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Postnatal exercise: The do’s and don’ts

Postnatal exercise: The do’s and don’ts

January 8, 2019

Postnatal exercise: The do’s and don’ts

After giving birth, many mums are unsure of how and when to return to exercise. Here at Surrey Sports Park, we work with TeamMama to make sure all mums are supported to get back to exercise.

We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions, to help you get on your way.

How soon after giving birth can I begin exercise?

You should wait until you have had your 6-8 week postnatal check with your midwife or GP and they have given you the go-ahead to attend. In the meantime, your midwife or physio should have given you some exercises to carry out in the first days and weeks following the birth of your child. These will include exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles starting within the first 24 hours following birth, and gentle exercises to strengthen the other core muscles in order to help realign your body following the stresses of pregnancy. If you have not been doing these exercises, don’t worry, it’s never too late to start. We will help you connect with these important muscles during all of our classes.

I’ve been told, or suspect I have a separation of my tummy muscles (diastasis recti)- is it still safe to exercise?

Yes! However, there are certain exercises you should avoid while your tummy muscles ‘heal’. Some exercises are particularly good for you to do to help close the gap which we can help with. TeamMama Trainers are qualified in Postnatal Exercise Prescription and can advise you on what you should, and shouldn’t do. If you aren’t sure if you have a gap or not, mention this to a Trainer, who will happily check for you and advise you what is safe for you to do. You will have your separation checked on a regular basis to assess the progress.

Is it safe for both me and baby to exercise whilst breastfeeding?

Of course. You should make sure you wear a well-fitted sports bra (normal feeding bras aren’t supportive enough). It is also important you don’t overdo it when stretching due to the retention of a hormone that affects your joints.

Your baby can still safely feed after you exercise. Very occasionally, women may find their babies are a little fussier during feeds directly after strenuous exercise due to a change in taste of the milk. You may wish to wait 20 minutes after the end of your class to feed your baby if this is the case.

Do I need a special buggy to come to TeamMama classes?

No! We recommend babies who do not yet have good head control are secured in car seats fixed to pushchairs where possible, or to have their heads supported in a pushchair with towels.

What kind of activities and exercises are in the classes?

You will focus on regaining and improving your fitness with cardio exercises from walking to running, as well as core fitness and strength exercises. We welcome all levels of fitness and focus on the fun and ‘keeping fit’ aspect of exercise.

I’d love to come to classes, but I’m worried I won’t keep up- what should I do?

Uniquely, each of our TeamMama classes are run by experienced advanced post-natal trainers. This allows us to really tailor the classes to the fitness requirements of individuals within the group and give each Mama the attention they deserve throughout the class. We’re certain you’ll love it if you give it a try!

We regularly run TeamMama courses at Surrey Sports Park so if you are interested in finding out more please contact us on 01483 683 570, health@surreysportspark.co.uk or click here.

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