Feeling ready to exercise again after having a baby? New mums are encouraged to wait until their postnatal doctors check to resume exercise – typically at about six to eight weeks after birth. But even if you’ve had the go-ahead and are raring to go, you shouldn’t jump back into high impact, high intensity workouts straight away.
Even if you feel relatively fit postpartum, your body needs time to recover and restore, which won’t be helped if you go straight back to pounding the pavements or expecting to be as fit as you we’re pre-pregnancy.
This is where these specialist postnatal fitness programmes come in. Designed to gently ease you back in with a focus on pelvic floor work and stretching and strengthening muscles that feel the strain in the early days of motherhood (including abs, back and shoulders), they will help to build up your fitness slowly and sustainably with minimal risk of injury. Here are just a few of our favourites.
Kayla Itsines’ Post-Pregnancy programme
Australian trainer Kayla Itsines developed her post-pregnancy fitness programme after the birth of her daughter in 2019. Available through her Sweat app, it features 16 weeks of workouts that “focus on rebuilding foundational core and pelvic floor strength before progressing into larger, more complex movements.”
New users can get a seven-day free trial via the App Store, sign up for monthly membership at £14.99 or save 50 percent with annual membership of £89.99. You’ll also have access to other plans including barre, yoga and gym-based strength training.
Kelsey Wells’ PWR Post-Pregnancy plan
Also available via the Sweat app, Kelsey Wells’ PWR Post-Pregnancy programme is comprised of 28 weeks of post-pregnancy safe workouts focusing on rebuilding core strength and correcting postural issues that may arise during pregnancy.
Results with Bump
Lucy Mecklenburgh’s RWL app has a full postnatal barre plan available that features 12 weeks worth of workouts. There are also several other workouts covering everything from Pilates to dance fitness, along with midwife advice, breastfeeding support and guidance on food allergies in babies.
Membership is £19.99 a month and also features access to the other training plans, recipes and wellness content.
This medically-recommended 12 week programme is designed especially for new mums designed to focus on tackling common issues such as Diastasis Recti (ab separation) and a weakened pelvic floor, promising a flatter, stronger stomach, as well as no more bladder leakage or painful sex which many women suffer with after having a baby. Annual membership costs £99 from mutusystem.co.uk.
Lucy Flow Yoga
Popular with mums through pregnancy and beyond, Lucy Flow Yoga’s postnatal yoga and wellness course covers sections such as pelvic floor and core, c-section recovery and even workouts you can do with your baby.
Available for £20 per month on a pay as you go subscription, or as little as £12 a month when you sign up for yearly membership access at £144. Find out more at lucyflow.com.
Are there any postnatal fitness programmes you love? Share your recommendations here.