After Childbirth

For information on coronavirus for new mums see Tommy's page on Pregnancy and coronavirus: information for pregnant women and new mums.

Why be active

Once you have had your baby you will want to rest and enjoy the wonderful yet challenging whirlwind that is having a new baby! Exercise may seem like the last thing on your mind but when you feel ready, or when your health care team say you can, building up your activity levels will bring a host of benefits to you and your baby, such as helping you get back in shape and reducing feelings of worry and depression.

Planning your exercise

Initially follow any advice you have been given by doctors, physios, midwives and health visitors regarding your recovery and activity. When you feel ready to start planning your activity. Take a look at the NHS keeping fit and healthy with your baby page with info on when to start exercising, things to be aware of, how to know if you're overdoing it, exercise ideas, mental health tips and healthy eating advice and more.

Our bodies change a lot during and after pregnancy so it is important to take these things into consideration when planning what exercise we will do. Read the NHS your post pregnancy body page for more info.

Check out the This Mum Moves website for videos on simple exercises you can do to help you recover from pregnancy and childbirth including pelvic floor exercises and gentle tummy exercises. These are a great place to start. Why not start with the video on the right from This Mum Moves to learn more about your pelvic floor and how to do pelvic floor exercises.

Are you breastfeeding and ready to start getting a bit more active? Check out our handy exercise and breastfeeding infographic for information on how exercising when breastfeeding is safe for mum and baby, has loads of benefits for you both, and for some top tips on how to not let breastfeeding hold you back from getting active.

Read more stories of Mum's managing to find a way to be active despite the challenges that kids bring. Check out the SASP This Girl Can Ambassador stories, or read Eli's story on the This Girl Can website.

Activities you can try

When you feel stronger and feel ready to start getting your activity levels up, a good target is to build up the UK guidelines for activity for women after childbirth (see the infographic above). There are many ways you could do this but a great place to start is with post-natal specific exercise sessions as they are designed to specifically target areas of weakness post pregnancy and child birth such as the pelvic floor and core strength while going at your own pace so you don't push too hard too soon.

Home post-natal exercise workouts - a great example of these are the Les Mills free post-pregnancy exercise sessions that offer a progressive exercise programme to gradually build your strength and fitness. They use weights in their videos but these are not necessary – bottles of water or squash, or food tins would do just fine!

Walking is a fantastic way to get your heart beating faster to build fitness while getting out for fresh air. You could try increasing your daily step count using a fitness app such as the Active 10 app or the Moving Medicine step counting booklet.

Be sure to follow the government guidelines around social distancing.

Tiffany Wood

Tiffany Wood

Community Active Lifestyle Officer

Telephone
01823 653990

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