After Serena Williams competed in Wimbledon following the birth of her child, new mothers from the This Girl Can community offer their advice on getting back into sport after having a baby.
Exercising has been great for my mental health I suffered with postnatal depression after my first born as I had quite a difficult labour and birth with my first, resulting in me not bonding with him correctly as I held him accountable for the pain I was in. But within a few weeks of attending these classes and speaking to other mums this became so much easier. And this time around I have no sign of postnatal depression at all, I would urge all new mums to exercise whether it be with or without baby, find something that you can enjoy. Try different things until you find something that suits you. There are all different kinds of exercises you can do from running clubs for mums, to swimming for babies and mums, or like me a class designed for mum and babies - or even if you have a group of friends with young children set up a weekly walk which is free.
Take your time, listen to your body, something is better than nothing and celebrate the small achievements
I would say to just take one day / one week at a time. We’ve done something amazing and your journey is different to everyone else’s. Do what you can when you can, and remember it’s okay to have days or even weeks without getting back out there. You’ll get back to where you want to be and it doesn’t matter how long it takes you. I’ve struggled with my change in body shape the same as everyone else will have. Just embrace it and set small goals. Goals that are easy to achieve. My goals have been to run a mile without stopping, then a mile and a half etc. And if I struggle then that’s fine I’ll try again next time. Do things you can fit into your new routine like going for a walk. I often do 4-mile walks around nap times.
Don’t rush into it and find the right session for you!
I have come to realise that there are hundreds of opportunities out there, I just needed to find the one that fit me at that particular time. I’m not pretending that this is it, I’m back in the swing of exercising and sport as I am aware that there will be times due being a Mum that I can’t take part but I’m hoping that this is where I start!!
There is no rush to get back to it, start gently with walking and work up to anything more strenuous. Exercise has been a great way for me to get out the house and start feeling and looking like my old self.