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Postnatal Series: Working out with your baby

Working out with your baby

In this series Merrithew Master Instructor Trainer Laureen Dubeau takes a look at postnatal fitness through the lens of STOTT PILATES®.

When life includes a newborn, it is often difficult and sometimes impossible to find time to work out. The trick may be to make your baby part of your workout. Baby will enjoy the movement and stimulation and you’ll enjoy the extra resistance and mood boost your exercise program will provide. Follow the guidelines for your stage of postnatal fitness making sure your form remains ideal at all times. Keep in mind that the safety and well being of your infant should be your first priority.

Considerations:

  • Be sure the baby is well supported at all times
  • Exercises that include eye contact with the baby will provide more stimulation
  • Be aware of your own fitness concerns like diastasis recti or pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Perform exercises well, being aware of correct form and posture

Exercise: Shoulder Bridge Prep with Baby

Starting Position:

Lie supine (on the back) with spine in a neutral position, knees bent with feet on the mat hip-distance apart, sit baby on lower abdomen with back resting against your thighs

Movement:

  • Breathe in to prepare
  • Breathe out and lift the pelvis, keeping spine in one long line and making sure the baby’s back and head are supported (if necessary)
  • Breathe in and lower pelvis to mat
  • Repeat 10–12 times

Note: Once in the bridge position, lower one hip slightly then press back up to top position. Repeat lowering one side then the other allowing baby to rock gently from side to side. Make sure lower back is not arched during movement. Then, lower the pelvis back down to the mat.

Other exercise options:

Push Up Preps – baby on the floor, Footwork on Reformer – baby on your belly, Chest Press – lifting baby to ceiling

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