The Importance of Postnatal Exercise for Physical and Mental Wellbeing

The Importance of Postnatal Exercise for Physical and Mental Wellbeing

The Importance of Postnatal Exercise for Physical and Mental Wellbeing

blog article written by Emma Howard @turning.circles

Becoming a new mom is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it's also accompanied by its fair share of challenges. Sleep deprivation, constant demands, and the whirlwind of caring for a newborn leaves many mothers feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

This sense of overwhelm can often lead to deprioritizing one’s own care, and when we aren’t taking care of ourself and meeting our own needs, it can lead to even more stress and overwhelm. Investing in our health and wellness as we transition into motherhood is more important than ever, and making the time for a regular postnatal yoga practice can make a huge difference in our mental state as well as our physical wellbeing.

I remember before I had my first baby, mom friends would joke about how they couldn’t drink a hot cup of coffee, or how they struggled to find time to take a shower. I laughed it off and thought, ‘surely this won’t be me, don’t babies sleep all the time?!’ No matter how many stories we hear, or how intimately we perceive another women’s transition into motherhood, nothing can prepare us for the realities of selfless care that newborns require. Yep, I was right there with them, struggling to eat breakfast and take a shower, let alone prioritize my fitness.



The limited free time available to me shortly after childbirth was a huge shock to my system. I had gotten so good at taking care of myself! I exercised regularly, ate healthy foods, and made time for relaxation. Caring for another tiny helpless human being who depended completely on me left me feeling depleted, exhausted, and unable to meet my own needs.


This lack of self care only led to more stress and overwhelm. I quickly realized that this wasn’t sustainable, and I needed to prioritize my own health and wellbeing if I was going to be able to enjoy those precious early baby days. These are some of the strategies that worked for me, and enabled me to find some peace in the chaos:

  1. I asked for help. This can be a hard one, especially for my strong independent mamas out there. I want to say to you, there is no shame in asking for help and in prioritizing your own health and wellbeing. Trust me, if you make time to take care of yourself, you are going to be able to give that much more to your loved ones. My husband and I quickly fell into a routine of trading time. We would ask for what we needed, and offer support to each other to get the time and space we required. I was able to take the breaks I needed, to fill up my cup, and to feel like I could give from a place of love and compassion, rather then resentment.
  2. I eased back into an exercise routine, and listened to my body. I did a better job at this with my second one then with my first, where I was rushing to ‘get my body back’. With my second I started with gentle 20-30 min walks, and started with pelvic floor and core exercises where I connected my breath to my movements. Focusing on my breath and rehabbing muscles that had taken the brunt of the pregnancy not only helped me heal physically, but left me feeling calm and refreshed.
  3. I tried my best to do something for myself each day. When I was feeling extra tired this might be a short walk, or a nap, when I had more energy it might be a more upbeat stroll or a longer yoga session. I tried to listen to my body and think what would serve me best, while prioritizing movement. On days when I couldn’t get any time to myself, I would go on a stroller walk with the babe, or put them down on a mat on the floor while I did movement on my mat.
  4. I used the mantra ‘this too shall pass’ to stay in the present moment. The sleep deprivation and utter devotion would pass, but so would the sleepy baby snuggles. I tried my best to embrace the beautiful moments, and when it was difficult, to know that it wouldn’t last forever.

As I learned to make room for myself, and prioritize movement, I began to grow physically and mentally.

I chose movements that helped my body heal, and as I moved, I reduced my stress and anxiety and was able to be more present and calm during those early days.

If you’re ready to prioritize your health and wellness, to start moving your body, and to reap the physical and mental benefits of doing so, check out my 5 day free postpartum fitness guide.

I created this course with the intention of helping new mamas connect to their bodies again in a positive way postpartum. I hope it can help you find some peace in the chaos of those early days.


Sending love,


Click HERE for a FREE 5-day postnatal checklist 



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