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Our Favourite Ways to get Back in Shape After Your Pregnancy

In the final part of our pregnancy and fitness series, our friends at FittaMamma are handing out advice on losing weight after pregnancy and toning up your body!


Over the last few weeks we've been talking about why to keep fit while you are expecting and looking at what exercises to do during pregnancy. This third article focusses on losing weight after pregnancy and toning up now you're a mum.

After your baby is born you'll be keen to regain your pre-baby figure. If you feel up to it, there's no reason why you shouldn't start thinking about exercise a couple of days after the birth.

Fitness and exercise after giving birth

There are plenty of gentle post-pregnancy exercises that you can build into your daily routine quite soon after your baby is born. But remember to take it easy - you just gave birth! You may want to wait a few weeks until you're ready to start and if you have any concerns you should check with your midwife or health professional first.

You'll find plenty of information about post pregnancy exercise on FittaMamma, but here are some of their favourite exercises to help you get back in shape.

The, oh so important, pelvic floor exercise!

There's one area of your body you should start exercising within the first few days after your baby is born, and that's your pelvic floor! It's perfectly safe to exercise your pelvic floor even if you've had stitches or an episiotomy - it will improve circulation and start the healing process.

  1. Lie on your back, knees bent. Breathe in and draw your pelvic floor muscles upwards towards your uterus without moving the muscles in your buttocks or your abs.
  2. Breathe out and release. Repeat three of four times.
  3. Make it harder by tightening your pelvic floor muscles as you breathe in; hold them in place whilst you exhale. Inhale again and release as you breathe out.
  4. Try tightening and letting go in quick succession whilst breathing normally.

Repeat at least 10 times - you can't do this too often!

Pelvic tilt

This really helps to strengthen your pelvic floor and is good for your core tummy muscles too. You don't get much of a 'buzz' from pelvic floor exercises but they're so important to make sure you don't suffer from stress incontinence!

What to do:

  1. Lie on your side, your body in a straight line and your lower leg bent back at 900 degrees behind you.  Rest your head on your hand.
  2. Pull in your abs, tilt your pelvis and hold, keeping your body straight
  3. Pull in your pelvic floor muscles and maintain the hold.
  4. Release your pelvic floor, then release your abs

Repeat 10 times.

Tone your bum!

Whilst it's tempting to focus on your tummy after giving birth, most of us would like to look good from behind too! This exercise is great for toning your bum after your baby is born.

What to do:

  1. Stand tall, hands on your hips, feet hip distance apart.
  2. Step back with one leg, so both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Make sure your front knee does not move in front of your toes as you lunge back.
  3. Push up and back to standing, following through with a knee lift on the leg that was behind, at the same time raising both arms above your head. Hold your tummy tight to help balance and engage your core.

Repeat 15-20 times for each leg. Make it harder by holding a weight in each hand.

Tone your legs!

This is a great exercise after your baby is born. You can use it whenever you pick anything up off the floor - including your little one!

Remember to keep your core engaged to help you balance and to strength your tummy muscles.

What to do:

  1. Stand feet turned out, slightly wider than hip width. Pull in your abs, bend your knees and slowly lower towards the floor.
  2. Keep your back vertical and squeeze your buttocks as you come down.
  3. Hold the low position for a few seconds before lifting back up.
  4. Make this harder by using a weight (up to 3-4 kg) or use your baby!
  5. Extend by twisting from your waist as you come up, looking over your shoulder and lifting the weight over the same shoulder.

Return to the starting position and repeat 15-20 times . Remember to do this for each side if you're including raising your arms.

Want to get rid of that jelly-belly?

Most new mums are keen to tighten up their tums after they've given birth. Combine cardio exercise, brisk walking is perfect, and toning exercises for your whole body as well as exercises to strengthen your deep 'core' muscles. A good abdominal exercise is the 'Pelvic tilt and head lift' combination.

What to do:

  1. Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hands on your temples.
  2. Breathe in deeply. As you exhale draw in your belly button and lift your head and shoulders. As you draw your tummy in, tilt your pelvis upwards. Release and lower.
  3. Remember to make sure you lift only your head and shoulders - focus on pulling in your core muscles.

Repeat 15-20 times and aim for 2 sets.

Get rid of your 'mummy tummy'

At FittaMamma, we call this one the 'Super Woman'. It's a brilliant exercise for strengthening your core tummy muscles after you've given birth.

What to do:

  1. Kneel on all fours, hands beneath your shoulders, knees hip width apart, back and neck straight.
  2. Pull your tummy in and lift one leg out straight behind and the opposite arm straight in front.
  3. Try and keep everything in a straight line before repeating on the other side. Build up the reps until you can do 10-15 on each side. Try holding the pose for 10 seconds on each side. Aim for 2 sets.

Find this one easy? Hold a light weight in your outstretched arm and try using ankle weights as well.

For more post-pregnancy workouts visit FittaMamma.com, and if you missed the first two articles you can find out why it's important to stay fit during pregnancy and what exercises will help you get there!

More tips on pregnancy exercises and fitness

Don't forget to read the other articles in our pregnancy and fitness series:

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