If you’ve just had a baby, it might feel like there isn't any time left for yourself. You’re so busy caring for your new bub and juggling everything that comes with motherhood, exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing. However postpartum exercise can be a great way to boost your energy—and it's even better for your mental health. So check out our top tips for keeping active with a newborn.
Consistency is key
Instead of trying to jump back into a rigorous exercise routine (don’t do this – you've just had a baby!), start with a low-impact aerobic routine that you can maintain. Consistency is everything, so consider going on a stroll or incorporating some stretching into your daily schedule. Depending on your energy levels and how recently you had your bub, you can always up the intensity. Just remember that a little bit everyday makes all the difference. You’ll never regret that lunchtime walk or that evening yoga class.
Prioritise "your" time
If you’re a new mum, you’ll find that your life has completely changed. And while there’s nothing more joyous than welcoming a newborn, you’ve likely also felt burnt out, overwhelmed or frustrated. Exercise can be really effective for switching off your mind (and your worries), allowing you to be completely present in your body. A little alone time for mum can go a long way, so instead of looking at exercise as a chore, consider it as much needed “me time.”
Find a community
Community makes all the difference. If you have local friends who have also just had bubs, consider planning weekly walks together with your little ones. If you’re struggling to get enough movement in your routine, friends can hold you accountable and make sticking to this routine easier. Better yet, you’ll be able to catch up and chit chat while taking your bub for some fresh air. Friends are everything! You can also consider joining a mum and baby exercise group in your area, some of which even have babysitters to look after bub while you exercise.
But what exercise is best?
Depending on your pregnancy and delivery experience, this will vary from person to person. Generally speaking, you can start to exercise as soon as you feel ready (as long as you had a healthy pregnancy, and your doctor has given you the green light). Pregnancy and birth put a lot of stress on your pelvic floor so exercises that target this area are important in your postpartum journey. Here’s a great pelvic floor exercise from The Royal Women’s Hospital:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet grounded on the floor (alternatively, you can kneel on your hands and knees)
- Expanding your stomach, breathe in and out deeply. As you do so, tighten your abdominal muscles (imagine pulling your belly button into your spine). Hold this for 5 seconds.
- Repeat 6-10 times and perform four times a day.
If there’s one point we want to make abundantly clear, it's to listen to your body. You’ve just had a baby and there’s a great deal on your plate. Be sure to prioritise your health and do only what feels right for you.
LittleOak has been nourishing children for many years and feeds millions of infants, babies and children across the globe each and every day, in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. In the US, we're proud to have our FDA compliant Toddler Milk available for families.