Having participated in a variety of workouts throughout my last two pregnancies, I can say with certainty that there is no better, non-impact way to stay in shape while pregnant, than barre. Furthermore, there is no better way to get back into shape, without placing undue pressure on the perineum postpartum, than barre.
While it usually takes several months after giving birth for my mind to reconnect with my abs, after delivering 8 days ago, I was able to immediately engage my abs once more. Four days postpartum I began practicing barre exercises, with the goal of eliminating all exercises that specifically targeted my abs or placed pressure on my perineum. I found that caused me to avoid very few exercises. I was able to perform the small controlled movements of barre, by isolating and contracting my muscles, and since I was able to fatigue my muscles, using extremely light weights, no pressure was placed on my perineum
I don’t share this for the purpose of boasting. I want all pregnant women and new moms to experience a quick return to their pre-baby body. During each of my pregnancies I held doubts that I would be able to return to my previous level of fitness. (A fear shared by many women.) While I certainly have a way to go, the level of strength barre workouts helped me maintain during pregnancy has made the goal of regaining my pre-pregnancy shape much closer than I once realized. Thanks Lotte Berk!
While in general, I don’t advocate exercising four days after giving birth, having been blessed with a good sleeper and having participated in barre workouts throughout my pregnancy, I see no reason that I shouldn’t exercise moderately. I can think of no better way to keep my energy and mood elevated and I can’t think of another workout that would be equally beneficial to barre without placing too much pressure on the abdominal wall or perineum. Make sure you receive your physician’s approval before beginning any exercise regimen, particularly pregnant or postpartum.