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After the birth

Exercise after pregnancy 

Exercising after pregnancy is a great way to keep and stay healthy and adapt to your body’s changes. 

Postpartum exerciseKeeping active holds many benefits for you after the birth of your baby: 

  • Faster recovery
  • Stress relief
  • Aids return to normal weight
  • Improves sleep and mood, potentially decreasing risk of developing postnatal depression
  • Improves self image and body awareness
  • Strengthens pelvic floor muscles
  • Increases abdominal muscle tone
  • Improves overall fitness when adapting to motherhood.

Postpartum exerciseThe Physical Activity Guideline infographic from the UK Chief Medical Officers' on the left can also be downloaded here.  

As soon as you feel fit and able following delivery you can begin walking small distances to keep active. It is very important to begin doing pelvic floor exercises as soon as possible and to continue to do these for the rest of your life!

It is recommended for all women to have a 6 week check with their GP and at this appointment your GP should advise you if it is safe or not to begin to do high impact activity again – Zumba, running etc. If you have had a caesarean section birth it is likely you may need a longer recovery time.

There are many mum & baby exercise classes in the area which are perfect for easing back into fitness and meeting other mum’s. These can be found at Where are we? | Mumbler Ltd .

If you are exercising following the birth of your baby and you experience feeling faint or dizzy, chest pain, headaches, muscle weakness, calf swelling or pain – STOP EXERCISING AND TAKE MEDICAL ADVICE AS APPROPRIATE.  

Abdominal muscles and exercises

Following having your baby, it is important to activate and strengthen your abdominal muscles to improve recovery, decrease risk of injury and relieve back pain. The abdominal muscles surround the abdomen, spine, pelvic floor muscles and the lower back muscles.


Exercise 1 – ‘belly breathing’

  1. Lay down on your back in a comfortable area (bed or sofa) with either your legs straight or knees bent - whichever is most comfortable.
  2. Take a deep breath in slowly and then breathe out through your mouth slowly and as you exhale pulling in your belly button toward your spine and contracting your abdominal muscles.
  3. Hold this for 3-5 seconds and then relax.
  4. Repeat this exercise up to 10 times.

Exercise 2 – ‘leg slides’

  1. Lay down on your back positioned flat on the ground, with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle and feet placed flat on the ground.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles by taking a deep breath in through your nose, pulling your belly button toward the spine.
  3. Whilst the abdominals are engaged, slowly move one foot away from the body and extend the leg, then slowly bring it back toward the starting position.
  4. Repeat this up to 10 times on each leg.

Exercise 3 – ‘leg lifts’

  1. Lay down on your back positioned flat on the ground, with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle and feet placed flat on the ground.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles by taking a deep breath in through your nose, pulling your belly button toward the spine.
  3. Whilst the abdominals are engaged, slowly bring one knee up off the floor as far as comfortable and then hold for up to 10 seconds, then slowly place back into starting position.
  4. Repeat up to 10 times on each leg.

Exercise 4 – ‘clam’

  1. Lay on your side on a comfortable surface – bed/sofa/floor- with your knees bent, feet on top of each other.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles by taking a deep breath in through your nose, pulling your belly button toward the spine.
  3. Whilst keeping the feet together, lift the top knee away from the bottom knee slowly and then slowly move back to start position.
  4. Repeat this up to 10 times on each side.

2019-07-03 (7)

Your baby is now officially an embryo and is about the size of a poppy seed.

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/4-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (4)

Your baby is now the size of a kidney bean and weighs 1g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/8-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (6)

Welcome to the second trimester!

Your baby is about the size of a small lime and weighs approximately 14g.

You have hopefully seen your midwife for your 'booking in' appointment, if you have not yet seen a midwife please make an appointment quickly, so you can have all of your choices about screening tests explained and offered to you.

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/12-weeks-pregnant/ for more information. You can also link to the 'Pregnancy Journey' area here.  

2019-07-03

Your baby is about the size of an avocado and weighs approximately 100g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/16-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (2)

Your baby has grown in length and is now the length of a small banana and weighs approximately 300g. Around this time you will be offered your '20 week' scan, also known as the 'anatomy' or 'anomaly' scan.Click here for more information about screening. 

This is a also a good time to talk and sing to your bump as your baby can now hear sounds. This is great way for you and your partner/family to bond with your baby.

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/20-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (8)

Your baby has grown again to the approximate length of an ear of sweetcorn and weighs about 600g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/24-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (1)

Welcome to the third trimester!

Your baby is now approximately the weight of an aubergine; about 1kg and approximately 37cm in length. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/28-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (3)

Your baby now weighs approximately the same as a coconut; around 1.5kg. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/32-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (5)

Your baby is now around the same size as a lettuce, approximately 47cm long and weighs around 2.6kg. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/36-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (9)

Your baby is now the weight of a small watermelon which is approximately 3.3kg and around 50cm in length. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/40-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.