A woman’s body goes through some big changes during pregnancy, and many new mothers look forward to getting back to exercise as part of their postnatal wellbeing. However, it is important to follow the advice of your health practitioner to ensure a new mother gets back into exercise safely.
Exercise is beneficial for a new mother in so many ways. As well as her mental wellbeing, exercise is good for:
- Strengthening the mother’s pelvic floor. If you are concerned about bladder control during pregnancy or post birth, book a consultation with your trusted physiotherapist, who can help with some exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor.
- Helping with back pain. Many women can also experience back pain during and following pregnancy. Pregnancy can make the ligaments looser, which can increase the chance of injury – and new mums find themselves regularly bending and lifting when taking care of a new baby. There are simple things a woman can do to help prevent back pain, including keeping good posture, using correct lifting techniques and avoiding heavy lifting – but a physiotherapist can also recommend exercises and stretches that can help by strengthening the core and back muscles.
If you have the go-ahead to start exercising from your doctor or trusted health practitioner, some great exercises for new mothers to consider include:
- Gentle walking. This is a great activity with your new baby as well because you can walk with the pram.
- Swimming. Swimming is great as a pre- and post-natal exercise because it is low impact. Only start swimming after bleeding has stopped and you have the go-ahead from your doctor – this is usually six to eight weeks after you have given birth.
- Yoga/Pilates. Yoga and Pilates are gentle exercises but great for strengthening, especially the pelvic floor and core strengthening, which can be beneficial for new mothers experiencing back pain.
- There are various mum and baby exercise classes that are especially for new mums, which may also involve the baby. Ask your physiotherapist or maternity hospital for recommendations.
There are various options to suit a new mother’s schedule, exercise preferences and injury history, but whatever you choose, when starting exercise after birth, it is important to always follow your health practitioner’s advice and seek medical advice if you experience any pain and discomfort.
If you’re looking for a local Perth physio to help you with all this, consider us at Morley Physiotherapy. We serve all of Perth, but are located in Morley, providing physiotherapy to Inglewood and other surrounding suburbs.