a very big lifestyle change, but exercising after childbirth is a whole different ballpark. There are so many things to consider when returning to health and fitness after having a baby.
Firstly, are you mentally prepared? Exercise has amazing benefits for your mental health, but you also need to be ready to begin this journey. Having a baby is extremely stressful and causes a lot of changes to your body. Women often struggle with self esteem issues post childbirth, and feel too insecure and nervous to go to a gym. Its a great idea to set small goals first and think of ways to ease back into an exercise routine without overwhelming yourself.
If you've had a caesarean then you should wait a minimum of 6 weeks before jumping back into exercise. Starting up again too early can actually have a negative impact on your progress and end up setting you back. Just remember not to look at this as a negative thing! It doesn't mean you have to be held hostage in your house for 6 weeks unable to do anything. Starting out with some light walking is a great way to ease back into exercise without putting any strain on your body.
Being aware of the changed strength of your pelvic floor is also really important. Certain exercises such as crunches and squats or any ab work, and classes such as pilates puts your body in positions where your pelvic floor needs to work hard and this strain can sometimes cause bladder leaks. Incorporating a daily kegel routine can work to slowly regain strength in your pelvic floor muscles. Go at your own pace and only do what feels right for you.
Another really important thing to have is of course, a supportive and comfortable bra. The Modibodi Maternity Singlet is perfect for new mothers returning to exercise who are worried about breast leaks. Our award winning Breastfeeding Singlet is super stylish and comfortable and includes our Patented Modifier technology to ensure you are fresh and dry, and any leaks are covered and absorbed. Not to mention their quick dry and stain and odour resistant properties which completely replace the need for those annoying nursing pads, what more could you ask for! This singlet ensures you can exercise in extreme comfort and style, without the added stress of covering up any milk leaks.
Having a new baby is obviously extremely stressful and time consuming, and while some women may be keen to jump back into the fitness routine, it can be really difficult to take time out of each day to complete it! Babies make life very unpredictable with the varying nap times, and when you get a spare moment you may be way too exhausted to even think about exercise. A really great tip is to exercise with a friend who will keep you motivated. Find tracks and trails that are pram friendly and take the new bub out for some fresh air as well.
Most Important things to remember
- Drink plenty of water
- Stop immediately if you feel any pain at all
- Wear a supportive bra (especially one with Breast Leak Pads like the Modibodi Maternity Singlet)
- Take time to warm up and cool down before and after all exercise
- Begin slowly and increase the pace gradually
- Have fun!