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6 Get-Your-Body Back Moves for New Moms

5. Kneeling pelvic tilt

Kneel down on all fours -- toes touching the floor behind you, arms straight down from your shoulder line, palms touching the floor. Your back should be relaxed and straight, not curved or arched. As you inhale, pull your buttocks forward, tilting your pelvis and rotating your pubic bone upward. Hold for a count of three and release.

6. The Kegel

This classic exercise for women will help you tone and control bladder muscles and may reduce risks of incontinence associated with childbirth. This exercise involves contracting and holding the muscles that control the flow of urine. To get which muscles they are, start by doing the exercise while you use the bathroom. As you urinate, manipulate your muscles until the stream temporarily stops. Then release and let the urine flow. Remember what that feels like, and when you're not urinating, contract, hold, and release those same muscles. The more you do and the longer you hold those muscles, the better control you will have over those leaks caused by sneezing, laughing, or picking up your baby.

Bonus workouts for baby and mom

It can be hard to find time away from your baby in the early months, so try some moves with your infant. Before tackling these bonus exercises, be sure you're fit enough and have a good enough sense of balance to assure your and your baby's safety. Take some time to practice them without your baby. Do them first with nothing in your arms. Then practice while holding a doll or a rolled up blanket or towel that's the same size as your baby. Only include your baby when you're certain there's no danger of falling or dropping what you are holding in your arms.

  • The baby glider -- Holding your baby across your arms close to your chest, take one-step forward and bend your knee (a lunge). Return your leg and repeat with the opposite leg. This will help not only strengthen your legs but also strengthen your back muscles and abdomen. Repeat 15 times.
  • The baby bouncer -- From the same position as in the baby glider, take your one step out to the side (instead of front) and attempt to squat.
  • Rock-a-baby squats and curls -- Stand with your legs a shoulders width apart. Holding your baby tight and close to your chest, squat down allowing your baby's feet to touch the floor. As you rise up, bring the baby back closer to your chest. This should not be done until your baby is at least 10 to 12 weeks old. Repeat 15 times.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Mikio A. Nihira, MD on August 20, 2012

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