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There are two types of women – those who want to continue exercising as soon as they’ve had their baby, and those who procrastinate and avoid starting an exercise routine. The most important thing to realize is that it’s not impossible to get back into shape after childbirth but that it requires some persistence and creativity, mostly around the issue of having your baby with you while you are exercising. The sooner you start, the faster your results will come. Here are a few ideas:
Pelvic Floor Exercises
The most important thing after giving birth will be to recover your pelvic floor – these are muscles, ligaments, and tissues stretching from your pubic bone at the front, to your spine at the back. Due to bearing heavy weight for a long time, these will have overstretched and weakened and might cause you to leak wee when coughing, sneezing, and exercising, so it is a priority to get them in shape first. You should be able to do the pelvic floor exercises even if you’ve had a cesarean.
One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to get some exercise is to cycle. If you have a newborn, you can get a baby carrier and have your baby cuddled up either on your front or your back.
There are also bike trailers suitable for kids over one and they usually have enough space for two kids. For bigger children, you can use front or back child seats.
Walking and Jogging
It can be as simple as walking around your neighborhood with your baby. After your sixth postnatal week, you are ready to accelerate the walk to a fast pace or even start jogging.
Nowadays, you can get a complete jogging stroller or just a jogging accessory for your existing stroller. It’s a good idea to research the best jogging strollers before you start, just to be safe.
You can put the baby into a baby sleeping bag, turn the seat to face you or the world, and off you go jogging together. The accelerated speed will probably even make the little one fall asleep a lot easier too. This will allow you to get some peace and quiet while you’re losing weight. Win, win.
Yoga is convenient as it can be done in your room, with your baby close by. All you need is some space for a yoga mat. This ancient exercise system works your muscles, bones, internal organs and energy centers.
In addition, it relieves depression and keeps you in good internal balance while you are overcoming the postnatal blues. You might have heard of prenatal yoga, but there is also a thing called postnatal yoga where both moms and their babies practice together, in yoga classes! Yes, you’ve read it right, babies on yoga mats. It’s never too early to start.
Exercising at Home
You can do a lot at home if you organize yourself well. While the baby is napping, you have plenty of time to warm up, do some squats (provided you’ve fixed your pelvic floor), floor bridges, lunges, crunches, windmills and so on. If you are strong enough, you can do push-ups and plank poses.
Get some dumbbells and start easy but increase the difficulty – you will need strong arms for all those mommy duties, or you can treat your baby as your weights, and let the kid have some fun flying up and down.
Play a game of peek-a-boo where you constantly lift and move the baby around. They will get a good laugh out of it hopefully and you get a really nice arm workout. It’s a nice little trick to keep the arms firm.
If you’re looking to work out, there are solutions even if you’re always busy with taking care of the baby and house. The trick is to look at things from a different perspective and seize opportunities. First, make sure it is safe for you to start an exercise regime and always consult your doctor about that. There are plenty of exercises you can start doing within weeks after childbirth, but most commonly women get back to their regular training routine six weeks after having a baby.
How did you get back in shape after having a baby?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.