Just as in my last post about exercise during pregnancy, then post natal exercise is just as important and their should be clear aims for post natal exercise, which includes:
- Re-tone pelvic floor to reduce the risk of stress incontinence.
- Re-tone abdominal muscles to increase strength and enable them to support the spine and regain figure.
- Develop good technique in basic daily tasks, essential in back care.
- Correct/regain good posture.
- Enhance self confidence.
- Weight loss. Please be advise that this is a more of a long term aim and should not be a major consideration during the immediate post natal period.
1. It is not recommended that you return to sport or exercise classes before the six week post natal check up following normal delivery. If you have experienced delivery by caesarian section you should delay this further to approximately 8-12 weeks. In the mean time you should take your baby for a daily walk and aim to increase the pace and length of walk gradually over the 6-8 week period. You should pay attention to your posture and the height of the pram handle.
2. Whilst in hospital you may find that you are given a few post natal exercises for the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor. For the pelvic floor you should do the same as you did during pregnancy of fast and slow contractions of the muscles that stop you going to wee. For your abdominal muscles you should perform static contracts, which involves pulling the tummy in holding and then releasing and this should've done as much and as often as possible.
3. You should avoid doing sit ups until your abdominal muscles are strong enough to remain flat during the exercise, otherwise Doming will occur. Doming of the abdominal muscles is the term used to describe the bunching or bridging up of the abdominal muscles during a sit up.
4. I know this is the most important thing to most woman, however weight loss should be gradually decreased. A gentle but progressive programme of aerobic exercise will help, however breast-feeding places many demands on the body and requires slightly greater fat deposits than you may be accustomed to, so it is important that you do not go for a dramatic or total weight loss until breast-feeding has finished. You should look at regaining your pre-pregnancy weight after 3-12 months.
If you would like more information about pre and postnatal exercise then please get in contact or CLICK HERE as I am a fully qualified ante and postnatal instructor who can adapt your training programme to your new needs.