Getting (back) in shape

Your baby has arrived and after the first few weeks of finding your rhythm as a new (or expanded) family, you might find yourself thinking about gently getting back in shape, inside and out! Or maybe your child is a little older and you want to get fit while paying attention to your pelvic health? Or maybe you even want to get fit as a family?

Read on to find out some of what’s on offer in English in Brussels and the surrounding areas.

Postnatal fitness @SuperMums Belgium

Below you can find out more about:

Postnatal physiotherapy

Between 4 to 6 weeks after the birth, many women start postnatal physiotherapy sessions, whether individually or in a group. The aim of these sessions is to work on strengthening the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, and gently get you back into shape. You can bring your baby along to postnatal physiotherapy session and some physiotherapists even organise a babysitter for group classes.

Winni Liberg - postnatal physio

Your ‘mutuelle’ / ‘ziekenfonds’ will partially reimburse nine sessions of physiotherapy per pregnancy, and your gynaecologist will give you a prescription for these sessions around the fifth month of pregnancy. Note: only individual sessions are officially reimbursed by the mutuelle.

The basic prescription of nine sessions of perinatal physiotherapy can be used before and/or after the birth. In addition to this, each calendar year it is possible to have a total of 18 sessions for a specific reason (i.e. two additional prescriptions of nine sessions each) and so, any extra sessions you need can be taken under the umbrella of ‘pelvic floor re-education’.

If you continue to have issues caused by a weak pelvic floor (e.g. leaking urine when you sneeze, laugh etc), it is also possible to have internal pelvic floor therapy, where a small probe is used to help work the muscles.

See Find a physiotherapist for more information on finding a physiotherapist.

Postnatal yoga

Postnatal yoga is a gentle way to get back in shape after birth, re-strengthening your core and working on your pelvic floor and back muscles. Your baby is usually welcome to come along until he/she is crawling and some classes even do interactive mother-baby postures.

  • Emily Gold runs prenatal yoga classes that include postures and movements specifically designed for postnatal bodies and include specific focus on the lower back, core, shoulders and pelvic floor. Sessions can also be targeted towards management of specific postpartum mental health issues including postnatal depression, anxiety and PTSD. 
  • With her postnatal yoga classesIrene Ibbe recognises the postnatal period as one of great joy as well as of profound vulnerability and fatigue. Her classes focus on breathing, relaxation and helping mums regain their fitness and vitality.  

Postnatal exercise classes

  • At Supermums, Beatriz Romo offers a range of courses for mums at whatever stage they’re at:
    • the SuperMums postnatal training program is suitable as of 6 weeks after vaginal birth or 8 weeks after C-section (with your doctor’s consent) and is composed of soft gym exercises, ideal to recover your shape and figure faster after giving birth, with the help of Low Pressure Fitness and hypopressive exercises, as well as aerobic and toning up. You can bring your baby along to these classes.
    • the WonderWomums program is for mums who have fully recovered after birth (suitable as of 6 months postpartum) of for any woman who wants to get or stay in shape while also caring for her pelvic health.
    • the Hypopressives by Low Pressure Fitness program is a breathing and postural training system that includes hypopressive exercises for your abdomen, back training and posture correction, myofascial stretching and neurodynamic exercises. Particularly useful for mum that need to train their abdomen and pelvic floor, or who have urinary incontinence problems and/or prolapses.