OK, so I want to preface this post by saying that I don’t have a baby of my own, so if anything I write here kind of makes you want to scream or throw something at me, then feel free to do so (although preferably not in real life because I’m actually quite sensitive).
It has come to my attention of late, from my rather safe vantage point as an auntie, that having a baby is actually a whole lot of hard work. Unlike those of us without a mini human hanging off our breast or hip at all times, it truly is difficult for a new parent to find any time to herself to go to the bathroom, let alone squeeze in some post pregnancy exercise.
Now if you think this was all leading up to me offering my services as a babysitter than a) you haven’t read the blog post title very well and b) you’re sadly mistaken. But what I can offer you is a few exercises that you can do WITH your baby, for as long as he/she will allow it in any case.
While I was home over the long weekend a few weeks back, I enlisted the help of my 9kg, 7-month old nephew Navrin to workshop these movements and get some videos so that you can try them yourself at home! Of course, not all exercises will be for every parent and every baby, and depending on the age of your baby you may need to modifying some movements. You know yourself and your baby better than anyone, so stay safe and always speak to a doctor or professional if you have any concerns at all.
This is the most simple post pregnancy exercise I can think of. Pop your bub in a front carrier (or just hold him nice and close) and stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Switch your core on, tighten your pelvic floor, keep your weight through your heels and lower yourself with your bottom out as though you’re trying to sit on a chair that is a touch too far away. Push back up through your heels and return to starting position.
Baby Squat Press
As with your squats, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your weight through your heels. Hold your baby facing towards you (for maximum enjoyment) in a comfortable position for you both. Switch your core on, tighten your pelvic floor, keep your weight through your heels and lower yourself with your bottom out as though you were trying to sit on a chair that was a touch too far away. Push back up through your heels and return to your starting position, this time pressing your baby up above shoulder height, then lowering him (in a controlled manner) back to your starting position.
Baby Chest Press
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart, core and pelvic floor switched on and shoulders pulled down away from your ears. Hold your baby close to your chest in a position that’s comfortable for the both of you. Press baby away from you, extending your arms fully before returning baby back to your chest in a slow and controlled manner.
Baby Get Up
OK this is an advanced post pregnancy exercise Team! Start laying on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Hold your bub in a position that’s comfortable for both of you, with your baby facing towards you and his feet resting on your chest. Rock forward, rolling up through your abdominals, pressing through your heels and rising up into a standing position. Press your baby above your head (yelling woooh! is optional). Lower your baby back down to shoulder height, sink back through your heels into a squat and slowly (with control) lower yourself back to the ground.
If you’ve never done this move before, I recommend practicing it with a medicine ball first, and ensuring you’re very comfortable with the movement before substituting in a mini human. I’ve been doing it for years, but it’s actually a pretty advanced move and people with hip flexor issues really tend to struggle with it.
OK – so that’s my first foray into the world of post pregnancy exercise, utilising a tiny person as a piece of equipment. You don’t have to turn the moves into a workout – just try to squeeze in a few reps whenever you get the chance. I like to think of these moves as bonding time, a bit of fun and a way to get moving! Let me know in the comments below if you’d like to see more videos like this… I’m sure Navrin will be up for more, but his appearance fee may go up as he gets older.
p.s Massive shout out to my sister-in-law Keat and all the other mums out there creating the next generation of humans. You guys are amazing!!!
p.p.s Make sure you listen with the sound up, Navrin’s squeals are the highlight of the videos!