Many moms-to-be don’t stick to a regular upper body workout during pregnancy, leading to flabbiness and weakness. Additionally, your body produces the hormone relaxin in larger amounts during pregnancy, and this can weaken the joints afterward.
As a result, out-of-shape arms are ill-equipped to lift a baby from car seat to crib to stroller to changing table and back again several times a day, while wrists and shoulders may hurt and feel weak.
Toning and strengthening the arms, back and shoulder muscles can also help relieve strain on the wrists. The best time to start is during pregnancy, says Megan Flatt, a trainer and fitness educator in San Francisco and creator of Bump Fitness, a prenatal and post-baby workout program. After giving birth, wait six weeks before starting to exercise.