Simple exercises for mums

Why should I exercise? Proper exercise in pregnancy will help your body stay strong and prepare you for the birth and motherhood. The right postnatal exercise will help you get your body back, lose the baby-weight, and actively embrace motherhood.

How should I exercise? During pregnancy and after you’ve had your baby, doctors recommend a few special exercises – for maximum health benefits for you and your baby. Your body has particular exercise needs in the perinatal period. You need to know what is safe to do, and how to build strength where you most need it.

We’re here to help. Our medical and fitness experts have created four simple programmes:

1. With a normal pregnancy, you can do all the exercises in our proper exercise in pregnancy programme right up to the birth (unless you have limiting health complications).

2. As soon as your baby arrives, for most new mums it is safe get physically active from day 1, with the gentle activity in our brand new mum physical activity programme.

3. Having recovered from the birth our core postnatal exercise programme is suitable for mothers who have GP approval to exercise.

4. Introduce buggy exercises and get more out of your walks in the fresh air.

Whichever programme you are following, walking is good for you – on so many levels, not just physically but for your emotional well-being as well. And you’re more likely to get outside for that walk, and have fun, if you’ve got friends to go with. Find out how we can help you to start your own walking group with other local mums on our Socialcise page.


Experts behind your programme

Women suffering from prolapse, incontinence and other common postnatal gynaecological problems can make a huge difference to their quality of life by following their own Ready Steady Mums programme and exercising correctly. For example, the pelvic floor is almost always damaged or weakened through pregnancy and birth and RSM will teach you how to activate it properly with evidence-based guidance. All the exercises RSM recommends for mums are medically safe, reliable and effective.

Dr. Mark Slack MB BCh, MMed, FCOG (SA), FRCOG
Following Ready Steady Mums gives mums confidence because they know they’re getting fit in the right way, introducing new exercises and challenges when their body is ready. For example, special ab exercises are included if you have diastasis recti (muscle split) and lower impact cardio work is on the programme whilst you still have hormones like relaxin in your system. Our experts designed perfectly-targeted exercise programmes just for you.

Baz Moffatt, Personal Trainer, and recently retired World Championship Medallist GB Rower
The pelvic floor is weakened by the weight of baby during pregnancy and remains vulnerable during the birth. Ready Steady Mums provides evidence based guidance on learning to properly activate your pelvic floor and how to incorporate them into exercises and activities of daily living. Women can do a lot to look after themselves and during pregnancy and restore health and fitness after childbirth, Ready Steady Mums guidance will help you do so.

Rebecca Bennett, BSc (Hons) MCSP PG-Cert, Women’s Health Physiotherapist
It is almost always helpful to start doing gentle activity right after birth, but many mums wait too long. Generally speaking, all mums are aware they need to do something. Some think (wrongly) that they should do nothing active until 6 weeks. The problem is often knowing – what should I do when? How do I know it’s safe? I distinguish between proper exercise and gentle activity. It is ok to do the gentle activities like the ones you have in the Level 1 section of the Ready Steady Mums programme straight away. Less depression, better sleep, fewer back problems. Exercise helps keep the woman in control. It helps structure their day. The Ready Steady Mums advice is really helpful for this. Mums sleep better and don’t sit at home being stressed, so their babies are more contented. Both mum and baby have more self-esteem.

Dr Kahlida Salim, MBCHB, DRCOG, DFFP, MRCGP, General Practitioner

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