Babies at the Barre – helping moms get back into shape postpartum
Tori Levine, Owner of Babies at the Barre, spent time with me as a guest on the All About Breastfeeding podcast. We talked a lot about breastfeeding. She definitely had her early struggles and there were times when she was not sure she would be able to continue. She had great family support, help from the wonderful Ladies at LLL, assistance from her Lactation consultant and huge support from her husband and her mother in law. She persevered and when her son Reuben was about 3 weeks old, he finally started breastfeeding well and they have been going ever since. I am so appreciative of Tori’s willingness to go beyond on her breastfeeding mom interview and share with us some really excellent mom fitness information. If you enjoy her article below, please be sure to send her an email letting her know. She will be happy to answer any questions you have.
New moms often think once they are cleared to exercise at their six week postpartum appointment that they are able to run, lift, and generally exercise as they did before baby. New moms should remember that their bodies are still recovering from pregnancy and birth and exercises should focus on repairing the abdominals and pelvic floor muscles, which become stretched and weakened during pregnancy, or even damaged during birth.
Want to start working out after baby, but not sure what you should be doing or how to start? Here are 3 exercises from a Babies at the Barre™ class that can be done soon after birth, as long as mom is feeling comfortable.
- Squeezes – While lying on your back with the soles of your feet on the floor, knees bent and up to the ceiling, take a few relaxing deep breaths. As you exhale, squeeze your ribs together, squeeze your abs and pull your belly button to your spine, and complete a Kegel exercise. As you inhale, relax your muscles and repeat squeezing everything as you exhale and releasing as you inhale 10 times.
- Leg slides – Start in the same position you were in for squeezes, but this time as you exhale and squeeze your ribs, abs, and pelvic floor, slide your right heel away from you along the floor and straighten you leg. Maintain the squeeze as you breathe and slide you heel back along the floor toward you. Repeat with your left leg. Complete 10 repetitions alternating legs.
- Bridges/Elevator Ride – Begin in the squeeze position, as you exhale and squeeze your abs and pelvic floor muscles begin to lift your hips to the ceiling and engage your tush. Make sure you maintain the Kegel as your hips are raised. Keep everything engaged as you slowly lower your hips back to the floor, articulating through your spine.
Want baby to have some fun while helping you exercise? Sit baby on your stomach leaning back against your legs and make silly faces and talk to baby. If baby is old enough and has good head control add in some “flying baby” and hold baby in the air straight in front of you.
For more exercises you can do at home with baby, both in and out of a carrier, subscribe to the Babies at the Barre™ YouTube Channel. Looking for a Babies at the Barre™ class? Visit www.babiesatthebarre.com to search for a class near you.
As a certified pre/postnatal fitness educator and former dancer, Tori Levine developed Babies at the Barre™ method to get moms back in shape without damaging their healing bodies. Tori lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and dog. When she’s not teaching barre or pilates classes you can find her at home with her son or at a local playgroup/activity.