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Post Natal Exercise - the do's and don'ts

Our owner and principle instructor, Claire Wellard, puts together a handy list of the most important things to remember when you've had a baby.

DO Get the all clear from your GP (6-8 weeks natural birth or up to 12 weeks c-section) before embarking on an exercise programme

DON’T Think that because baby is no longer a passenger that you can jump straight back to your exercise levels before you were pregnant.

DO Inform the instructor of the class that you have just had a baby and try to avoid anbody that is not trained in this area.

DON’T Go to a fitness class where the instructor clearly isn’t Pre or Post Natal trained and is likely to say ‘take-it-easy’. They may have you doing high impact moves and endless amounts of curl ups which will cause more harm than good.

DO Remember it can 12 months to get back in shape inside and out - not 12 weeks! Every woman’s journey will be different.

DON’T Read those glossy celeb magazines showing celebs looking skinny after 3 months of giving birth. It’s not healthy or normal!

DO Get your feet properly measured as it is not uncommon to go up a shoe size in pregnancy. Treat yourself to some new trainers perhaps!

DON’T Make do with old trainers that have lost their support. You could end up with a joint injury and with the effects of relaxin still present, ankle stability is a must.

DO Wear a good sports bra, Your breasts will need support during activity and a supportive bra can help reduce the risks of stretch marks and discomfort. It is a good idea to pop in some breast pads as milk is likely to leak with more body movement and try to feed before you exercise.

DON’T Wear a badly fitted bra. One that is to tight can cause mastitis. On the other hand, a badly supportive bra can cause postural problems and lead to back pain.

DO Drink plenty of water before, during and after classes especially if you are breastfeeding.

DON’T Restrist liquid intake because of the fear of leakage. If you have been experiencing any wetness it is a warning hat you must do more pelvic floor exercises!

DO Sweat! To burn off baby fat you need to be out of breath and get hot and sweaty. On a scale of 1 to 10 – 1 your breathing is relaxed and 10 you are unable to talk. You should aim for 6 to 7 and try to stay in that zone for at least 20 – 30 mins, 3 or more times a week.

DON’T Run or jump for approx 5 months. Your ligaments are still softened and stretched from relaxin. This means that the scaffolding that supports your joints could buckle under the impact. Pelvic floor has already been weakened from carrying a baby so running or jumping will create increased pressure and may cause stress incontinence or pelvis/ back/ knee problems.

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