Pre and Post Natal Exercise

It is of extreme importance to exercise before and after the birth of you baby.  Exercising the core muscles as well as the Pelvic Floor muscles are of great benefit to mom and baby.  It is important to know what these muscles are, how to activate them and the benefits of exercising these muscles for you to be exercising them.

Exercising While You Are Pregnant

pink pre and post natal excersize for webExercising while pregnant can help you to improve your core muscles and help you prepare the muscles used while in labour. It will help to ease or prevent back pain and other aches, boost your mood and energy levels, help you sleep betterprevent excess weight gain, increase stamina and muscle strength.  Exercise during pregnancy might also reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-related high blood pressure, as well as lessen the symptoms of postpartum depression.

Being pregnant can place a lot of stress on your pelvic floor muscles. Your pelvic floor can become weak and stretched from as early as 12 weeks into your pregnancy. Constipation, which is common in pregnant women, can put even more strain on your pelvic floor.  It is of extreme importance to exercise these muscles.

There are rules to safely exercise while pregnant, ensure that your Doctor is happy for you to exercise.

Exercising After Pregnancy

after preggCore stabilization is a type of exercise that helps to eliminate lower back pain by stabilizing the spine.  If the muscles cannot control your movement then the nerves and ligaments may become irritated and painful.  After pregnancy upper back pain is common, this is due to poor biomechanics, hunching over while holding baby, cuddling or feeding baby, leaning over changing tables, bathing etc.  It is also due to increased weight in breasts, lifting car seats or pushing prams with handles that are too low.  Your upper back needs to be strong to prevent headaches, neck and shoulder problems.

The correct posture is of the utmost importance, core strength and postural exercises will help to maintain the best posture for you.

Your pelvic floor supports your bladder, bowel and uterus (womb). So your pelvic floor gives you control over when you empty your bladder and your bowels.

You may find you accidentally leak a little ‘wee’ when you cough, sneeze or exercise. This is called stress incontinence. You may find this continues after you've had your baby. Postnatal stress incontinence affects up to a third of all new mums. Your pelvic floor affects your vaginal muscles too. It's not just during pregnancy and childbirth that your pelvic floor is important. You'll need to keep it strong for the rest of your life to guard against problems later, especially after the menopause.

 If you do pelvic floor exercises, you'll be preventing possible problems in the future.

losing baby bellyLosing Baby Belly, the amount of weight you gained during pregnancy, genetics and the size of your baby can all affect how well your abdominal muscles ‘bounce back’ after pregnancy.  Your abdominal muscles need to be reconditioned to return to their original strength and length.  Many moms start doing tummy crunches or sit ups to flatten their tummy but infact this is a mistake as this targets the outer most abdominal muscles.  These can cause more harm than good especially if they have ‘diastasis recti’ (the separation of the stomach muscles).  It is important to strengthen the pelvic floor and the deepest core muscles.

You are able to do basic core activation and pelvic floor exercises within a few weeks after having your baby.  It is important to do these with a trained professional and with the consent of your doctor.  Exercise after labour can help reduce the likelihood of postnatal depression and help you get back into shape so that you are able to cope better with the demands of your baby and a good recovery means a more energetic mum