Your Baby and You - page 36

Mothers that breastfeed can burn an extra 500 calories a
day. Now you have given birth, you may be wondering
how to begin exercising safely to help your body return to
its pre-pregnancy condition.
It is important that after having a baby you continue to take good care of
yourself and restarting a few simple exercises early on can increase your
energy levels and help to improve your fitness. However, it is important that
you start gently with a few safe exercises and only do what feels comfortable.
Going out for a walk with your baby in the pram is a good way of getting
exercise and fresh air for you both. Start at an easy pace, gradually increasing
the time to 30 minutes and building up the pace to a brisk walk.
The effect on your ligaments becoming more flexible in pregnancy means
that joint problems can be made worse by excessive stretching or high impact
exercise. These effects continue for up to 5 months after birth. It is a good
idea to wait until 3 months postnatal to return to high impact exercise to
reduce the risk of injury. High impact exercise is any exercise when both feet
leave the floor at the same time. Swimming is a low impact exercise and you
can start when you are 7 clear days free of vaginal bleeding, and when any
scarring is fully healed. If you have had a Caesarean section you may prefer
to wait until your GP appointment.
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