Getting Back in Shape After Pregnancy
Pregnancy changes your body quite drastically. After months of gaining weight as your baby and belly grows bigger and bigger, the baby is born and your body just doesn’t look or feel the same as before.
Some mums are okay with that, and others want to get back their pre-pregnancy body. If you are in the latter group, you should know that it won’t be too easy. You will need to recover from the delivery, and your diet will also include what’s good for the baby (if you are breastfeeding.) Here are a few tips to help you get started:
The best way to start back to fitness is to let your body heal. You have been carrying a little human that has been taking up significant space in your body for the last nine months. Your body changed to adjust, and now that they are out, you need to give yourself time to heal.
Most of the time, it is simply too painful to exercise soon after giving birth. It is exceptionally agonizing after a Caesarian section delivery or prolonged labour, so you really don’t have much of a choice. Other times it may not hurt that much, but it doesn’t mean that your body is ready for an intense workout.
It is advisable to spend the first few weeks after labour taking care of yourself and the baby. Get to bond with them and make quality memories as you let your wounds heal. Once you are strong enough, you can start with a basic workout that doesn’t engage your body too much. See if you are in pain and stop immediately if you are, then see a doctor. It would be wise to have your doctor clear you for exercise or yoga before you begin.
Once you are cleared, you can keep the baby busy with fun and educational toys for children under twelve months while you start with some basic exercises at home.
Most mums sit through the first few months after delivery, which is totally fine. If you have fitness goals however, you will need to include a little more movement in your days. This doesn’t mean morning runs or an evening sprint through the park — it could be as simple as walking to the kitchen to grab something and back. That will certainly do you more good than having someone fetch you everything you need as you nurse the baby in the comfort of your bed.
You can try to increase your movements with time, as long as you don’t strain yourself unnecessarily. You can add some distance from the kitchen to the back yard, or maybe a trip to the grocery store not too far away. This will not only help you stretch out but will also give both you and the baby a much-needed break for fresh air. Remember, though, that if it is painful or uncomfortable, then it can wait.
You will want to spoil yourself, rightfully so after nine months of a swollen belly and long, painful hours in the labour ward. Heck, everyone will want to spoil you, and what better way than with chocolates and plenty of food?
If you are looking to get in shape however, you might want to restrict what food you eat and how much of it. The best way through that is to include plenty of organic and healthy foods with lots of fibre in your diet. Processed food like chocolate and soft drinks will feel good at the moment but won’t do you any favours. Of course, allow yourself some treat — everything in moderation.
Of course, make sure that your new diet does not come at the expense of your baby’s nourishment. Remember that your baby essentially eats what you eat if you’re breastfeeding, so make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with enough calories for both of you. For the best results, get in touch with your doctor to help you draft a careful meal plan that will benefit both you and the baby.
- Breastfeeding Has Many Benefits
As it turns out, breastfeeding is actually a great way of burning calories. Research shows that mums who breastfeed lose an extra eight hundred calories every day over those who don’t. If, for some reason, you are not breastfeeding your baby, try pumping out the milk. It will be not only a great way to store milk for the baby but also a great pain reliever when your milk is full.
- Natural Weight Loss Triggers
There are certain foods and combinations which, when taken, may suppress hunger and trigger weight loss by burning fat. Not all may work for you, and some may even be problematic, especially considering that you are also trying to heal and breastfeed your baby. It is therefore vital that you consult with your doctor and hear what they have to say before getting started on any of them. They include:
- Apple cider vinegar and hot water – mix a few spoons of apple cider vinegar with some hot water and take at least twice every day. Many mothers have sworn by this, but it has yet to be scientifically proven as a good remedy for weight.
- Green tea – It is known to have excellent weight loss properties, especially when taken regularly alongside a well-calculated diet.
- Cabbage – the vegetable is high in fibre and low in carbohydrates. Fibre helps you feel full for longer and should help to reduce the number of times you eat.
- Lime and honey – Also a very popular concoction, the mixture has been used all over the world as part of weight loss.
- Acai berry juice – Users have claimed that it helps weight loss when taken frequently, at least twice daily.
It is worth pointing out that none of the remedies above has been proven and recommended by scientists for losing weight. Some may not work well with you; others may not produce the desired changes. You can check out reviews from other mums and consult with your doctor before getting started on any of the remedies mentioned above.
In conclusion, getting back in shape after pregnancy is challenging but not impossible. You only need to watch that you eat well, move around a bit and make sure that your efforts don’t affect your milk production. Remember to let your body heal before you get started on exercise and enjoy these special early months of motherhood.