Getting Back in Shape after Having Your Baby*

Thursday, 8 March 2018, By Dr Michael Levitt MB BS FFARACS FANZCA

The Double Bay Studio is  proud to share this article, written by our friend Dr Michael Levitt MB BS FFARACS FANZCA

Obstetric Anaesthetist - Head of Obstetric Anaesthesia Norwest Private Hospital & Vision PT Double Bay Member since February 2016

For a new mother, the weeks after giving birth is an exciting but daunting experience. Caring for the new baby, feeding and bonding is often accompanied by sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Of course, the love of the new baby and promise of family life provides some compensation.

However, within a few weeks of giving birth, a sense of isolation, loneliness, a craving for adult interaction and loss of identity may set in, especially where the partner has resumed work and there is limited support from extended family. There is also a desire to take off the "baby weight", get back into good physical shape and re-establish good core strength and pelvic floor muscles. After all, pregnancy and childbirth are major stressors to a woman's body.

Joining a gym, getting a Personal Trainer and setting up regular sessions to get back into condition are a good way to regain personal identity and fitness. Firstly, it is an excuse for adult company and conversation. If you can get someone (like a parent or grandparent) to look after your baby and you attend the training alone, you will again be seen as an independent person and not just as a "new mum". You can regain your sense of self.

Graded exercises to rebuild core strength and pelvic floor exercises will do wonders for your health, sense of well-being and restarting your sex life. Walking, cycling and gentle weights will improve your level of fitness and protect you from the stresses of bending and lifting associated with the care of your new baby.

Another thing you can consider as a new mother is joining a mothers' group in your area. You will find that sharing adult conversation and understanding that every other new mother is in a similar position to you makes coping with new motherhood much easier. You will make new friends, maybe get a "walking buddy" to get you out of the house and into the fresh air and boost your mental and physical fitness.

An old African proverb says that "it takes a village to raise a child". We now live in separate isolated families. Create your own "village" of training buddies and other mothers in the area so that you can better enjoy the delights of motherhood.


*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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