Hey congratulations! You have given birth to a cute little baby. The past nine months of pregnancy was a time of change, new life and expansion. The change has been emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Apart from this, there have been incredible changes in your physical structure during pregnancy. As soon as the pregnancy ends, most of you must be desperate to get back to the pre-pregnancy size.
Now as the pregnancy gets over, there is no more pampering and no more freedom to fall for the choice of foods. During pregnancy, you craved for weird foods and that too lots of them. It took you around 40 weeks to gain this much amount of weight so of course, you would understand that weight loss is something you should not to rush for. Always remember that you have done a wonderful job of growing a baby and your body now needs some time to recover from the process.
Getting back in shape after pregnancy is every woman’s desire. The desire turns into desperation when they happen to see their favorite celebrities as slim and in shape just days after pregnancy. When you see these celebrities getting a model-perfect shape in no time, you assume them to get onto treadmill just after their baby’s birth. Many new mums desperate for weight loss opt for surgery as the option to regain the shape. For this, they often go for tummy tuck surgery and get back to shape.
However, we would only say that, be realistic! There are several less drastic and healthier ways to get back in shape after pregnancy. These ways will not only help you reducing weight but will also keep you with enough energy to get through your sleepless nights.
Why you should not rush for any weight loss regime just after pregnancy?
- During pregnancy, a hormone named relaxin is released to soften the ligaments and muscles to enhance the easy delivery. The effects of the hormones lingers for around five months even after baby’s birth which means ligaments and muscles are tend to injuries in case of any physical strain.
- Pregnancy was a time of fatigue and tiredness but after pregnancy your life become more tiring owing to the birth, breastfeed, sleepless nights, baby care and responsibilities and many other things. So, this is no time to get engage in any strenuous exercise. Just do a little bit and mild regular exercise to boost your energy levels.
- Your abdominal muscles become quite weak due to the pressure exerted by the growing baby on the connective tissues. It takes them around 5-6 months to realign so, better not indulge in any intense abdominal workouts.
Exercise to be fit physically after delivery
If you are quite worried and keen to start on getting back to the shape, you must at least wait for six weeks after delivery (if vaginal) and for 10 weeks (if C-section) to start any programme. However, even before doing that you must consult your doctor to determine whether everything is safe and get a green signal from her.
Keep one thing in mind, before heading to any tip or idea, you should not overdo anything and have to take very good care of yourself as your body is still in recovery phase.
Firstly, you must know that burning body fat needs you to increase heart rate, get breathless and bit sweaty for at least two three times in a week. However, do not indulge in any high impact activity to do so. For any high impact exercise, you must wait at least for six to nine months when your body has almost recovered from the delivery and childbirth.
Brisk walking: It is hard to think about any exercise when you are sleep deprived and overwhelmed with the baby care responsibilities. However, you can start with walking as this can fit very well in your daily routine. You can start slow and reach up to 20-30 minutes of cardio for 3-4 times in a week. Experts also say that taking your baby in stroller for 1-2 miles in 30 minutes also means good walking. Walk tall with relaxed shoulders, elbows and wrists. Lengthen your strides so that your legs and buttocks can have some workout.
Breastfeeding: When you breastfeeding, you are advised to take 500 extra calories than others in a day. Since, breastfeeding burns around 600-800 calories in a day; you will lose some weight by sitting comfortably and feeding your baby.
There have been cases, when some lucky women lose all their baby weight through breastfeeding only without requiring any exercise. However, you must be careful when you taper off breastfeeding as you will have to adjust your diet accordingly as your calorie needs fall otherwise you will start gaining weight again.
Pilates/yoga: Combining Pilates and yoga exercise will work for you in belly reduction as they work in improving strength and flexibility. However, some of the moves are quite intense and you must practice them only in front of instructor.
Swimming: This is the safest and perfect exercise for weight reduction. There are minimal chances of injury and you will not have to do anything for heart rate exercise as it will work on that too. Swimming works for the whole body muscles rather focusing on some particular areas.
Post natal exercises classes: If you are finding it difficult to follow any exercise regime on your own, you can join some postnatal exercise regime for the same. Watching and exercising with new mums will motivate you and you will also enjoy working out. However, make sure that you join postnatal program only as other normal program may have some harsh and intense workout too. Make sure to check the credentials of the classes before joining.
Lifting weights: Weight training has far long significant in speeding up the metabolism. However, you need not hit a gym and pick up the dumbbells there. Your baby can help you in this. Hold your baby to your chest and do lungs; you can also do the same while pushing the stroller while walking. Try holding the baby above your chest while lying on the back and push him upwards several times. This way along with doing some exercise, you can have some fun time with your baby.
Some Indirect Tummy-Busting Tips
- Do not be sleep deprived: It is normal for new moms to be sleep deprived as they had to wake up in the nights for breastfeed or to handle the baby who are tend to be awake during nights. Try to get afternoon naps so that you can get enough sleep. Being sleep deprived means you will crave for sugar and you will be less active to indulge in any exercise.
- Say no to sweet snacks: Being a new mom means you will joining some baby groups and will be visiting them often. There will be sweet snack round for you. Develop a habit to say polite no to all such things as they are doing no good for your body.
- Be active: Baby care makes you tired and exhausted and so, whenever you get time, you tend to sit for long hours. But try to get some exercise between baby feeds and naps.
- Eat healthy and wise: Now, your pregnancy is over so, there must be no craving. And if there is any, try to turn it off by snacking on something healthy and nutritious. This will serve two purposes. Firstly, it will save you from eating any unhealthy or fatty and secondly, it will benefit your baby if you are breastfeeding.
Precautions taken to be Fit after Delivery
- Start any exercise only after the post natal check up and when you get the green light signal from your doctor.
- Always wear a decent pair of trainers which fits you properly. You may have an increased feet size so by a new pair if older ones do not fit at all.
- Don’t forget to wear a sports bra as your breasts are heavy when you breastfeed. Try to feed your baby beforehand to avoid uneasiness. You can also use breast pads to avoid any leakage on your shirt.
- Do not weigh yourself everyday as weight loss after pregnancy is a slow process. Try to repeat the activity every week or even after 15 days.
- Always carry a water bottle along with you so that you can keep yourself well hydrated. Even if you have leaky bladder issues, you must not stop from drinking.
- It would be best if you do exercise under the watchful eye of a qualified instructor. This will help you in maintaining correct form and posture.
- Be watchful for any pain, back ache, pelvic or vaginal discomfort during or after exercise. If you experience any, you must immediately stop doing. If the problem persists, consult your doctor or women health physiotherapist. However, if you feel comfortable with your everyday exercise routine, you can move one step ahead and try some intense workouts too.
Regular exercise is a good way to keep you active and energetic. It not only helps in reducing weight gained during pregnancy but also gives relief in back pain, tones your muscles, reduce leg cramps, swelling, and constipation and enhance good sleeping patterns. Exercise is a good and fun way to feel better about you and to cope with the challenges and demands of motherhood.