After nine months of pregnancy, your body has been put through the wringer. Aside from the obvious weight gain associated with pregnancy, there's a pretty strong chance you'll also be suffering from a weakening of your core muscles and improper posture and alignment. Pregnancy recovery and restoring your body to the state it was once in can be tough.
What's more, your little bundle of joy now requires your full attention. Between the constant feeding, nursing, bathing and changing nappies, it's difficult to find even a moment for yourself -- let alone enough time to commit to an effective training regimen. Lack of sleep and general fatigue will also make it difficult to exercise, and postnatal depression can also be a factor making it even tougher to find the motivation.
It's a great thing, then, that around Australia there are now many services available where mums can exercise along with their little ones. Mums and bubs physio and Pilates classes are specially designed to help mums recover from the rigours of pregnancy while also allowing time to feed and care for the baby during class. In fact, many of the exercises even incorporate your child into them, allowing for constant interaction.
Many new mums are disappointed to discover that their body isn't returning to the way it was before they became pregnant. This is totally normal. With time, the body will naturally do some of the work in helping you return to the way things used to be. However, exercise is important too. It's crucial, though, that you ease back into exercise -- after all, your body has been through quite an ordeal and you will not be ready to jump straight back into the kind of training regimen you kept before pregnancy. Physio for mums and bubs programs are designed to cope with postpartum stresses.
After pregnancy, it's important to restrengthen core muscles which may have grown weaker due to the rigours of pregnancy. This is why many of the classes for mums and bubs use Pilates techniques. Pilates is a method which focuses on completing precise movements from the body's core -- basically, the area between the lower back and the pubic bone.
Posture is one area that obviously suffers as a result of pregnancy, as your body's centre of gravity moves forward causing your lower back to sway. While there are steps that can and should be taken to maintain posture during pregnancy, it's rare to escape without some sort of change. Mums and bubs classes tend to focus on movements that correct body alignment and help restore proper posture.
Improving sleep and removing fatigue
One of the most widely accepted benefits of any type of exercise is that it helps with sleeping patterns and eliminates fatigue. And let's face it -- in the weeks and months following child birth, mums need all the help they can get. With your baby requiring your full attention 24 hours a day, gaining exercise without having to leave your baby at home is a way of killing two birds with one stone.
Helping postnatal depression
Recent studies have shown that exercising in the first three months after the birth of your child has a positive effect in helping to eliminate the 'baby blues'. Around 15 per cent of mothers experience significant postnatal depression, and generally that occurs in the first three months, so it's important to begin exercising as soon as possible.