25th July 2012
Although all new mothers will accept that their body goes through a whole host of changes during pregnancy, once your little ones arrives many parents are keen to get back into shape.
And while no new mum should put herself under any pressure to lose weight in the months following the birth, starting some gentle exercise when you feel ready can be both healthy and enjoyable.
Although the time period will be different for everyone and it's always best to check with your doctor, it's usually a good idea to wait until after your six-week post natal check before you start a regular exercise routine again.
However, even before this period, you may find that gentle lower belly exercises and pelvic floor exercises will help you recover from the birth and improve your strength and stamina, which will make caring for your newborn easier.
The best thing you can do at this stage is to join a special post natal exercise class, where you will not only meet other new mums, but you can also be confident that you won't push yourself to do any activity your body isn't ready for.
"Look for classes that will work on your posture and help your abdominal muscles to come back together," recommends Louise Whyte, founder of Penelope Fitstar and personal trainer specialising in pregnancy and post natal exercise.
"Classes specifically for post natal mums are ideal as you won't be tempted to do unsuitable exercises that may be included in other classes."
Speak to your midwife or a health professional about the sort of class you are looking for and they should be able to advise you on a qualified instructor in your area.
"The post natal period is a time when your body is recovering and your joints are still vulnerable from the hormone, relaxin, which is released during pregnancy and breast feeding," Louise explains.
"The most important point is that the instructor of the class is qualified to teach post natal mums."
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