Before I had my baby, I thought that workouts for new moms are no different from workouts for women. Oh, how wrong I was. As a new mom, your weakened pelvic floor and your diastasis recti need special attention. And to state the obvious, you have to figure out what to do with your baby. While I’m all for (safe) babywearing workouts, I’d recommend starting with them after regaining strength with pelvic floor friendly exercises using your own weight only.
So let’s say you found 20-30 minutes per day that you could use for an exercise. What are the best options you have as a new mom?
Let me start with one thing you shouldn’t do: crunches. Yep, I know that crunches seem tempting because they could help flatten the mommy pouch. But actually, they just make the abdominal separation worse. So crunches are a no go for new moms.
Ok, but what is a good workout for new moms then?
Walking is often overlooked because it is such a simple form of movement. While you’re walking, you gently move your whole body. Focus on the correct posture and on rolling your feet from heel to toe to make walking beneficial for your pelvic floor as well. Walking every day (with or without your baby) has a positive effect on your mood as well.
2. Fitness programs by OurFitFamilyLife
I personally did Julie’s core rehab program and it made a real difference to my core and pelvic floor recovery. The program focuses both on lifestyle elements (eg. good posture) and daily exercise (10 or 30 minutes). Though challenging with a small baby, it was totally doable. She has tons of free resources on her website and Instagram, it’s worth checking it out. I am not affiliated with her with any way, just found her program useful.
3. Belly dancing
This might sound strange, but belly dancing is actually an excellent pelvic floor and core exercise. The ladies who invented these torso isolation sequences really new something. Belly dancing trains those exact muscles that are weakened after pregnancy and birth. It is gentle, effective, and fun.
Yoga can be extremely beneficial. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too. Because there are so many different styles and forms of yoga today, just make sure your yoga session is pelvic floor friendly to support your recovery.
So these are my favorites, but there are definitely other workouts out there suitable for new moms. The main thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing and pay attention to your pelvic floor and core health.