Mums should exercise when they feel ready

JUDGEMENT: Personal trainer and businesswoman Michelle Bridges came under fire for publicly announcing she was getting back into running after giving birth in mid-December.I read with interest last week as Michelle Bridgescame under fire for posting that she was running to regain her pre-pregnancy fitness.She drew criticism because her baby was born mid-December and many physiotherapy experts were up in arms that the superstar personal trainer was sending the wrong message by jogging so soon after birth.

I know this comment may attract some criticism too but, I say, good on her. With her experience she obviously knows her body and its limits. She did addthat she was a fitness professional with 30 years of experience and other new mums might want to tone it down a little.

INDIVIDUAL: Every mum is different and every body is different. New mothers should take their time to get active again and be guided by their medical practitioners.

I am not sure she was actually suggesting other mums should be jogging after just a matter of weeks but rather was letting them know where they could start when ready. Everyone is different and every body is different. Others might take a lot longer to get active again and can only be guided by their medical practitioners.

I remember getting some horrified looks at a post-birth physiotherapy talk just days after our baby had arrived when I asked if I couldplay soccer in a month or two. I would never do anything to put my body at risk but exercise is a huge stress release for me and I could not bear being out of action for an extended period.

I resumed exercise after consultation with the relevant specialists, starting with walking and a lot of gentle pelvic floor work. But I did manage to play soccer that season and I was glad I did as it was important for me to have that time to myself and to be active, so I felt better mentally and physically.

Becoming a new parent can be stressful enough without being lambasted for something you are doing. Maintaining good mental health after baby’s arrivalis vital for both mother and father, and for some, like I would assume Bridges, exercise is key to achieving that.I think women should be encouraged to get active again sooner rather than later after giving birth, as long as it is with the guidance of a physical specialist.

Some research has shown that exercise in the first three months after birth can help reduce the risk of maternal postnatal depression. I recently started a conversation about mental health and this week I want to touch on postnatal depression. I was discovered through Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australiathat, “More than 1 in 7 new mumsand up to 1 in 10 new dads experience postnatal depression each yearin Australia”.

There is no one cause for postnatal depression but adjusting to the changes of being a parent is thought to be a factor in some cases and there is nothing worse than people criticising you as a new parent.I think as we continue to talk about mental health in our community, offering support for new parents is important.

The Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia website (panda.org419论坛)has some really helpful information for new parents and for those around them. It has ahotline (1300 726 306),lists symptoms of postnatal depression and where to seek help.

Renee is a qualified personal trainer, mother and writer. [email protected]南京夜网

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