Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=104447
Story Retrieval Date: 5/19/2013 6:17:41 PM CST
Increasingly popular mom and baby exercise classes encourage moms to bring their babies along.
A variety of mom and baby yoga, Pilates, aerobics and body sculpting classes are offered around the Chicago area. In the summer months, gyms and parenting groups even offer workouts using strollers.
In most classes, moms bring their babies in car seats or strollers. While the mothers burn calories, the babies sleep, play on blankets or yoga mats and sometimes they get lucky - smiling moms lift them in the air as an impromptu part of the workout.
Women can come to the classes six weeks after they give birth, said Lisa Payovich, an instructor who has taught exercise classes for 20 years at Chicago gyms, many of them with moms and babies.
The classes offer flexibility and a comforting environment for new mothers to get into shape while their babies observe or coo encuragement. Sometimes, of course, they cry a bit.
“The baby learns how to let mom do her thing,” Payovich said. “They learn that they might fuss and cry, but it’s okay, Mom’s still going to do something for her. They learn to chill.”