How Can First Time Moms Get Back In Shape?
One of the many things first-time moms worry when they are pregnant is how to get back in their pre-pregnancy shape. Celebrities, models, and high profile women seem to lose weight so fast, and they don’t look like they gave birth, making the rest of us wonder if that is even realistically possible.
There are ways to get back in shape after having your baby. However, this takes persistence, dedication, and patience to be successful. Here are some tips to help you with getting back in shape after postpartum, especially for first time moms
1. Timing Is Crucial
Determining when to start exercise or losing weight is essential to make sure that you don’t compromise your health or the baby’s if you’re breastfeeding. Your body adapted to change and housed a growing baby for nine months, and it’s going to take some time for your body to adjust after delivery too. It has to go back to pre-pregnancy blood volume, hormone, and water levels.
Depending on the delivery you had, your doctor could advise not starting weight loss regimens until after two, six, or twelve weeks. Remember to follow the doctor’s recommendation even if you want to lose weight quickly to avoid injury or other unwanted effects.
2. Slow Down With Exercise
While you may want to shed off the pounds quickly, the presence of relaxin, a hormone that helps soften the pelvis, muscles, and ligaments for labor, could still be in high levels after delivery.
Relaxin not only affects the pelvic area but also weakens other joints in the body. Being over aggressive and too ambitious with your exercise routines right after delivery could do more harm than good and delay your recovery.
When to exercise postpartum can differ according to your delivery. If you had a C-section or pregnancy complications, your doctor would advise that you exercise later than those who had a normal vaginal delivery. Here are a few tips:
- If you had complications during pregnancy, always ask your doctor when you can begin exercise.
- Most experts say that mothers who had a normal vaginal delivery can start exercise after two weeks from giving birth, as long as she does only 50% of the usual exercise she did during pregnancy and gradually progress from there.
- Watch out for signs on your body after exercises like more bleeding than usual, exhaustion after mild exercise, pelvic or abdominal pain, muscle soreness beyond two days, and excessive shortness of breath. Consult your doctor immediately if these signs occur.
- If your doctor doesn’t allow you to start exercise until six weeks, this doesn’t mean that you should just lay in bed. Walking is a good way to begin your postpartum fitness regime. You can try walking for five minutes and check how your body copes.
- You can then gradually increase to seven minutes the next day, and then 10 minutes the following day, as long as there are no signs of pain or bleeding. Look for comfortable running shoes for fitness walking, like those offered in comfylux.com.
3. Do Postpartum Exercise
- So, you want quick and easy ways to lose your belly fat, but you need to do some work to make it happen. Besides belly fat, you need to gain your strength back and make sure that you build a level of fitness that you had pre-pregnancy.
- Postpartum exercises are designed to meet the needs of your body after delivery, get you back in shape and helps in treating postpartum depression. Here are a few examples:
- Kegel routine. Since your pelvic floor can be weak after delivery, strenuous exercise like crunches, or ab work can put too much pressure on the pelvic floor, so Kegel routines are the perfect exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor.
- How to do Kegel exercises:
- Tighten your pelvic floor muscles. This is similar to what you do when you stop in the middle of urinating.
- Hold your muscles tight according to how long you desire and then release. You can count up to five or ten to tighten your muscles, whichever you can do.
- Repeat several times a day.
- Belly breathing and pelvic tilt. This is done to strengthen your pelvic wall and core for more strenuous exercise in the future.
- While laying on your back, bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor.
- Inhale while your fingers are spread on your belly, expanding it into your hands.
- Exhale, and pull your navel into your spine. While exhaling, tilt the lower part of your pelvis upward, slightly lifting your buttocks from the floor.
- Rest and repeat. You can begin with five repetitions and progress to a maximum of 15 while you’re still recovering.
- Basic bridge. This also strengthens your pelvis.
- Lie on your back, with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms relaxed on your sides.
- While you contract your abdomen, lift your hips off the floor.
- Hold the position for 3-5 breaths before going back to the relaxed position.
- Repeat this exercise four times and progress as you recover.
- Ankle circles. This is to help enhance circulation.
- Make ten circles with one ankle first, clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Do the same for the other ankle.
- Repeat 3-5 times.
- Try doing ankle rotations in different positions – while sitting, standing, or lying down.
4. Eat Appropriately
- Some first-time mothers would think that they need to cut down their food intake right after delivery. However, this may not be the right thing to do, especially when you’re breastfeeding.
- It’s still important to make sure that you eat smart by consuming the right kind of food, and take heed of proper eating habits. Some things to consider regarding postpartum eating:
- You need 1,800-2,000 calories per day while breastfeeding. If you want to cut down from eating, make sure that you don’t go lower than 1,800 calories so that your body can produce quality milk for your baby.
- If you aren’t breastfeeding, it’s still important to eat the right kind of food to give your body the nutrients it needs to repair after pregnancy.
- Eat multiple times a day to increase your metabolism and reduce cravings.
- Increase your intake in the right food. This includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Portion control is still essential. Sometimes, mothers will eat a similar portion to when they were still pregnant, which may not help with postpartum weight loss.
5. Stay Hydrated
Being hydrated is crucial whether you’re breastfeeding or not. In addition, making sure that you’re well hydrated reduces the thought that you’re hungry. If you feel that you might be hungry, try to drink a glass or two of water and wait a few minutes to see if you’re really hungry. It’s also crucial that you drink lots of water if you start exercising postpartum.
It’s not impossible to get back into shape after delivering your baby. However, you will need to take care of your body and not be too aggressive with weight loss regimes to help your body heal and get back to its pre-pregnancy condition. Remember to take it slow, progress with exercise gradually, eat right and drink lots of water. You’ll be back in shape slowly but surely.