How to exercise after childbirth with babywearing home workouts
Baby is here, and you are starting to feel like yourself again but just can’t seem to get motivated to start working out. With a young baby, there are many barriers to exercise, and it's challenging to get to a gym, especially when it can be an all-day event getting out of the house! Other barriers may include fatigue, cost and family and work responsibilities.
How can you work exercise into your day while keeping Baby happy and entertained? Babywearing workouts are the perfect solution for busy moms — and can be done with little equipment in the comfort of your own home.
Physical activity after giving birth has many benefits. According to a review article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, exercise may lead to decreased incidence of postpartum depression, increased energy, better sleep, improved body composition and strength and decreased risk of conditions such as diabetes both during and after pregnancy. By engaging in home workouts, you can conveniently reap the benefits of physical activity while having fun with your wee one!
A gradual resumption of exercise postpartum is best. According to a 2002 article in Current Sports Medicine Reports, stretching, pelvic floor and breathing exercises are safe to perform immediately after birth. You should only begin a moderate-intensity exercise program after your first postpartum checkup.
A supportive, soft structured carrier or wrap is perfect for low- to moderate-intensity workouts with babies age 3 months to 2 years. Many exercises can be done with no equipment or with a resistance band if you want an added challenge.
It is always important to consider Baby’s health and happiness first. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations when using any baby carrier, and ensure appropriate fit and positioning before beginning any workout program.
Tips and tricks for working out while babywearing
- Baby should be well supported in a front or back carry position and have adequate head and trunk support.
- Wear lightweight clothing to prevent overheating of both you and Baby.
- Never lift dumbbells or weights over a baby’s head.
- Always tailor workouts to your own fitness level.
- High-intensity exercise should never be done while babywearing, and exercises where the baby is hanging between your body and the ground or at an angle of more than 45 degrees in any direction are not recommended.
- Use common sense: If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it!
Simple body-weight exercises such as squats, wall pushups and tricep dips are a great place to start while babywearing. Even just 10 minutes a day can increase your strength and endurance, especially in your upper body.
No-equipment babywearing routine
Complete five rounds of the circuit:
- 20 squats
- 15 lunge pulses on each leg
- 10 tricep dips on chair
- 1 minute incline plank