Women who have recently given birth are being urged to follow a new fitness plan to ensure they stay healthy as they adapt to motherhood.
The guidance has been issued by The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) to coincide with figures it published revealing the difference in birth rates across Britain.
Women in England have the highest so-called general fertility rate at 60 births per 1,000, followed by Wales at 57, and Scotland at 52.
The Fit for Motherhood leaflet contains exercises that are suitable for new mothers, along with advice about how to stay comfortable and how to move easily with a new baby.
Women are warned against trying to rush to return to prepregnancy fitness levels, while the benefits of brisk walks, good posture, and a comfortable sleeping position are all highlighted.
CSP spokeswoman Sarah Bazin said it is particularly important for women to strengthen their abdominal and pelvic floor muscles after having a child.
She said: "There are many good reasons for exercising after the birth of a baby.
"It helps maintain the health of the heart, lungs and muscles, which can increase strength and stamina and help women cope better with life with a new baby."
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Copyright © PA Business 2007
You are currently leaving the Nursing in Practice site. Are you sure you want to proceed?