We know it isn't easy to find time for exercises when you have just had a baby- so here are some pilates based exercises which are perfect for a new mum's busy schedule....
1. Nappy time is the perfect time!
When changing your baby at the changing table, think about gently drawing your lower tummy muscles in towards your spine- as if lifting your bladder away from the front of your trousers. It should be a 25-30% contraction only. Hold this for 10 seconds at a time, breathing normally until your baby is changed and ready to go. Top Tip: it's an even better challenge to sing to your baby while keeping the muscle engaged!
2. Feeding time can be toning time!
If you are breastfeeding your baby, you could try feeding your little one while lying on your side. This leaves your top leg free for side leg lifts- either the clam (ankles together and raise just the knee of your top leg working your gluteals), or by keeping the top leg straight and lifting the whole leg up and down 10 times. Top Tip: You could even add an ankle weight for an extra workout challenge!
3. Pelvic Floor Squeezes
When feeding your baby, use this time to get some exercises done! The same pelvic floor exercises that you practiced when pregnant are also suitable after the baby had arrived*. Do 10 reps of the fast squeezes with release, and 10 reps of the slow squeezes holding each one for 10 seconds. Top Tip: We teach clients how to engage their pelvic floor muscles in our pregnancy, postnatal and CSection pilates classes.
4. Grow with your baby!
When cuddling your baby in standing, imagine that the top of your head is just an inch from the ceiling, and try to grow an inch taller through your neck to try as if you are trying to touch it. Draw your shoulder blades towards your bra clasp as you do this. You have just engaged some of your most important postural muscles! Well done! Hold for up to 30 seconds, and repeat several times during the day. Top Tip: There should be very little weight through your toes in standing- draw your pelvic back until your toes are free enough to wiggle.
5. Time to tone up!
Holding your baby infront of you with both arms, stand with your feet at hip distance apart. Lower your bottom as if you are trying to sit on a chair that is a little too far behind you, and hey presto you are now in a squat position! Tense your 'gluteal' muscles at the back of your hips to help you to stand up again. Top Tip: Add a pelvic floor contraction for even more benefits. Repeat 10 repetitions after every nappy change!
At Physiofusion we teach pregnancy, postnatal and C-Section Pilates in group classes as well as individual session. All of our Chartered Physiotherapists are highly experienced, and class numbers are small for individual attention. All mats & equipment is provided.
Babies are most welcome at our postnatal & C-Section classes and we have rooms available for feeding your baby before/during or after the class.
*If you have specific concerns about a pelvic floor problem following delivery, please speak to us or seek advice from any Chartered Physiotherapist.
For further information, or to see our class timetable, visit here.
By Lorraine O'Reilly