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Archive for January 2017

Meetup for Mums and Babies

meet other mums

Wednesdays at 12am at the Castleknock Community Centre.  Drop in.  All welcome.

 Come and meet other mums for friendship and support.  

You may be the only ones in your circle of friends to have a baby right now.  Perhaps you do not have any family living close by who can offer good practical and emotional support. Maybe you are looking for other like-minded mums to share stories and tips with.  Do you just want to get out of the house and have adult company during your maternity leave?  Did you have a rough start to being a mum, perhaps you or your baby have health issues which are making it difficult to enjoy your maternity leave.  Come and join our friendly, relaxed group.

castleknock community centre

Weekly Meetup for Mums

Time:  12-1:30pm 
Venue:  Castleknock Community Centre, Laurel Lodge Road, Dublin 15

Pop in any week to the coffee shop at the community centre.  The staff are welcoming, and are breast-and bottle feeding-friendly.  The tea is just €1 a pot, and they have good, homemade scones.  There is a changing table in the ladies’.  You can park right outside in the centre car park.

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Getting Back to Exercise after Having a Baby: Do’s and Don’ts

You might be raring to get back into marathon running, or just wanting to get off the sofa and do something about your ‘mummy tummy’.  Either way, it is advisable to be sensible and to mind yourself.  You still have increased levels of one of the pregnancy hormones, relaxin in your body up to 6 months post-partum, or longer if you are breastfeeding.  Your ligaments are still looser than normal, and hence you are at increased risk of muscle strains and torn ligaments. Getting back to exercise after having a baby needs a lot of planning and patience too.

do'sDo…start slowly and listen to your body.  Your fitness level may well be at a low base level when you start back.  This is a time to start getting active again, not to set up any goals for personal bests.

don'tsDon’t…do high impact exercise such as running or star jumps until 6 months post-partum, or longer if you are still breastfeeding, because of the increased levels of the hormone relaxin. You don’t want to risk a long term injury such as a torn cruciate ligament through being impatient.  There are other ways to add intensity to your workout.  Try taking a post-natal exercise class to get ideas about how to do this.

do'sDo…use exercise as an opportunity to meet like-minded people.  Join up with other new mums for friendship, support and to keep your fitness goals on track.

don'tsDon’t …over-stretch at the end of a session.  That extra relaxin in your body means you can pull muscles more easily than usual.

do'sDo…choose a class or activity that is truly baby-friendly.  If you have a lot of family support and can work out regularly without your baby, then that’s great – go ahead and join the gym.  Otherwise, be realistic and pick something where your baby can come too, otherwise you will probably end up quitting sooner rather than later.

don'tsDon’t…forget about your pelvic floor.  Try bouncing on the bed or sneezing.  If there is any leakage, you will find it beneficial in the long term to do those pelvic floor exercises.  Doing high impact exercise before your pelvic floor is ready will do it harm, not good.

do'sDo…get your tummy checked for ‘diastasis recti’ – where the outer tummy muscles (rectus abdominus) are separated.  This is fairly common after pregnancy and will resolve with appropriate exercise, but there are lots of common exercises you should avoid.  Don’t increase the separation by doing abdominal ‘crunches’.  Instead, work on strengthening your inner tummy muscles (transverse abdominus, or TvA).

don'tsDon’t…set unrealistic goals for getting fit again.  You may get demoralised through having a low base level of fitness, fewer opportunities to exercise and any post-natal complications.  Why not try something new instead, so you are not able to make direct comparisons with where you were at before.  Try setting goals such as ‘3 sessions of exercise this week’ as opposed to ‘running 10k in under 60 minutes’.

And lastly,

do'sDo…enjoy getting active again!  Revel in the endorphins!  Feel confident in your body!  Feel great about making the effort!  Your body and mind will both thank you for it.

Hilary Hooks

I am a qualified post-natal fitness instructor and feel passionately about helping mums to get active again through safe, appropriate exercise.

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