Follow our qualified postnatal instructors as they guide you thought a free and flexible online programme of low-intensity workouts.
- No equipment required
- Suitable for all fitness levels
- Videos are not live, so you can fit workouts into your schedule
Exercise at your own pace
Each video class is hosted by three different coaches, all working at different levels so you can work at a pace that suits you.
Remember, when returning to activity after childbirth, you should gradually build up your activity levels over the 6-week programme.
We suggest watching this video to help you understand the national guidelines for being active after childbirth.
Did you know?
Being active after childbirth:
- Is great for your mood
- Improves cardiovascular fitness
- Helps with tummy muscle tone & strength
- Helps back strength & mobility
- Improves sleep
- Also reduces worry & depression!
Developed and endorsed by experts
- All instructors teaching this programme have undertaken specialist training in postnatal exercise and are fully compliant with the Chartered professional standards related to postnatal physical activity.
- Programme content, information and screening tools have been developed with experts including Caroline Crowe (Formula Fitness) and Dr Marlize De Vivo (Active Pregnancy Foundation).
Frequently asked questions
- When can I start the Couch to Fitness Postnatal Programme?
We recommend waiting until after your postnatal check before you starting the programme.
- When can I start being active after childbirth?
Reintroduction of physical activity after childbirth is gradual and individualised.
It’s important to give your body time to heal - prioritise rest and recovery in the early weeks. If you’ve had a straightforward birth, you can start gentle exercises as soon as you feel up to it. This could include walking, gentle stretches, pelvic floor exercises and exercises that target the deepest layer of the abdominal muscles. If you’ve had a caesarean (c-section) or any surgical intervention and/or complications, your recovery time will be longer.
The 6-8 week postnatal check is a good time to discuss physical activity with your healthcare team. Around this time and depending on how you feel, activities can gradually be reintroduced.
If you were active throughout your pregnancy, gradually reintroduce physical activities. You may need to change or adapt the type of activity undertaken initially. If you were not particularly active during your pregnancy, that’s ok! You can gradually introduce physical activity now.
Remember, only after having built up moderate intensity physical activities over time (typically a 3-month period), and in the absence of any signs or symptoms of pelvic floor or abdominal wall dysfunction, can more intense activities, such as running, gradually resume.
For more information and inspiration, please visit: www.activepregnancyfoundation.org
- When is activity not advised after giving birth?
The great news is there's no evidence of harm for postpartum women to begin a gradual return to moderate intensity physical activity and strength training. The key is to listen to your body and start gradually, whatever your levels of activity before or during pregnancy.
There are some symptons you do need to look out for, and if you have any of the following then intense physical activity should NOT be resumed.
- Urinary and/or faecal incontinence
- Urinary and/or faecal urgency that is difficult to defer
- Heaviness / pressure / bulge / dragging in the pelvic area
- Pain with intercourse
- Obstruction defecation
- Pendular abdomen, seperated abdominal muscles and/or decreased abdominal strength and function
- Musculoskeletal lumbopelvic pain
If you not sure what these are and you are experiencing pain, then please seek advice from a healthcare professional or physiotherapist.
- Anyone taking part in the Couch to Fitness Postnatal Programme does so at their own risk.
Couch to Fitness does not accept any responsibility for any individual nor group of individuals, who may be participating in the Couch to Fitness Postnatal Programme.
To take part in the Couch to Fitness Postnatal Programme, you must be in good physical health. If you’ve been told on health or medical grounds that you should not take part in physical activities, then you won’t be able to join in with this workout.
By taking part in this exercise and fitness session, you agree to the above terms and conditions.
- To perform this activity in a safe way, you must make sure that the area you use is suitable.
The area must be:
- a flat surface
- clear of any obstacles
- spacious enough for the type of activity
- Where referring to 'women' or 'mothers', this should be taken to include all people who are pregnant or have given birth.
Where referring to 'women' or 'mothers', this should be taken to include all people who are pregnant or have given birth.