1) Exercise after Baby (Part 1)
How soon can moms start to exercise
Ideally, I strongly believe that believe that the best time for any new moms to start exercising is after they get the OK from the doctor.
I am sure it is very tempting to get back into shape straight after delivery.
But in my personal opinion, it is also very important to get the thorough check up from a trusted doctor.
If you're Malay, that would probably be after 44 days.
The first 44 days upon giving birth, a Malay woman would traditionally observe confinement period, which I did and I hated it.
Mainly because I was not allowed to go out - though I did.
Mak was not as strict about the pantang as other mothers were.
Though it was not as often as I wanted it to, I was allowed to go out during the confinement period.
One major reminder Mak for me before I went out during my pantang was to wear long sleeved pants and top - which I diligently followed.
There were also other practices that need to be observed during the confinement period such as bengkung wrap, jamu, postnatal massage.
But whether you do observe any form of confinement period or not, what's most important for new mums to remember is - to enjoy the precious moments with your little newborn and get as much rest as you possibly can.
Benefits of Postnatal Exercise
Besides weight loss, there are other benefits of exercising after childbirth. Read on to find out just what they are.
- Reduced anxiety
Increased level of feel-good chemicals (a.k.a endorphins) helps to prevent postnatal depression or baby blues. A much-needed overall feeling of relaxation and calmness helps mothers face the challenges of motherhood.
- Enhance self confidence
Rather than embracing pregnancy as symbol of motherhood, some women see it as a damage done to their bodies. Exercise (however little) helps to regain the confidence and positive body image.
- Increased energy level
With motherhood comes lack of sleep. Besides caring for a newborn, mothers may have another child (or two) to look after. So the increased energy and stamina will definitely come in handy.
- Retone abdominal muscles & Improve Posture
The extra weight during the pregnancy can be stressful on your spine and does affect your posture. Exercise helps to improve upper body strength and in turn, reduce risk of back and shoulder injury. Strengthening your core muscles reduces risk of incontinence (those "Oooops" moments) AND helps you get back into your jeans!
and my personal favourite....
- ALONE time
Personally, I treat exercise as my "ME" time. That is the time I put aside the stresses for the day and focus my mind on taking good care of myself. As a healthy mum = healthy family.