WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9)-- Now that the long-awaited and highly-celebrated royal baby is here, the Duchess of Cambridge has some sleepless nights ahead and lots of bonding time with her baby boy.
Erin Haydu is a personal trainer and group exercise instructor for Washington Sports Clubs who is expecting a baby of her own, and says staying fit throughout pregnancy is a gift a new mom can give herself.
"To keep up your strength is really important, so you can keep up with your kid," says Haydu.
Haydu says maintaining cardiovascular fitness and muscle tone throughout those nine months, helps make the postpartum 'bounce-back' easier.
She advises, "Right after birth, always wait until your physician clears you to work out. But generally, 4-6 weeks later is when you're good to start. Abdominal exercises are key; the abs have gotten all stretched out carrying that child, so to strengthen them and tighten them back up is super important."
And if a woman has an uncomplicated vaginal birth, many doctors give the go-ahead to start low-impact exercises as soon as she feels ready.
Haydu suggests taking things low-impact in the final trimester of pregnancy as well.
"So, when I was jumping before, now I am stepping, "says Haydu of her progressing pregnancy. "So what might have been a jumping jack here, has become a step. I just take out that bouncing and pounding."
Modifications of certain floor exercises also make them a better fit for pregnant women and brand-new moms, including pushups. Haydu says women can do them on their knees to take off some pressure from their growing bellies.
Haydu herself has experienced some knee pain, and adjusted her workouts accordingly. She says every expectant mom and new mother needs to let her own body be the guide.
"If it feels OK, you're usually fine to keep on going. But if there's any significant lower back pain, pain in the abdomen, that's when you want to back off," she says.
Finally, Haydu adds: "Walking is always excellent. If everything else hurts, if nothing lese is comfortable, get out there and walk."