Are you looking at your tummy after nine months of stretch and wondering whether it will ever be the same again?

If so, take heart, because you can really make a difference in its recovery and build strength and suppleness very easily without spending time in the gym each week. When people say “wow, you got your figure back really quickly” you’ll be able to smile and say “why thank you, I have worked at it and it’s paid off’. And you’ll feel good too. Here are eight simple moves, designed exclusively for Pregnancy and Baby by Lindsey Jackson, expert in Pilates for pregnant women and post natal moms.

Pre six-week check

Most countries have a post natal check at six weeks to assess whether the woman can get back to normal activities, including exercise. But do you have to wait until then? Well, as long as you don’t have any complications here’s what you CAN do. (including cesarean section births)

From day one:

Exercise 1: Pelvic floor

Fast and slow pelvic floor lifts not only regain bladder control of this stretched and bruised area, but also promote circulation (which will help ease swelling) and begin to tone the deep abdominal muscles that work in conjunction with the pelvic floor.

What to do:

Each time you feed the baby or change a diaper, draw up your pelvic floor as fast as you can 10 times then release. It should feel like you are stopping yourself from urinating. Aim for a maximum contraction. Even if you can’t feel anything at first, keep going and visualize the area contracting. It will come back and you will soon start to feel it. The great thing about this move is that in the early days post birth, your uterus can contract quite strongly when you feed, which makes it easier to develop awareness of feelings low down.

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