Exercise after pregnancy
Simple post pregnancy workout ideas for you to get your body back to normal
At a glance
Exercise tones your body, ups your energy levels and can improve your mood
Wait until your postnatal check-up to start
Start with low-impact activities or join a postnatal exercise class
Don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises
Regular post natal exercise is a great way to help reverse many of the changes that your body experienced in pregnancy. But it can also boost your energy, relieve stress and help you sleep. It’s best to talk to your GP who will advise when is the best time for you to start.
- After your postnatal check-up at six to eight weeks, your GP will let you know that it’s okay to start some low-impact exercise, such as walking, postnatal pilates, postnatal yoga or swimming. If you’ve had a caesarean it’s best to wait a bit longer, your GP will advise you.
- Join a postnatal exercise class and exercise with other mums. The workouts will be designed specifically for you, and doing it with others will give you less excuses not to go
- Watch your back whenever you exercise. Always bend at the knees rather than the hips
- Don’t attempt sit-ups until your abdominal muscles have come back together (they part to make way for your bump in pregnancy). Your midwife or postnatal exercise instructor can check this for you
- Don’t overdo it. Stop exercising if you feel exhausted, dizzy or if you feel any pain
Caring for your pelvic floor muscles
Your pelvic floor muscles also require some help to get back in shape after pregnancy. These muscles stretch across the bottom of your pelvis. They may feel numb and weak after birth and can lead to the odd leak. So start doing pelvic floor or kegel exercises after pregnancy.
Try these exercises three times a day:
- Get into a comfortable lying, sitting or standing position
- Practise squeezing the muscles around your vagina and bottom tightly upwards. Imagine you are stopping yourself from urinating and passing wind at the same time
- Squeeze and lift your pelvic floor muscles as strongly as you can for 10 seconds, then release. Keep breathing regularly throughout
- Repeat 10 times
- Follow this with 10 fast squeezes and then relax your muscles completely
- You may not feel much to begin with but it’s important you persevere
- Speak to your GP at your postnatal check-up (around six to eight weeks) if you are still experiencing urine leaks