Classes for you and your baby to enjoy together
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Posts Tagged post-natal

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.




VIDEO Post-Natal Exercise with Baby in a Sling: tone your bum

exercise with baby

Here’s a ten minute post-natal programme to tone up your bum while you are carrying your baby in a sling.

exercise with baby

Mum and Baby Zumba. Drop in, Castleknock, Dublin 15

Classes are on hold for the summer 2016 as our venues have summer camps on.  Please email me to register interest if you would like to join us in September.


Wednesdays 10:45am Castleknock Community Centre

Love Zumba? Love spending time with your baby too? Come and try our post-natal dance fitness class where babies are welcome to come along.

Your baby might like to socialise with other babies on the mat at the side of the room, sleep in his/ her buggy or stay cosy next to you in the sling.


zumba - baby friendly classWhy choose Active Mum?
– Flexibility. The 4-cass passis valid for all mum and baby fitness classes, and is valid for 8 weeks, so you are free to pick and choose your classes for when it suits you both.
– Socialising. I know how important it is for you to meet other mums for friendship and support. Mums are encouraged to stay around after the class for tea and chat in the coffee shop at the community centre.
– Safety. I am a qualified post-natal fitness instructor and zumba instructor. You can be sure that the exercises are safe and effectve. If you have any post-natal health issues (e.g. spd, diastasis recti etc) please let me know.

If you want to use a baby sling/ carrier but don’t have one of your own, you can borrow a sling from the Active Mum sling library.

Mum and Baby Zumba Class Details

Wednesdays at 10:45am
Castleknock Community Centre, Laurel Lodge Road, Dublin 15

First class €5
4 class pass €40
4-class pass €40

Drop in. Please contact Hilary prior to coming for the first time. Email Hilary/ 087 917 2939

Buggy Fit Phoenix Park or St. Brigid’s Community Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

buggy fit phoenix park

Good news! I have an alternative venue for buggy fit for when it rains:

Buggy Fit, Thursdays at 10am.

Fair weather: Phoenix Park (car park at the Papal Cross near the American Embassy off Chesterfield Ave, Dublin 7)

Please contact Hilary before coming for the first time:  email Hilary or text 087 917 2939


About Buggy Fit Phoenix Park

The best way to get back in shape after you have had your baby.  Safe, effective exercises to help you get toned and active again.  Bring your baby along and feel reassured that it’s a baby-led class – you can feel free to soothe, feed or change your baby at any time.

buggy fit lunge slider 1200

Don’t worry about what kind of buggy you have – it does not need to be a running buggy. We walk, not run, with the buggies on the decent footpaths, so whatever you have will be fine.

Buggy Fit Phoenix Park Course Details

Time:  10-11am on Thursdays

Fair Weather Venue:  Phoenix Park, Car Park, Papal Cross, Phoenix Park, Dublin 7.  Google map.  Come to the left of the Papal Cross as you are looking at it from the car park, at the corner of the car park.

Foul weather: St. Brigid’s Community Centre, Church Ave, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
Drop in any week.
First class €5 then €40 for 4 classes.

Buggy Fit Course €40

More information about buggy fit.

Sling and Dance Post natal Exercise Routine for Mums – Burn

Sling and Dance Post natal Exercise Routine



RTE shoot of Sling and Dance Fitness Class: a great success

Sling and Dance exercise for mums

Thanks to everyone who came to the sling and dance fitness  class today to make it such a success for the RTE crew. We had a large, buzzing class full of mums with great slings and happy babies.  Both the cameraman and the director were full of praise for the class and the calming effect it had on the babies.  Hopefully that will come across in the programme itself.

It’s airing during the third week of November – I’ll post the exact time and day when I have the information.

Sling and Dance Lucan

Sling and Dance Fitness for Mums, Anna in Lucan

Sling and Dance Fitness for Mums

New Sling & Dance Promo Video

Sling and Dance at the Castleknock Community Centre