Exercises for mothers to get in shape after giving birth


Between sleep deprivation, nappy changes, feedings and piles of laundry, motherhood can be a blur in the first months. Learning the ropes of the motherhood journey can be very overwhelming.

However, even with the new change, it's not unusual to want to get active as mothers try to regain tone and strength. Between nursing, nurturing and organising many mothers will yearn to fit into their pre-baby jeans and dresses again.

Matter of fact, new mothers are advised to include regular exercise in their regimes because it often helps them feel less stressed and more energised. With regular exercise, it will become easier to manage the demands of a new baby.

However, to ensure an effective and safe fitness journey, you need to take special precautions postpartum. Incorporating walking and jogging will benefit you and your baby as well,  especially if you take the baby with you.

All you need to get started is the right pair of shoes and the right strollers. With regular postpartum exercise, you will improve your immune function, improve your sleep, increase the production of antioxidants in your body, improve positive feelings, as well as improve your appetite for nourishing and healthy foods.

Here are three exercise that will help mothers get back in shape:


Even in preparation for labour, pregnant mothers are advised to incorporate walking because it helps with cardiovascular health and effectively strengthens your body for labor and delivery.

Regardless of your fitness level, every mother can add walking as part of their exercise routines because you can make it as challenging and as easy as you want.

Mothers who were used to high impact physical activity will also reap benefits from walking because it helps them stay active weeks after delivery before they can go back to intense workouts.

Women looking to start exercising during pregnancy as well as postpartum will also reap benefits from walking. Walking helps keep your weight and that of the baby in check during pregnancy, reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.

Walking will increase your flexibility while toning your hip flexor muscles as well, which helps support your recovery time.

Hence, new mothers can ease back in with gentle walking after the first couple of weeks post delivery. All you need is to find a suitable carrier and take your newborn baby on walks. We recommend that you find a carrier that will see you through your baby’s growing stages, preferably from 3-20kg.

Make sure the carrier has features that will make you and your newborn comfortable and free to easily explore the outdoors while making sure you get all the health benefits brought about by walking.

You and your partner can start with a trip around the block and slowly increase your pace. The best thing to do, however, is listening to your body. Listen to your body when you start noticing some signs that you're overdoing it – such as sore breasts, dizziness, bleeding, incisions not healing well, or needing more nap-time than you need exercise.

Running is a much higher impact exercise compared to walking. Walking is supposed to help you slowly ease back into running postpartum as your body fully adjusts and recovers after delivery.

Going back into running two weeks after birth puts new mother's bodies under undue stress, which causes their adrenal glands to pump out cortisol that increases their heart and breathing rates, as well as increases blood flow to the muscles.

Postpartum, cortisol levels in new mothers are already lower than usual. Hence the last thing you should do is tip the balance or overload your system.

After gradually increasing your walks, you can begin working towards picking up your pace if jogging is calling your name. All you have to do is buckle your baby into a jogging stroller and get exploring.

Luckily, you can find baby jogger’s strollers that come with a variety of different options that suit you and your baby, and your particular situation or terrain.

Gentle Yoga

Yoga allows stretching, which can also come in handy for your fitness. Even so, not all yoga is postnatal appropriate, but there are tender varieties like restorative yoga and yin yoga. These are good options for new mothers.

We advise new parents to always priorities rest and recovery even as they ease back in. Your body changes during pregnancy, so you need to take all these three exercises with ease. Remember that you are a new being in a whole new body, you gave birth to a fantastic baby, and so you need to respect where your body is at.

With the right equipment, you will be able to get outdoors and show your new baby it's new world, a day at a time!

For more information, go to Athletics Northern Ireland where there is an excellent, informative section on Female Athlete Health, which includes Return to Running - Post natal guidelines, Tips for running with a buggy and Exercises with videos