Pregnancy and post-natal period

Being pregnant and having a baby is a huge transition in life that, unsurprisingly, makes being active even more of a challenge for many. 

Being active during pregnancy and beyond brings with it a host of physical and mental benefits, including a reduction in depression, improved emotional wellbeing and a quicker return to pre-pregnancy weight in the postpartum period.

We are working with key partners across Cornwall to help make physical activity a priority for new parents, so when they support you during your pre natal and post natal journey, you can feel confident you are receiving the best and consistent advice.  

Search the local activity map for free or low cost local Family Activities, which include pre and post-natal. 

Information, Advice and Guidance

Are you okay to be active during pregnancy?

The GAQ-P consists of four questions to help you decide whether you should consult with a healthcare professional before becoming or continuing to be physically active during your pregnancy. ​

Are you ready to return to physical activity post pregnancy?

A flowchart to help you decide if you are ready to increase your physical activity levels following pregnancy?

Benefits of being active during pregnancy

Benefits of being active post pregnancy

What is your pelvic floor and how do you keep it strong

The role of Relaxin

During pregnancy a hormone known as relaxin is present at an increased level within the body. This hormone helps the body to relax the cervix and ligaments during childbirth. It also helps to loosen and lubricate the joints and ligaments in the body, especially the pelvis. Because this hormone is so present throughout the body during pregnancy, you need to be careful to not overstretch. When stretching try not to overdo it and take things easy as your body is quite different than it was before pregnancy.

Remember:

  • Stop when you are tired, if you experience any pain, or if you feel your heart pounding in your chest.
  • Avoid stretching in extreme humidity or heat.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after.
  • Get up slowly from sitting or lying to avoid becoming dizzy or passing out.
  • Move slowly and gently and listen to your body.

If you experience any of the following symptoms we recommend you STOP and seek advice.

  •  Vaginal bleeding
  •  Abdominal pain
  •  Regular and painful contractions
  •  Amniotic fluid leakage
  •  Trouble breathing before exertion
  •  Persistent excessive shortness of breath that does not resolve with rest
  •  Persistent dizziness or faintness that does not resolve on rest
  •  Headache
  •  Chest pain
  •  Muscle weakness that affects balance
  •  Calf pain or swelling
  •  Severe pelvic girdle pain that do not improve within a week or two, or interfere with normal day-to-day living
Perinatal Pelvic Health Service Cornwall

The Perinatal pelvic health service has been set up to share information to support prevention of pelvic health issues during pregnancy and birth and ensure accessible support, advice and treatment for those with perineal or pelvic floor concerns in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. They are a team of midwives and physiotherapists to provide additional support to you if you experience pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms or a perineal tear or episiotomy during birth. We provide information, education and individualised care and treatment to protect your postnatal pelvic health.

Online activities and resources

We know that money can be a barrier to some people accessing physical activity opportunities, so we only include signposting to free, or low cost opportunities, but all have been quality checked. 

This Mum Moves Active at Home

This Mum Moves Active at Home provides a range of activities to do at home throughout your pregnancy and beyond. They also provide advice on what to do, warning signs to watch out for and reassurance on the benefits of being active during this time in your life.

NHS Start4Life

This NHS collection includes advice and guidance on activities to do during pregnancy and beyond. 

Pregnancy and Postpartum TV

Pregnancy and postpartum fitness & yoga, birth education, and core healing after pregnancy. They also added fun kids workouts!  Jessica is a Registered Dietitian and Pre and Postnatal Fitness Instructor. She did her prenatal yoga training at MokSana yoga Centre and Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Training with CanFitPro.

Couch to Fitness Prenatal

The Our Parks team brought together a team of specially qualified instructors, specialising in prenatal exercise, to develop a brand new 6-week online programme to support you to be active throughout your pregnancy. This is endorsed by the Active Pregnancy Foundation

Couch to Fitness Postnatal

The team at Our Parks has brought together a team of specially qualified instructors, specialising in postnatal exercise, to develop a brand new 6-week online programme to support you to build up your activity levels after giving birth.

Find YOUR Active

If you are unsure about whether your usual activities are safe and suitable, you want to start getting more active, or try something different at this stage in your life, why not check out the Active Pregnancy Foundation’s ‘Find Your Active’ resources. You can now access top tips and do’s/don’ts to guide you through your chosen activities during pregnancy and beyond.