My baby is 8 weeks today and I (not the baby, me) have reached a milestone: got a green light from my doctor to start seriously exercising. It seems I was a bit conservative in my approach to this. At least my doctor thought I should have just gone with it as soon as I felt ready.
Me: can I really do ANY kind of exercise?
Doctor: well, why do you even ask? Of course! Maybe not lifting 100 kg at once…
So, today I have (for the first time) tried the baby-mom fitness concept. It is pretty simple – fitness class created specifically for new moms and their babies, where the circumstances are adapted to the new baby reality.The first class I tried was organized by Pushy moms.
Pushy moms concept is exercising in the nature, where the baby spends most of the time in the pram and (hopefully) sleeps while the mom exercises. Classes take place in a few selected parks/nature areas in Copenhagen and around it. All exercises focus on the recovery and regaining strength after birth. The class takes 1 hr, incl. warm up, light run with the pram, strength training and cool down/stretching.
I was a bit concerned about baby V, as she is not so keen on just lying in the pram. Luckily, she ate and fell asleep just before the class. I came to the agreed place in the park close to my home, where the trainer was already waiting and soon 5 more mothers with the prams showed up.
We started with some light exercise and core training. Not very hard, but definitely got the pulse up. This was followed by a light run. Speed was definitely manageable, even though I had not run since the beginning of my pregnancy and was a bit concerned about this. However, the speed was low and in case running was too much, power walking was also an option.
We ran to an open area, were we then stood in a circle and did various strength exercises for legs, arms and later back and abs. In between exercises we had to run a few laps around the trees. The trainer brought exertubes and elastic bands to give more resistance during the exercises. Exercises were hard, but again, we were allowed to do it all in our own speed and difficulty levels.
The biggest challenge was actually the babies. I believe each and single baby that participated required some kind of care during the hour. I had to feed baby V towards the end of the training (even though she was supposed to be full and satisfied – never works when you need it) and do squats and bicep curls with her in the hands. I imagine it is easier with the bigger baby (not an 8 week old), who has good head control and probably finds it fun. V liked the squatting and lunges, but not any of the arm exercises. Running also had to be exchanged to powerwalk with the baby in my arms.
Exercising in the nature is great – at least on day like today, with mild weather, few clouds in the sky and no rain or wind. As an opposite of smelly, sweaty gym room, this was fresh, beautiful and relaxing. Instead of loud pumping music, we could hear only wind in the trees, birds chirping and other people passing by. Being outside was probably the reason I could get at least some exercise and why V was relatively calm and did not require as much attention as usual.
However, I would probably be too tempted to skip exercising on a cold, windy, rainy/snowy day, being afraid that I could not just put the baby on the yoga mat on the ground or just carry her around in my arms, like I had to do today. Breastfeeding in the snow would probably also not be an option. I understand that training still takes place, but have hard time imagining that it would work well with a needy baby.
I also think that this may work best with a bigger baby (e.g. more than 4 months), who does not eat that often, has a more predictable schedule and maybe even finds it fun to do exercises in mothers’ hands or on her stomach.
Otherwise it is a great concept and I am looking forward to try it again – after double checking weather forecast, that’s it.