This post is written in collaboration with Sovende Børn.
Moonboon works closely with the NGO Sovende Børn and their team of specialists to provide updated, relevant advice and guidance on children's and babies' sleep. Read more about Sovende Børn at the bottom of the post.
The postpartum workout will physically boost you, restore your energy levels and brighten your mood. If you want to use a Baby Wrap you can even do your workout with your baby comfortably secured to your chest. It’ll be fun and rewarding for both of you, while still being comfortable to be this close. We want to share some exercises you can do to help you get started on your workout feeling your best from start to finish.
When you work out, your dopamine, serotonin and endorphin levels increase which can partly be ascribed to that ‘feel-good’-feeling you might recognize after any workout session.
Listed below you will find seven easy exercises that everyone to join in. All of them can be done with your baby in your Baby Wrap and on your baby’s terms. All exercises have something to strengthen your arms and bum and even dancing is included in the routines.
Enjoy the Benefits
Before we get started, we need to account for any safety measures for your physical health. Please continue to read about these and the many benefits postpartum workout has.
According to Baby Wrap Counsellor Birgitte Kassa and physiotherapist Line Piechnik, who specializes in mother and baby movements, a postpartum workout is a fantastic way to spend time with your baby. The workout will affect your endorphins, dopamine and serotonin levels, which influence your energy levels positively and it is a pain reliever.
Getting back to a workout routine after giving birth can be difficult, but once you do, you’ll find yourself happier and with plenty more energy to spare.
Use of a Baby Wrap has its advantages.
When your workout is done correctly, safely and with the right amount of respect for your body and your baby in the Baby Wrap, you will discover many advantages to benefit from.
- The Baby Wrap provides comfort and closeness to increase the production of oxytocin for the mind of both baby and mother.
- The Baby Wrap supports the child’s growth; regarding motor skills, verbal skills and the many important connections in the brain.
- The Baby Wrap can strengthen and tone your body and your core for extra energy.
- The Baby Wrap can counteract a postpartum reaction, improve your sleep and relieve stress.
It is completely your choice how much or how little you want to work out. But according to The Board of Health, it is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Your workout and movements should balance your physical and mental conditions after giving birth.
Comfort for Baby and Parent
It is important to remember that working out with a Baby Wrap or any other equipment to carry your child doesn’t come close to the workout you would do without said equipment. This is of course due to safety measures and because a baby’s anatomy can’t physically endure the same patterns of movements as an adult – even if the child is firmly placed in a Baby Wrap.
It is important that you listen to yourself and your baby when you work out. The most important thing is for the two of you to happily carry out the activities and accompanying movements. Consider and contemplate the following:
- Are there any after-effects of the birth; split abdominal muscles, weak pelvis, wounds or scars that need to heal? Of all things considered, you just need to take into consideration that your body has just performed the most extreme form of workout.
- Is your baby prone to spit-ups? In that case, you might have to limit your movements.
- Does your baby express discomfort with certain positions or movements? Then you need to consider postponing your workout and consult a professional who can give your baby a check-up.
- If you have the slightest amount of doubt about whether you’re ready to work out with your Baby Wrap or not, the best solution is to seek guidance from a doctor, physiotherapist or another professional.
General recommendations suggest that you wait to start your workout until after your 8-week doctor’s appointment, or at the very least until your doctor gives you the approval to start. Does this mean you have to sit around and do nothing while you wait? Of course not. For the first many weeks, there is still plenty of low key workout you can do:
- Re-connect with your pelvic floor.
- Enjoy and look after your baby – bonding will always be more important than any workout for the first many weeks.
- Get to know your body again and your new routines.
Always Workout on Your Baby’s Terms
When you work out with your baby in the Baby Wrap it is important to adjust every movement according to your baby’s terms.
- Your baby is not a substitute for a weight plate
- Movements should be calm and controlled and your baby must always feel seen and heard from start to finish.
- Violent, wild and sudden movements can stress your baby and will be a bad experience for both of you.
- Enduring a workout with a high pulse and heart rate, where you sweat and have trouble breathing can be stressful and confusing to your baby. However, yoga and other forms of workout as this help create a soft and calm environment that can help de-stress your baby.
Safety Above Everything Else
Certain risk factors are increased during working out while wearing a Baby Wrap but you can always accommodate these by making sure you have checked your child’s well-being from start to finish.
- Make sure your baby can breathe freely.
- Pay attention to your body temperature; when you move like this you create extra body heat inside the Baby Wrap. Make sure to check your baby’s temperature often by feeling its neck.
- The Baby Wrap must offer the best support according to your baby’s age.
- Make sure both adults and babies get enough to drink and that you do not overdo yourselves.
Quality Over Quantity
Working out doesn’t have to last a full hour to be efficient. If you don’t have the mental energy or focus to keep up with a good technique it is better to try again another day. But in case you need some ideas for exercises to do once you feel up for it again, look no further.
Something as simple as going for a walk with your little one in your Baby Wrap can do wonders for you and has been proven to have a positive effect on most things. It is a form of workout where most people can participate, including older siblings or any other family members who would want to join. You can walk at your normal pace in your usual surroundings. But you can also increase your speed just a tiny bit.
But always remember to listen to your body and do things at a speed you are most comfortable with.
Giving birth is an ordeal for the body and it varies how much the body has to deal with afterwards. This is another reason why it is important to listen to your body. Once you start to move about more and do a proper workout you should always pay attention to the following:
- Pains in your abdomen
- A sense of gravity
- Pains from your pelvis
- Involuntary urination
If you experience any of these symptoms the general recommendation is to wait and perhaps even get a check-up with your doctor.
Work-Out Methods and Exercises with Your Child in Your Baby Wrap
There are plenty of exercises you can do together. Listed below you’ll find 7 easy exercises everyone can do, even with your baby in your Baby Wrap as long as your baby thinks it’s fun.
1. Activate Your Pelvis
Can be used as a warm-up or continuously throughout the day.
1. You start by trying to activate your pelvis from your rectum – activate, release, repeat.
2. Then you should do small pelvic squeezes at a pace of your own choice. Do 10 repeats twice.
3. Squeeze your pelvis as tight as possible and hold it for up to 30 seconds. Repeat it once or twice.
4. Do another squeeze but only half the strength as before and hold it for up to 30 seconds. Repeat once or twice.
Try to match the pelvic squeezes with your breathing – but don’t ever hold your breath.
Breathe in – Breath out and then activate your pelvis.
For this exercise, we really want to work on your bum. Your bum tends to disappear after giving birth and who can blame it when it’s being forced to sit more than it used to? Furthermore, the muscles of your bum help to support the muscles of your abdomen.
- Align your hips with your feet.
- As you breathe in you bend your knees and push your bum back.
- As you exhale you tighten your pelvis and then you get up again.
- Never hold your breath.
- Do 10-12 repeats 3 times.
Lunges are yet another great way to activate your thighs and your bum to make sure your entire body is strengthened.
- As you stand, one foot should be slightly pushed forward than the other but not on the same line.
- As you breathe in you drop your back knee to the ground while maintaining a natural curve on your lower back.
- As you exhale you tighten your pelvis (from the back – half force) and stand up again.
- Never hold your breath.
- Do 6-8 repeats on each leg 3 times.
An exercise that strengthens the back of your arms and who wouldn’t want a bit of extra strength here, when you constantly have to lug around your little bundle of joy?
1. Find a chair, sofa or any other raised surface and stand before it.
2. Place both hands on the edge and try to keep a 90-degree bend in your knees. You may have to stretch your legs further to make room for your baby.
3. Take a deep breath. When you exhale you activate your abdomen and bend and stretch your elbows.
4. Do 10-12 repeats 3 times.
Many exercises revolve around this one and with good reason. But it can always be adjusted to every level for everyone.
1. Stand in front of a wall and place your hands on the wall with your arms outstretched.
2. Breathe in.
3. As you exhale activate your abdomen and bend and stretch your arms.
4. Do 8-10 repeats 3 times.
6. An Adult Roll
Yes, you didn’t misread. But don’t worry, you won’t have to roll around on the floor and least of all with your baby strapped to your chest.
1. Stand with your head slightly tilted to one side.
2. Now slowly rotate twice around yourself (if it was easy, do it 4 times)
3. Change sides
4. Feel free to stand close to a wall to hold on to if you should find yourself dizzier than expected.
This is an exercise that both stimulates you and your baby’s vestibular balance and helps you regain your inner body balance.
Need I say more? Dancing is a great way to work out for both body and mind and when you dance together you bond beautifully. It is also great for oxytocin levels, a sense of community and the entire positive mood of your home.
* Always be aware of your sense of gravitational pull, pains, and involuntary urination – all the things you should pay attention to for any workout every time.
To Sum Up
• Both mummy and baby will benefit greatly from working out with the Baby Wrap.
• Quality over quantity. It’s better to do just 10 minutes of proper exercise.
• When you’re safe about everything there are no limits to what you can do. Only your imagination will be your limit. You can go for a walk, do yoga together, or squat till you drop.
• When you want to work out with your baby in your Baby Wrap you always have to remember to do things without obstructing or annoying your baby.
• Working out with the Baby Wrap shouldn’t be done without caution and it’s not every sort of activity you can do from the start.
• Both mummy and baby must be physically and mentally prepared to do the activities you plan to do.
• Safety is above all else, so make sure to check all your safety lists.
About Sovende Børn
Sovende Børn is an online universe for parents and professionals seeking guidance and information about babies and children's sleep and sleep issues.
The purpose is to give parents and professionals the right tools to make informed choices that suit the individual child's sleep situation.
On the website and social media outlets, you will find updated and reliable information about available research, as well as webinars, workshops, courses, etc.
Thank you for being among our readers.
I’m Marie, mom to a little boy. And I’m the woman behind the Moonboon company making organic and sustainable baby accessories that respect people and the environment.
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I want for my son to sleep in optimal conditions, and I want the same for your baby. That’s why I’m especially proud of our GOTS certified hammock and the specially designed motor that has helped me and many other parents sleep better at night.
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