For the past nine months your body has been transforming. You have literally been put through the ultimate changes that come with being a woman. Now, with baby happy and healthy in the new world, one can understand the need to get back in shape to the sexy body you had before your baby. Not to worry though with the right amount of time and exercise you’ll have that old you back in no time maybe even with a brand new “yummy mummy” title.
The most important thing to remember is to give your body some time. It has done an amazing job, recognise it and allow it to recover. Laura Riley MD and High Risk Pregnancy Expert from Massachusetts General Hospital, advises new mommies to give your body at least six weeks to recover and also to get the official “thumbs up” from your doctor before going back to the world of treadmills and weights. Neither crash dieting nor a stringent exercise plan is the way to go, too much too soon is a big no-no and can lead to serious health risk for you and your baby.
Don’t start doing your annual calorie calculation just yet. Cutting calories is not the best way to begin especially if you’re still breastfeeding. Elizabeth Somer, nutritionist and author of Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy says “You should be eating at least 1,800-2,000 calories a day while breastfeeding. You can’t produce quality milk if you are not eating enough.” Somer also strongly advises against Weight loss supplements, there are so many natural remedies one can turn to, the kind that your grandmother might have used whilst pregnant. Expert Enough.com had some of the following suggestions:
- Mix Honey and lime together with a cup of hot water and drink it at least three times a day, it’s been said to be a natural weight loss “remedy”
- Tea made from Indian plum leaves has fat burning properties. Drink some twice day.
- Last but not least –a familiar favourite: Green tea, it has excellent properties that help during weight loss.
Exercises with body and baby in mind.
Something good to know; breastfeeding actually burns calories, mommies can lose extra weight gained during pregnancy, which means your baby is already helping you in the weight loss department.
Start simple and easy. Go for walks with your baby in his/her stroller, nice and slow. Gradually increase your exercise routine as the days go by but keep a close eye on certain symptoms like:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Extreme shortness of breath
- Exhaustion after even mild exercise
- Muscle soreness that does not go away within a day or 2
Your body will tell you if you’re pushing it too hard, don’t ignore it and listen. Should any of these symptoms appear seek medical attention or check in with you gynaecologist.
One area to start on sooner, rather than involves strength-training exercises to build a strong core, “You can start simple and slow with a pelvic tilt, a modified sit-up (if you didn’t have a C-section), squeeze and tighten your butt then relax, put a pillow between your knees and squeeze and relax. This can start to build your core and strengthen your back,” says fitness trainer Sue Fleming.
Yoga and Pilates is also a great way to get your body gradually into shape and it can be done in the comfort of your living room while baby is snugly in their little baby seat. Remember to start with the easy routines working your up to more advanced exercises. Something nice to have around the house is also an exercises ball, they work perfect for those tummy work outs.
Something all mommies are doing these days is exercises with baby in mind – and I mean literally. Why not get help from your little one by strapping them to their baby carrier and doing lunges squats and even try push-ups against a wall in your home – you don’t need a lot of space and your baby will be distracted as well. This is also a good way of bonding with your baby as they love skin-to-skin contact.
Some strollers these days are designed for fitness mommies in mind for instance the Jeep Liberty running stroller is perfect for any terrain and you might be able to up your game a bit more as you feel more confident in your bodies’ fitness level. Doing lunges behind the stroller or different exercise approaches can also be considered
Remember that sleeping should also be an important priority, so don’t neglect it. Lack of sleep can lead to form of depression and in turn just creates an overall unstable environment.
Take care of your body, respect it, listen to it and come to terms with the fact that it has been through a lot. It has given you, your beautiful little boy or girl, so try and remember the fact that you have to take it easy and slowly but surely rejuvenate it back to its glorious self.