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New baby, new exercise routine

Getting back in shape after pregnancy doesn't mean sacrificing time spent with your new baby.

09 MARCH 2011

Although you know that you really ought to get back in shape, if you're a new mum, the last thing you want to do is to leave your baby behind when you head off to the gym each day. But there are types of exercise that can be adapted to help you get your figure back while you spend time with the new arrival.

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During the nine months of pregnancy, your body will have undergone many changes, and now you want to you back in shape. But even if your partner or other trusted person is around to take over, you really don't want to be separated from your new arrival for very long.

Why not look around and see if you can find mother and baby exercise classes where the two of you can enjoy a 'workout' together? Exercise regimes such as pilates can be very beneficial to you both. For starters, mother and baby are in physical contact, which stimulates production of oxytocin, the so-called 'love-hormone' which may help in the bonding process. In addition, close physical contact allows the mother to become familiar with her baby and experience close-up the motor and sensorial development of her little one.

Consult your doctor about how long you should wait after birth to begin exercise. Usually this will be around four to six weeks for a natural birth and six to eight weeks after a cesarean. Even so, if your aim is to strengthen the pelvic floor, you can start some pilates exercises just a few days after giving birth. Both you and baby will benefit in many ways from exercise – especially if you do it together.

Benefits for baby:

  • Enhances physical development
  • Promotes bone growth
  • Improves perception of body
  • Helps coordination and agility
  • Relaxes
  • Stimulates neurological and motor development
  • Improves concentration
  • Strengthens bond with mother

Benefits for you:
  • Strengthens the pelvic floor
  • Improves posture
  • Regains muscle tone
  • Prevents incontinence
  • Tones the abdomen
  • Increases flexibility
  • Reduces back pain
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps you regain ideal weight
  • Strengthens bond with child



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