The rocky road to post-natal fitness

I can’t believe that my little girl, Lucy, is now a year old! After an emergency c-section, getting back to fitness again after pregnancy wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped it would be. So I thought I’d take a look back at the past year and share my thoughts on my first year of health, fitness and motherhood!

My post-natal ‘journey’ of course is individual to me but I hope you might see some parallels and even take away something that you could incorporate into your own journey. I wanted to share my story for a couple of reasons:

  • Firstly, because I’m asked how I’m getting on all the time. We all have an interest in others’ stories and rightly or wrongly compare ourselves to others.

  • Secondly, because I think I’ve done quite well. There have been some very difficult moments but I’m actually quite proud of my past year and I hope that this will help others to be positive about their successes too.

  • Thirdly, I hope that by talking about the steady, sensible progress I’ve made (and the failures along the way), I can show other people that getting back to a level of fitness is achievable and manageable.

Before I had Lucy last October, I never would have believed that I’d be expanding my business, managing her childcare and looking after my own health and wellbeing relatively successfully! OK so I’m a stone heavier than pre-pregnancy but I’ve got my shape back, I feel strong and I’ve done no damage to my body along the way. I’m aiming to continue with my steady fitness progress.

It also became obvious that running 20 or more high-impact fitness classes every week wasn’t going to be possible for me after having a baby! I changed my focus and asked for help from an amazing selection of instructors – it’s about adapting your lifestyle to what is manageable and sustainable.

So having ended up with a c-section and taking it ‘easy’ for the first 6 weeks, I started with gentle Pilates stretches, listened to my body and built up gradually what I thought my body could handle. I started teaching my Zumba Gold and Pilates classes when Lucy was 3 months old and it felt so good to be back teaching amongst some of my favourite, supportive people!

I did lots of walking with the buggy in this period too which gave me time to think. I was a bit disappointed with the information available to new Mums about postnatal exercise and also the opportunities to get back into fitness with post-natal mums locally.

So I studied hard (while Lucy was feeding or sleeping!) and started running Buggyfit in Didcot and Wantage when Lucy was 4 months old. Perfect for me and a great group of new mums, we do suitable core exercises to encourage the tummy muscles to go back to their original function. Buggyfit is available from 6 weeks post-natal, we bring our babies to the park and it’s a great way to start getting back into exercise whilst not over-doing it.

Exercising at classes you can take your babies along to is essential! I also run Mums & Tots Pilates classes which are really popular and a great way to get Mums back into exercise!

As babies get older, it sometimes can be harder to fit exercise into our lifestyle so a home workout is ideal for this time – fitting around our baby’s routine.

So what has the next year got in store for Gemma Pearce Fitness? Well, keep an eye out for more classes, we’re always on the lookout for the latest fitness trends to keep things exciting and fresh. I’ll be looking out for more instructors too. What would you like to see from Gemma Pearce Fitness? Any particular class that you’d like us to run near you? Get in touch and let me know via the website or at

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