After my 1st child, I was in a hurry to do something to get that belly, my devastated pelvic region and my body weight down and under control.
Every time I thought my baby was ok in his swing for a minutes to allow me to do anything … he would start fussing or crying…
The Fit/Gym/Swiss/exercise balls (they have many names!) are fantastic to exercise before, during and after the pregnancy!
With modified exercise routines according to the situation, new moms can go back to or start using exercise balls, particularly in the weeks and months following after childbirth when they are gradually regaining their bodies and strength in them again.
Here you can find some options for postnatal exercises on an exercise ball WITH YOUR BABY if you choose to do so.
You can use your new bundle of joy as a weight, instead of dumbbells 😀 Woo Hoo!
All facetiousness aside though, it can also be great for bonding time with you and your baby.
These types of exercise are not cardio – it’s mild, mostly callanetics on the ball, and you can hold your baby as you would do anyway or put them down next to you safely. Lord knows they can fuss a lot.
As always, mind your body, mind your baby, and be careful! Make sure you don’t bounce too hard or fall off, and you absolutely want to do it in a manner that is safe for you and your baby!
Before beginning any pregnancy exercise routine, please get the green light from your midwife, OB-GYN, or doctor, you know the drill ladies.
First of all, you will want to keep in mind that while doing the exercises below keep your Transversus Abdominis, or most commonly called TVA, engaged (by holding your tummy in firmly – but so that you can still breathe comfortably) and try to pull in your pelvic floors (va-jay-jay muscles, kegles anyone?).
This will maximize the effectiveness of each exercise, which is essential if you are short on time.
The exercises below are only suitable for you when your tummy separation (or diastasis) has closed to two fingers width or less, and you have been signed off by your doctor if you had a C-section.
These should be fun for you and your baby.
They allow you to get a little bit of a workout while having bonding time with the new addition to your family.
Remember to be safe doing these, for you and your new baby, and if you don’t understand a description either let me know, and I will try to explain it better. Or if you would rather, there are some excellent video guides on youtube that may show them better for you.
Postpartum Exercise Benefits
Why would you want to do postnatal exercises, are they really that beneficial? ABSOLUTELY!
I’m sure none of us has forgotten what we felt like for quite a while after giving birth.
It took us a bit to get back to feeling ‘normal‘ again.
Postpartum exercises can help relieve your pain in your back, hips, and your pelvic region.
They can assist you in getting your pelvic region back into shape again, and can assist in making your recovery time back to ‘feeling normal‘ quite a bit shorter!
While there are other benefits as well, just making you feel great about yourself again and giving you more energy throughout the day to take care of your new bundle of joy is reason enough in my opinion.
A set of dumbbells (1kg and 3kg); although tins or bottles are a suitable replacement or you can hold your baby.
Optional: A yoga mat can help stabilize the ball if you have a floor that will allow the ball to slip.
#1 Warm up for mom and gentle bounce for your baby.
Sit straight up on your exercise ball, maintaining good posture, with your baby in your lap or arms.
Make figure 8s with your hips.
Repeat for 3-5 minutes.
#2 Rebuild your core for soothing mom cradle for baby.
Hold your baby in your arms to your chest, resting your head and shoulders on the ball, lift your bottom up and hold it there.
Push through your feet and work through your gluts to keep your bottom up for 15-25 seconds.
Relax and rest.
This time lift and hold, while lifting one heel off the floor, lower, then the other heel, lower and relax. Be gentle your baby!
Repeat this 8 – 10 times.
Focus on being steady and strong, keeping your hips level as you lift one heel and then the other.
#3 Crunches for mom, hugs for baby.
Hold your baby on your chest, extend your legs and place your heels on the ball.
Now, push your buttocks upwards while pulling the ball towards your back knees.
Hold your tummy in, hold position 15-25 sec, and roll back into original position.
Repeat this 8-10 times.
#4 Wall Squat for mom and smiles for baby.
Put your baby on the floor in front of you, and they can watch you sit up and down and be silly.
Hold the ball behind you and stand so that your medicine ball is pressed firmly between your back and the wall.
Place your feet in front of your body somewhere around shoulder distance apart.
The center of the ball should be against your lower back, making sure that you keep in contact with the exercise ball and lower your body gently by bending your knees until you have your upper thighs parallel to the floor.
Hold down there for a couple of seconds and then return to your start position.
#5 Tummy tucks for mom, hide and seek for baby.
On this exercise, place your baby in front of the ball, as you lift up and look over it you can make cooing sounds and smile at them.
Place your upper body on the ball, in a push up like position.
With your forearms on the ball, palms locked.
Hold and lift your back straight off the floor (like a tabletop), your legs extended and your feet around a foot apart and toes firmly on the ground.
Hold your tummy in, and release.
Repeat 8-10 times.