You have just given birth to a 6-pound, beautiful baby, only to find that when you leave the hospital, you only weigh 1 or 2 pounds less than you did when you walked in! It is natural for women to put on extra weight during a pregnancy, which means it may seem difficult to shed those pounds post-pregnancy. However, if you follow these 5 fitness tips to help you get your body back after baby, you will be able to take a realistic, healthy, and effective approach to reclaiming a fit physique.
- Be realistic in your fitness and body goals. You can achieve a slim figure again; it will just be a different body than your pre-pregnancy body. It is important to look at this as a positive thing. Just as your life is now much different, but better, because of your new child, your body will be different too. However, it will be beautiful in a new way. Avoid negative self-talk or expectations of yourself right away. Be patient and kind to your body.
- Consider a belly wrap. While there are some skeptics, many others believe that belly wraps are a great way to help tone up your mid section after giving child birth. This technique has been used for centuries in other cultures and has currently made its way into the American lifestyle with brands such as Taut and Belly Bandits. These products provide compression to your belly helping to tone muscle, compress your mid section, and reduce swelling. These wraps should be used in coordination with a healthy diet and exercise routine, and could be the motivation you need to stay on track.
- Get moving. Talk to your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program, and then jump into fitness! The best thing is that you can exercise with your baby! There is noting better than starting to walk briskly with your baby in a stroller. Eventually you can work up to a light jog or about 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week. This will help keep you fit and energized, plus your baby will benefit from the time outdoors and the soothing rhythm of the stroller will likely help put him or her to sleep.
- Be conscious about your eating habits. When you are trying to loose weight, most people cut down on food and calorie intake. This should not be a drastic cut when you are a new mother and especially if you are breastfeeding. Cutting calories too much can harm your breast milk, causing it to be less nutritious for your child. You should still be eating good portion sizes to help keep your body working properly so that you have the energy to keep up with a newborn, and the proper nutrients to give to your child as well. Make sure to intake nutrients like calcium, zinc, folate, magnesium, vitamin B6 and others for a well-rounded diet.
- Establishing a consistent workout routine can be a challenge as a new mom. Luckily there are several options. Consider finding a postnatal exercise class so that you can meet other moms and get into a routine. Often these classes allow you to bring your baby with you so that you can get some extra bonding while you workout. Plus, you don’t have to find a sitter!
Getting back in shape after a pregnancy will take time, but it can happen. Working to get back into good shape and good health will ensure you have the stamina to best care for your child and worry about parenting things likeand nursing. As long as you are realistic and kind to your body, gently begin easing yourself back into an exercise routine, and eat well, you will see results and feel happier and more energized.