Exercising with your baby

Even though it may be the last thing on your mind, there are lots of ways to keep active after your little one arrives either on your own, in a group or an organised class.

• Postnatal exercises are important to strengthen vital muscles.
• Lots of postnatal classes let you exercise with your baby at your side. Some include your baby and their pram or buggy as part of the workout. Your Health Visitor may know of some local ones.
• Walking and pushing your pram or buggy briskly is a great way of keeping active – just remember to focus on your posture by keeping your arms bent and your back straight. Make sure the handles are at the right height for you – your elbows should be bent at right angles.
• Try swimming. Great exercise and relaxing too, but you’ll need to wait until seven days after your postnatal lochia has stopped. If you take your baby with you, try to have someone else there with you so you get a chance to swim.
• There are also lots of different ways you can exercise at home.

Why is it good for me?

It might seem counterproductive in those early months of sleep deprivation, but keeping active and getting outside is as important for you as your baby. Like any types of keeping active the benefits are:
• Improved heart and lung function
• Muscle toning and increased stamina and energy
• Reduced tension, anxiety and depression, and better sleep patterns (eventually!)

How much does it cost?

Some classes can cost between £5-£10. Walking is free and there are some great tips to exercising at home too.

What equipment do I need?

Depending what you are doing you would need some comfortable clothes and shoes. Also remember your pre-pregnancy sports bra may not fit as well, so it is a great idea to get measured again especially if starting to do anything more high impact. If you swam while pregnant, you might find your pregnancy swimming costume is more comfortable in the first few months.