Postnatal Exercise – What you SHOULD do!

24 Jan

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Now that you know what you should not be doing, this post will fill you in on some of the things that are good to do after giving birth!

Just remember that your body needs extra special care at this time so you need to treat it well. It has helped you create, feed and grow your child so you owe it a lot!

DO wait to get the all-clear from your GP. There is no need to rush this as they will only sign you off if you are well and truly ready to start exercising. If they don’t, there will be a reason for this!

DO remember that you won’t be at the same fitness level as you were before pregnancy! Be patient and take it slow, you will be back there sooner than you think.

DO get your feet properly measured. It is not uncommon for a woman’s feet to grow a bit during pregancy so treat yourself to a new, properly fitting pair of trainers to ensure a comfortable workout.

DO wear a supportive sports bra. Your breasts will need extra support at this time because they may be bigger and full of milk at times. Wearing a supportive sports bra can prevent stretch marks and potential discomfort.

DO try to breastfeed before your workout. Some arm movements may stimulate milk flow and cause embarrassment for you. You can put breast pads in your bra just in case this may occur but it is always best to breast feed before doing any exercise.

DO drink plenty of water, especially when exercising. Dehydration can damage the breast milk so its very important for you and for your baby that you are properly hydrated.

DO exercise your pelvic floor regularly. You need to do this in order to strengthen the muscles that have been exhausted and weakened during pregnancy. The pelvic floor muscles act as a support and help to keep everything in place on the inside of your body. To strengthen the pelvic floor, you need to draw up the muscles that you use to stop yourself from having a wee, hold it there and then slowly relax them! Repeat this and when you feel you can, increase the length of the hold!

DO focus on technique and quality of the exercises you do. Don’t make the mistake of going too fast, going slow makes your body work harder in the end anyway and you want to make sure you are doing everything properly to start with so you don’t develop bad habits as they are hard to get rid of!

DO exercise your tummy muscles in a functional way so they are of use to you. There is no point just doing hundreds of sit ups as this will just get you really good at sit ups!

DO make sure you tighten your tummy muscles before any movement to make sure they are engaged and working hard for every movement. This will ensure that your posture is correct before you even start the movement.

DO enjoy this time and don’t spend it focusing on all the bad bits about yourself. You’ve just had a beautiful baby, enjoy spending time with him/her, try to stay active and the rest will fall into place.

Good luck with your training, take it slow, don’t panic and if you need any advice or help don’t hesitate to get in contact with me via this website as I’d be happy to help!

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