Once your newborn arrives, there’s so much to think about – feeding routines, bath times, and sleeping schedules. It’s no surprise that many new mums feel run down, and too busy to bounce straight back to exercise – but 67% say they still feel negative about their post-baby body, with 64% saying they feel pressure to ‘bounce back’ to their former shape shortly after giving birth.
We asked our Kiddicare fans to let us know how they feel about their post-baby bodies – and over 2,000 of you replied! Most new mums felt self-conscious of stretch marks on their stomach and breasts. Although many of you tried walking (74%) or swimming (36%) while you were pregnant, most new mums found it took them up to 6 months for them to feel ready to get exercising after birth.
But where is the pressure to ‘bounce back’ so quickly after birth coming from? 29% said the pressure came from the media showing svelte celebrity mothers looking slim shortly after birth, but 35% of you admitted that the most pressure comes from yourselves. For most of you, the biggest barrier to getting fit was feeling too tired, with 36% of you saying, as a new parent, you just don’t have enough time to exercise – so we wanted to help our fans out.
We’re encouraging new mums not to dwell on those negative thoughts – but celebrate how much their body has achieved (and can still achieve) instead! We know it can feel like there’s not enough expert advice on exercising after pregnancy without feeling like you have to rush into things, so we’re working with pre- and post-natal consultant Margarita Bennett to give you a realistic guide to getting fighting fit after giving birth.
“Pregnant women are often not prepared for the dramatic changes to their bodies; no one really tells you what happens afterwards,” says Margarita. “You have a baby and think you will ‘spring back’ but it doesn’t quite happen like that. You need to work towards it – it’s taken 9 months for your body to change and it’s going to take about 9 months, depending on what kind of birth you’ve had, to return back to a similar position.”
It’s so important to make sure the exercise you’re doing is safe and effective, and helps you to feel confident with your body. Our Kiddicare Head of Commercial, Lynn Coates, says: “It’s so important for [new mums] to remember to look after themselves, as well as their family. New mums have told us there is not enough information about the changes a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy and we want to offer down-to-earth advice – from one mother to another.”
Our brand-new ‘Look After Yourself’ hub is now live, and it’s filled with great fitness and health advice for new mums. We’ll be filling it with all the great content that you tell us you want to see, and there’ll be loads of chances to share tips and advice with other new mums in your position – so that you can feel in control of your own health and happiness.