Bump, Birth and Baby – the three b’s guaranteed to change your life forever! (In a good way - as opposed to the booze, benders and blokes called Bryan of your teens).
Look into any celebrity style magazine and you will find pages and pages featuring celebrity Mums-To-be “keeping in shape” or new mums out running with baby in a three-wheeled buggy. Both of these activities are commendable, however, we can all see only too clearly how the desire for a pre-pregnancy body can be dangerously obsessive – and some of the extreme measures executed in celeb-land really aren’t good for your physical or mental wellbeing!
We’re happy to tell you therefore, that there’s a sensible, healthy option for Perthshire and Kinross mums who want to keep active during pregnancy and beyond. If you - or someone you know - are expecting a baby, or if you're a new parent then read on!
A little exercise can help pregnant women feel more energised and this is particularly true for women who are used to keeping fit. In addition to improved muscle tone, strength and endurance, regular exercise will also help pregnant women sleep better, keep mentally well and reduce the anxiety and stress that is a natural part of having a baby.
Although full-on aerobic exercise isn’t suitable for month 9, mums-to-be can enjoy the majority of classes throughout their pregnancy. Many of LAL’s 600+ employees are parents themselves so they know only too well that leaving a new baby at home in order to exercise is a tough choice for a parent make. The suitability of each activity will depend on individual circumstances and so we do recommended that women contact the Live Active Leisure fitness team (email email@example.com) or speak to their usual instructor who will be delighted to offer various options to help them keep going as long as they are comfortable.
TRY: Aqua-natal classes have been designed especially for pregnant women and are a great way to keep fit and to meet other mums-to-be. Available at Perth Leisure Pool on Wednesday mornings at 9.30am.
Quite simply, being fit and active can make dealing with the physical and mental stress of labour more manageable. Jane Wake, a leading ante-natal fitness expert has conducted research which shows that that women who exercise little and often – 30 minutes three to five times a week - tend to have easier births, shorter labours and quicker recovery times. They also tend to be more confident about their bodies and the whole birthing process.
TRY: The 'talk test' while working out. "You should be able to talk comfortably throughout your exercise," explains Jane.
During the first few weeks of a new baby, you may feel sleep deprived and emotional. Bonding with your baby is a big part of being a new parent and heading to the gym or pool with your new arrival dropped off at the babysitters might not be the happiest option for you or your little one.
Many of LAL’s 600+ employees are parents themselves so they know only too well that leaving a new baby at home in order to exercise is a tough choice for a parent make. So why not ease in gently with one of the local award-winning buggy walks; great exercise and the chance to socialise with other new parents can take place all whilst growing the bond with your baby.
When ready, new mums can step back into their usual class – make sure you’re attending classes led by an experienced instructor who will offer options to help you work towards pre-baby fitness levels. Remember, it’s not a race at this stage!
TRY: Gentle aerobics classes are available in most areas - remember, if you are new to exercise it is recommended that you speak to your doctor, health visitor or midwife before undertaking any new exercise.
A wee note: We’d love for you to share this blog with any crèches, nurseries, schools or other parent and family focused groups.
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