In case you missed it:
My top five tips for feeling fabulous after giving birth
If you are currently pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant, work on your fitness now. This will help you to feel stronger throughout your pregnancy, enable you to cope better with the birth and recover more quickly. Go to specific pre-natal exercise classes or check out my DVD.
Get to know your body – start first with the pelvic floor. This is the muscle that you use for stopping yourself going to the toilet but also works in childbirth, when you cough, sneeze, etc and is also part of 'your inner core unit', learning to work this will make you stronger on the inside. This will not only help with your post baby tum but will also make you feel more confident, stronger and less prone to back pain etc.
To work your pelvic floor – start by stopping yourself going to the toilet through your back passage, then through your front and then think of lifting these two feelings up through your centre. Put your hands on your tummy as you do this and you will feel your tummy draw in. Used relax breathing throughout, lift up and then make sure you let the muscles fully relax before you lift up again. Try and do 10 of these at least three times a day.
Be realistic about what you want to achieve. Your body will have changed dramatically during your pregnancy, even your rib cage will have expanded making you wider than you were before - this takes time to recover, up to a year. But whose clock watching? Give yourself mile stones, such as being able to walk strongly for 30 – 60 minutes with the pram or getting into trousers you wore pre-pregnancy. Make each milestone realistic and something that means a lot to you - like a new dress for your baby's christening.
Keep congratulating yourself on what you have done! You've made a baby and I know it takes two, but let's face it, you have done all the hard work! So, spend some time with other women who have done the same, talk openly with them and you'll find that they are exactly the same as you! We run postnatal pilates classes and classes we call Body back After Baby where we focus on social fun. Babies are in the class and it's a right old laugh, but we are also partial to a few tears with lots of hugs and support along the way! This is as important as the exercise itself! It's about you and being made to feel a strong, confident and totally gorgeous mum!