Motivation To Be More Active After Pregnancy
- Returning to physical activity after childbirth can be challenging, not only are you adapting to life with a new baby, you may be dealing with other problems such as low mood, physical issues such as incontinence or backache, fatigue from lack of sleep and the demands of other children and people on your time.
- Keep in mind that when establishing a regular exercise regime you may feel even more tired than usual to begin with – but stick with it because within two weeks your fitness will increase along with your muscle tone, stamina and feeling of energy.
- Look for benefits to motivate you to be active. The benefits of you keeping active are not just to you but extend to your entire family.
- For you, regular physical activity:
- Speeds up your postnatal recovery and loss of pregnancy-weight
- Strengthens and tones your muscles, including abdominal muscles weakened by pregnancy
- Strengthens your pelvic floor to help reduce urinary stress incontinence
- Promotes regular bowel activity and reduces constipation
- Improves your cardiovascular fitness so you feel more energetic and have more stamina
- Improves your sleep quality
- Stimulates hormones (dopamine, endorphins and serotonin) that help improve your mood, reduce anxiety and help you relax
- May get you outdoors in the sunshine, which naturally elevates mood and boosts your vitamin D levels
- In the longer term reduces your risk of developing chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer)
- For your baby and other family members, your regular physical
- Having a happier, healthier and more energetic mum and partner
- Role modelling healthy lifestyle behaviours to your child and partner. You being an active, physically fit person increases your family’s exposure to a healthy way of life.
- Getting outdoors (exposure to healthy levels of vitamin D) and exploring their environment
- “Knowing that I usually make excuses for excuses, I decided to do things differently this time. I just made exercise a part of my day, every day, starting straight away! I knew that if I didn’t start now it was only going to get tougher. I started slowly. I walked when I could, to the local shops, post box or just to relax. Then I built in a regular water aerobics class and a weekly walk with a girlfriend. It didn’t take long until it really did become a habit and now I so value that time for myself.”
- “One thing that really helped me to get back into exercise was to have the support of my family and friends because they would look after the baby for me while I went to the pool for a swim. Plus, my partner was also really supportive; on certain days he’d organise to come home a little earlier so I could go to the gym before dinner. The rest of the time I’d take the baby in the pram for a walk.”
- “Looking after my baby really took me to a new level of exhaustion but I knew that the less I felt like doing some exercise, the more I probably needed it. Once I got out and pounded the pavement or did a few laps of the pool I felt that much better for it.”
- “At first it felt weird to go out for a walk just for the sake of doing some exercise when I had so much stuff to do at home. But having that time to myself to clear my head and release stress was so important as a busy mum. It meant I’d get back home and feel ready to tackle the household chores and everything else that had to be done!”
Go the Ngala Healthy You Healthy
Track your health and wellbeing during pregnancy and during the early stages of your child's life and receive tips on how to improve or maintain your health.
Ngala Books & DVDs
For families of babies and
young children who reside or work in W.A.,
if you need further assistance contact the Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or Country Access 1800 111 546
8am to 8pm 7 days a week or
or get support online via the My Ngala Forums
When: 19 Jun, 10:00am
Birth to 12 months. Covers the impact of nutrition on brain development in the first year of life. Topics include when to introduce solids, variety, quantity and strategies to establish and encourage long term healthy eating patterns.