After my son escaped from my womb I was keen to get back into shape. I hated that when I bent over his crib that I could see my belly reflected in the mirror, like a half empty helium balloon hanging down to match my now-empty breasts - everything stretching down from milk and that time I had a small human inside me.
I have had to be a little wary due to some Diastasis Recti - a common problem that occurs during pregnancy where your abdominal muscles separate - opening you up for a bit more room to accommodate the growing person in there.
Fixing this isn't particularly hard, pilates and yoga are great for core strength, but its easy to get into a workout and push too hard - enough damage has been done already.
I'm not one for using my son as a weight or using a strict regime of exercise BUT that doesn't mean I can't get some toning done.
We're all rolling around on the floor anyway, might as well get a bit fitter at the same time. Listen to your body and you'll find that during playtime, you are using those muscles. Plus, playtime has an end so you probably won't be pushing too hard.
Lie on the flat of your back and have baby on your bent up knees (or feet - if you're confident), and lift your shoulders off the ground. Control your flying baby using your stomach muscles and keep your legs firm. Aeroplane noises are not optional... unless you're a spaceship.
Some visual ideas
Stand up straight with baby above your head and control the woosh to the floor with straight legs or a squat - now you're a spaceship. I throw in some half turns and dips whilst tightening my core, he's giggling and so am I. Laugh as often as you can, and when it starts to hurt, you know those muscles are working!
I've heard so many people say they don't have the time, money or energy to go to the gym. Neither do I, but you're already a play gym to your baby, so why not have a workout together?
If you fancy a change from the workout in your own four walls, check out Park Lives - there's bound to be something near you and IT'S FREE!
Buggy Bootcamp is EXCELLENT - as soon as you're cleared for exercise, it's a great way to get out of the house, meet other mums (they're all very nice!), and work that booty. You will also get some giggles from the chattering babies, they have some great conversations... I think!
Whatever you're doing to repair some of that baby damage - take your time, your body made a miracle after all.
Gouri Lal Hypnobirthing in Didsbury uses Easibirthing – a Holistic Birth Preparation course which has been developed in conjunction with UK midwives to enable you to have a more positive birth experience.