Make time and enjoy our 15 minute post natal Pilates workout for you and baby
In the first few weeks after you give birth, it may feel unsafe to exercise – or you might never have enough time away from your bub to focus on your recovery.
This set of stretches and exercises is designed to safely help your body back to full strength after pregnancy and childbirth. We would recommend that you wait 4 weeks after having baby to start on these, but don't forget to work on your pelvic floor lifts as soon as possible after the birth.
We recommend also our 1 hour post-natal check up would help you to discuss any concerns about your pelvic floor, spinal health and abdominal separation post-baby. We can direct and further target your exercise program for home also at this checkup. Call us for more details
Do you find it nearly impossible to remember to do your pelvic floor exercises?
Try to associate doing them with another activity, such as taking a drink of water, changing nappies or feeding times.
Do you not feel much of a lift or activation down below?
Don't worry. This is very normal in the early days and weeks after having a baby. Don't stop 'doing' your pelvic floor lifts however. Your brain is still connecting to these muscles every time you send the message, which is all very important. Your pelvic floor is probably take some time off to recooperate after your pregnancy and birth. Perhaps the pain of having stitches (or not) has switched the muscles off for a little while. They will start to get going very soon.
Once you can feel some small 'closing and lifting' of the pelvic floor hammock, you can begin to enjoy these exercises. These fifteen minutes each day are also bonding time with your new bundle of joy - your baby forms an integral part of each exercise! All you need is a mat and a pillow or towel.
Leg rolling and out and in
- Lie on your back on a mat with your knees bent and your baby lying on your belly or chest
- Have your feet and knees hip width and check that your tail bone rests flat and heavy on the mat (this should give you a gentle arch behind your lower back)
Rest your hands on your 'headlights' (the pointy bones at the front of your pelvis) on each side to check that you are not rocking your pelvis in any direction.
- Breathe in deep and wide as you allow the right knee to roll slowly out to the side
- Breathe out, gently lifting the pelvic floor and drawing the headlights together as you draw the knee back to centre
Repeat 5 times each leg, alternating legs each time
- Keep your pelvis still, and don't let your lower back to arch or flatten
- Keep a heavy feeling in your tailbone, focus on keeping it flat on the mat behind you
- As you draw the headlights together at the front, check that your lower abdomen draws in and does not dome outwards
- The leg that is not moving should stay quite still as you roll the other out and in. Imagine that hip is heavy, weighted in place
- Allow the thigh, calf and butt muscles to feel soft, relaxed and heavy. Imagine your legs are being dragged through thick honey, resisting your movements
- Keep your pelvis neutral and your lower back arch from increasing or decreasing
- Keep your shoulder blades drawn gently away from your ears
- Imagine you are gently holding a big mango between chin and chest. Don't drop it!
- You should feel the pelvic floor, tummy, shoulders, butt and thighs all working gently
- Lie on your side with your baby in front of you
- Have your knees bent, feet back in line with your bottom, neck supported by a pillow or towel
- Stack your hips one right over the other
- Find your neutral lower back arch, tuck your ribs in at the front, and stack your shoulders one right over the other
- Lift your lower waist a little off the mat to straighten out your spine
- On a wide breath in, squeeze your heels together and lift the top knee in line with your body
- As you exhale gently lift the pelvic floor, deepen the naval and smoothly lower the knee
- Repeat eight times on each side
Lunges with bub
- Stand facing a full length mirror with your baby held facing the mirror, low down in front of your hips with your arms relatively straight, hands hooked between their legs for support
- Starting with your feet hip width apart, step your left foot forward then your right foot back
- Keep your pelvis neutral – your right foot should be on tip toes. Check you have not twisted back on the right side, find your neutral zone and grow tall
- Breathe in deep and wide as you bend both knees and lower yourself straight down
- Breathe out, lifting the pelvic floor, gently deepening the naval to the spine and push back up
- Repeat 2 sets of eight on each leg
- Most of your weight should be through your back leg, and the front of that thigh should be working hard
- Keep your pelvis neutral, not tucking your tailbone under or flattening your lower back arch
- Make sure you drop your hip on the front leg side, not keeping it hitched up towards your ribs and shortening your waist – this will help your butt to work on the front leg side
- Kneel on all fours, hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips
- Pop your baby on the floor on their back, looking up at you
- Breathe in and round your back up towards the ceiling like a cat, bringing your chin to your chest and pressing through your arms
- Breathe out and sink down through the middle of your back, drawing your head and tailbone high
- Repeat five times each way
Thread the Needle
- Stay on all fours from the previous exercise
- Pop your baby off to your left side next to your hands, about an arm's reach away
- Find a neutral pelvis by rocking it forward and back and settling where you have just a gentle little lower back arch
- Lift up your right hand and reach it through underneath your left arm, turning from the waist not the hips
- Reach towards your baby and give them a pat, a tickle or a touch on the nose
- Come back to centre, then repeat four more times, and again 5 times to the other side with your baby off to the right
For best results repeat the whole program at least three to five days per week. Try this routine out the next time you are alone with your new baby – it will do you both a lot of good and prepare your body for returning to more intense exercise between six weeks and three months after the birth.
These exercises are safe for a new mum and are starting to return your body's core or inner strength. Remember this is essential before moving onto your outer strength, or running and other high impact exercises. If you are at worried, please chat with us.
Our 1 hour post-natal check up would help you to discuss any concerns about your pelvic floor, spinal health and abdominal separation post-baby. We can direct and further target your exercise program for home also at this checkup.