Work out Tips for the New Mama
Getting back in shape after a baby can be more than a little daunting. There can be too much information out there (a lot of which is contradictory!) which means you end up more than a bit confused and overwhelmed.
We asked Roxanne Ekhaese, a pre & postnatal specialist trainer to share a few tips to help a new mom navigate this and get started with an appropriate fitness routine.
1. Pelvic Floor Activation
As soon as you feel comfortable after birth, immediately get those pelvic floor and inner core muscles activating. This shouldn't be anything too strenuous but just starting to work on those little muscles down below to help you recover. As you might know, after having a baby every women has an ab separation (known as diatasis recti) and so it is very important to fix this correctly at the start. In my birth story on my IGTV, I explain how on day two in the hospital bed I was activating my pelvic floor & TVA muscles very gently to recover as best I can.
2. Program Selection
2. Program Selection
Find the right postpartum exercise workout, class or program to follow once you have been signed off from the doctor. This way you have done your research and are ready to go once you have the all clear.
Make sure you are providing your body with proper nutrition. If you are breast feeding, you don't want to be restricted, but you can still eat a clean and healthy diet. The main part of this is staying away from processed foods. The more natural the food, the better. For example you can easily make your own snacks (raw nut mixes, energy bites, smoothies and hummus). If you can get your eating on track before you start exercising, your body will respond much quicker than if you are feeding it with rubbish.
4. Doctor's Approval
4. Doctor's Approval
Before doing any exercise, make sure you have sign off from the doctor. Also try and see a professional to check your abdominal separation. This way you know whether you need to also do special postpartum physiotherapy, as it is may still be too separated. Even if fully signed off, it is important to continue to work on closing the gap and strengthening your inner core.
5. Slow and Steady
Ease into the exercise! It's not a race and best to lay a strong foundation first so that your body won't break down and suffer any injuries. It can also be difficult juggling all of this whilst looking after a new born so be patient with yourself. At first, I always tell my clients to schedule no more than 3 workouts a week and in between go on lovely walks with your new little bundle. This way you won't get disheartened and de-motivated from not hitting your goals. Remember each pregnancy is different, so just go at your own pace and don’t rush into anything your body isn’t ready for. I made sure I had rest days and sometimes did stretch sessions over HIIT as that was what my body needed.
6. Stay Positive
Lastly, enjoy this journey and try not to get down on yourself and talk negatively about your body. After all, you have just given somebody life and created a little miracle over the past 9/10 months!! I loved seeing how unique and amazing the female body is. If you are not loving the exercise then keep trying new workouts and methods to improve yourself. It will make it way more rewarding and enjoyable 😄
Roxanne Ekhaese is a Pre & postnatal specialist trainer who shares daily fitness and mom tips (@roxyfitblog).
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