The Biggest Mistakes New Moms Make When Returning to Exercise After Giving Birth

After giving birth, many new moms stress about their postpartum bodies and want to bounce back into their pre-baby figures the second that baby comes out. However, one fitness blogger is pointing out that there are a lot of things to keep in mind before returning to exercise. Brittany Noonan welcomed her daughter in 2015, but as a trainer, she wanted to warn new moms of the easy mistakes they can make when trying to shed those pregnancy pounds.

Brittany runs the blog The Fashionable Fit Mum, and explained that her "love and passion is to teach women about safe exercise during and after birth." But above all, she wants to make sure that new moms are extra cautious when working out after giving birth and stressed the importance of not rushing back into exercise.

Check out what she says on her blog NOT to do when returning to exercise after having a baby.

  • On doing too much or starting too soon: "Give your body time to heal and ensure you have had your six-week check up before starting any exercise routine. I would recommend listening to your body and staying aware of how it feels — it may take a lot longer than six weeks to be ready to exercise. . . . When it is time, ease back into it. Don't over do it — this will cause so much muscle tension and tightness you wont be able sit on the toilet, bend down to pick up the baby and will turn you off going back. Overdoing it can also cause injury which will not help but hinder your health and fitness goals."
  • On comparing yourself: "Do not compare yourself to anyone whether it's your friend, sister, the neighbor or a celebrity when returning after baby. All our bodies, pregnancies and births were different and so were our pre-baby bodies. Don't jump on Instagram and start comparing yourself to other 'fit mums' who have a whole lot more time, in most cases money and education around fitness. What is right for them to have achieved is not necessarily right for you. Remember: 'comparison is the thief of joy.'"
  • On doing it alone: "Don't just go back to what you were doing before or try to go in alone. . . . Our bodies go through huge changes through out pregnancy and birth so we need to treat our bodies differently than before and learn those ways to safely protect and strengthen our bodies for the future. The BEST thing you can do before returning to exercise and something I highly recommend to everyone is to see a women's health physio to have your pelvic floor strength tested, your abdominal separation checked and also a general check up of your joints particularly those around your pelvis and lower back. This will give you a clear outline of where to start."
  • On sit-ups and crunches: "Yep, you've heard me harp on about it but I will not stop until the message is heard by all of my community. DO NOT DO SIT UP AND CRUNCHES during or after pregnancy. This applies to every pregnant woman, the first six months postpartum for everyone and for any one with any abdominal separation until it heals. Other abdominal exercises to avoid include — leg lifts, mountain climbers, chin-ups, jack-knives or any abdominal exercise that feels uncomfortable or causes a bulge to pop through."
  • On putting too much pressure on yourself: "Don't be so hard on yourself, listen to your body, start slow, learn to enjoy exercise and do it at your own pace. Don't go in to it expecting to be as strong or fit as you were pre-baby. You may not be able to do the things you used to such as those heavy squats, intense spin class or 10km runs — it's normal. When it comes to postpartum fitness slow and steady definitely wins the race for long term health."