Group Fitness Sessions… what are they, when should a new Mum start one and what are the benefits?
Specific Postnatal Exercise Class
As with any specific exercise class you want to attend, the suitability of the class is always dependent upon the instructor’s underpinning knowledge and expertise taking that class. If you are unsure as to the suitability of the class you want to start, don’t be afraid to ask. Question your instructor on qualifications gained and how many years of experience they have. See if they have any recommendations/reviews from previous or existing clients. If they are up to scratch then they will not be offended, but instead pleased to share this information with you.
Mum and Baby Makes 2
‘Mum and Baby Makes 2’ is a group exercise class I am launching at the beginning of November. With this class comes the knowledge and experience of teaching Les Mills classes for nearly 16 years, together with my knowledge of being a Postnatal Specialist. Babies will obviously be welcome! But as I have mentioned before, I will never allow Mums to use their baby as a form of resistance. This could cause Mum some damage if her pelvic floor, core or back is weak. What’s more, it can hurt baby as well if they are not supported in a safe way. Baby can still bond with Mum, particularly when it comes to floor work when during push-ups, for example. Mum can come down to give a little kiss or smile or touch noses, as the picture above shows.
The Postnatal Check-Up
So Mum can attend a specific class like this following that all-important postnatal check-up around the 6-8 week or 8-10 week (after a c-section.) However, before commencing a class with me, Mum will be asked to fill out a Postnatal Questionnaire. This will highlight any areas that the instructor may feel is prudent for a further check-up either with the GP, midwife or other Health Care Provider.
Remember the 6-8 week check only covers the basics. The birth, pelvic floor, core and posture all need further probing to ensure that Mum has the basic foundations to start. Take a look at my previous blog for what is included in building a strong foundation.
Sometimes a referral is required before Mum can start. For example, a pelvic floor issue may need to be addressed by a Well-Women’s Physio or Mummy MOT expert. There is no point starting exercise if it will only result in an existing condition becoming weaker or made worse. This is when a specialised class instructor comes into their own, because they have been trained in what to look out for.
Every Mum Is Different
When starting, the instructor will take into account the pregnancy and delivery, the effects of breastfeeding, the continuing effects of joint instability, the reduction of lumbopelvic stability coupled with postural change. Movements should be simple and easy to follow.
Classes will concentrate on:
- building foundations to strengthen muscles weakened through pregnancy
- lengthening muscles that have shortened
- addressing core, pelvic floor and posture
All exercises need to be suitable and allowance should be made for the varying levels within the room. Where necessary, options should be readily available as ‘one shoe does not fit all.’
So why do Mums love going to postnatal classes?
Pure and simple… the social and emotional benefits of such a class are invaluable. A sense of community amongst each Mum will develop, as each shares their concerns and anxieties. Plus not forgetting those happy milestones she and baby make individually and together.
Another benefit is that returning to a normal gym environment can often be rather intimidating. A class such as this provides a non-threatening environment when all new Mums are starting off on an equal footing.
Plus it is good for the:
Next time I will be taking a look at Buggy Workouts!
Happy Exercise, Happy Mum, Happy Baby!