The daily routine for a new mom can be very hectic – there really is no schedule, with feedings every few hours and lack of sleep, your life is turned upside down.
Often new moms don’t have five minutes to brush their hair or do laundry let alone exercise. However, it is so important to take some time for them to strengthen the muscles and regain the stability that is normally lost during pregnancy.
Post partum women tend to carry weaknesses in their backs, abdominals and buttocks which can cause quite a few aches and pains. Often if you allow the abdominal and back muscles that have become stretched and weak during pregnancy to remain that way, these aches and pains can follow you throughout life.
Keigel or pelvic floor exercises are extremely important before and after pregnancy. Women need to strengthen their Pelvic Floor as well as lower abdominals, back stabilizers and the muscles of the upper back to insure your core is strong….especially for when you lift that baby of yours! All the daily strains the body endures caring for a child can take can easily their toll on your back!
Exercise programs that increase your core strength such as Pilates are great for new moms. Traditional aerobic exercises may be good for burning body fat but they don’t address issues such as weak joints, lack of muscle strength and urinary incontinence that are important for many post partum women. Pilates exercises post natal can help improve posture and muscle balance, increase self confidence and strengthen your stretched pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.
It is important to remember when exercising post partum that the joints will still be unstable and to start back carefully. Normally it is safe to exercise four to six weeks after giving birth but it is always best to check with your doctor first.
Deanna Smith is an Exercise Physiologist and Stott Pilates Instructor at Energy and can be contacted at [email protected] or at 946 6006.