Corliss Bean, Assistant Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies at Brock University; Talia Ritondo, Gender and Sexual Violence Education Co-ordinator at Brock University; Iris Lesser, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at University of the Fraser Valley; and Carl Nienhuis, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at University of the Fraser Valley, had a piece recently published in The Conversation about how to better support women as they return to physical activity after giving birth.
“The birth of a child is a momentous occasion in a woman’s life. It may also be one of the most challenging transitions that women face, requiring adaptation to identity and role while undergoing a unique physiological transformation.
Physical activity after recovery from birth can be helpful. Women who engage in postpartum exercise tend to have better mental and physical health outcomes. Benefits of exercise for new moms include weight loss, improved aerobic fitness, improved mood and increased social connectedness. However, physical activity rates tend to drastically decline after pregnancy.
Despite the potential positive impact that physical activity may have during the postnatal transition, little academic attention has been given to helping women return to exercise after the birth of a child. As an interdisciplinary research team in sport and physical activity, we have been working to address this gap by exploring women’s postnatal physical activity experiences.”