For some new moms, the thought of struggling into something lycra on very little sleep, with leaking breasts, to take part in some form of exercise might fill you with horror. Fair enough!
But there are moms who feel trapped by the fact that they can’t take part in sports and activities that they used to enjoy now that you have a baby – and you might feel like you’re missing out.
The good news is that things have changed a great deal in the last 15 years – especially when it comes to mother and baby exercise.
My first piece of advice is that it’s important to be sure you are taking part in exercise for the right reasons.
There’s a lot of pressure on mothers to regain their pre-baby figure and this is a worrying trend. While it is great to be fit, healthy and to lose any weight gained during pregnancy, you simply shouldn’t feel pressure to do so on top of the demanding job of caring for a new baby.
So, assuming you are looking to exercise with your baby to make you feel good, keep up a level of fitness and get out of the house, what can you do?
There has been an explosion of mother and baby classes that involve meeting in the park with your baby and pram and getting a sweat on! These classes often involve lunging and strength exercises and fast walking or running. These are great as they give your baby some fresh air and you get a chance to meet other mothers too. What happens in the class is designed to be safe for postnatal moms so you don’t need to worry about doing anything inappropriate.
Another popular mother and baby class is yoga. This can be done together with your baby. No one minds if your baby has a bit of a grizzle and I have memories of having a little nap in one of the classes I attended, unintentional of course!
Water-based classes are another popular choice for moms and babies. Everyone is carrying post baby weight so you are all in it together – squeezing your swimsuits on. A word of caution here though, a swimming pool can be a breeding ground for germs so take care when taking a small baby to a public pool. If they are showing any signs of feeling unwell then avoid swimming completely. Chlorine can be harsh on a baby’s skin too, so take that into consideration before you make the decision to take your baby swimming if they have sensitive skin.
There are lots of things you can do with your baby that cost very little.
A brisk walk with your baby in his pram, a cycle with your baby on the back of your bike, and don’t forget the trusty home workout DVD as there are plenty designed for postnatal moms.
Before you start
A word of caution, if you had a C-section, check with your doctor before taking part in any exercise as you are recovering from major surgery.
Whatever you choose to do, enjoy doing it with your baby!
To share your own exercise tips or to read tips from other moms, visit www.facebook.com/philipsavent.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals. Meet the Living & Loving Team and our Online Experts.