OK. So we all know that mums spend hours standing in baby's bedroom cuddling and rocking baby to sleep. We've all been there in the middle of the night doing the side to side foot shuffle and pacing the floor. Did you know though that most of you will have adopted a bad posture by pushing out your tummy or hip to rest baby on? We all do it and don't even notice it. How often do you think about your posture and what affect it might be having on your back, hips and tummy?
What should you be doing then? Well, make sure you keep baby as central as possible rather than to one side, across your chest or on a hip so you work both sides evenly and don't place unnecessary stress on your back or hips. Also make sure you don't push your tummy out to support baby's weight, you need to keep a nice upright posture with tummy pulled in and use your arms to support your baby. Yes this is harder on the arms but it will save you potential pain and a rounded looking tummy later. You'll get awesome arm muscles too if you persevere with holding baby that way for longer and longer over time!
If you're up and moving around anyway, why not combine rocking baby with a few exercises to help strengthen and tone your core and legs at the same time? Here are a few things you can try but please make sure you keep baby held firmly and weight central throughout.
(Disclaimers: Please seek medical advice if any of this is new to you, you haven't exercised for a while or you have a medical condition. Build up the reps slowly. If something hurts, stop! If you're not sure about anything, please ask a professional.)
Abs pull ins
Stand with feet slightly apart and slightly bent knees, weight central. Breathe in deeply and pull your tummy in towards your spine as much as possible. Hold your tummy there and breathe out. Continue to hold your tummy in and keep breathing deeply in and out. Keep your tummy in four as long as possible.
Stand with feet slightly apart and slightly bent knees, weight central. Concentrate on pulling up your pelvic floor muscles (as if you're trying to stop a wee) and hold for a count of 10 before releasing.
Repeat x 5
Then do the same but this time do quick squeezes so you pulse the pelvic floor up and down 10 times.
Stand with feet wide apart, toes slightly turned out. Keeping your back straight bend your knees so you lower yourself centrally. Be careful not to lean forward or back. Hold as low as you can for 3 seconds then push your heels into the floor, squeeze your bottom and straighten your legs back to standing.
Repeat x 10
Stand with feet together. Step forward on one foot, bending the front knee (knee over the toe when you look down), keep your back straight, go as low as you comfortably can then push back up to standing with feet together. Repeat on other leg.
Repeat x 10
Standing with feet slightly apart, knees slightly bent, tip your pelvis forward, drawing it up towards your tummy, squeeze in your tummy muscles, hold for 3 seconds then relax your pelvis back to a neutral position. (Don't push it backwards and arch your back).
Repeat x 10
If you do any other exercises whilst rocking baby to sleep, or at any other time, I'd love to hear about them!
Mum plus One
p.s. Don't forget to have a look at my other blogs whilst you're here too.
Have you heard of specialist Virtual Fitness Training for mums and mums-to-be? Take a look at how it could work for you.
How old were you when you had your children?
What's the norm for baby sleep?