If you’ve just had a baby, you may not be happy with what you see as you look into the mirror. Don’t despair, and don’t become discouraged. Your body has just gone through a tremendous change. You can’t expect it to immediately bounce back to its pre-pregnancy condition. Over the next few months, however, you can work on getting your body into shape.
Obviously, your diet plan and exercise program will have a major impact on how much weight you can lose. Your doctor may give you a series of exercises that you can begin while you are still in the hospital. These will be very simple and non-strenuous exercises, but they will jumpstart your body on the road to recovery.
Your ob-gyn will probably instruct you not to do any strenuous activity until after you have had your six week postpartum checkup. Even then, you need to start off slowly. It may take as much as three months before your body is able to handle more exertive activity.
It may be difficult for you to find the time to exercise because of all the time you spend with your new baby. If the weather permits, you can place your baby in a stroller, front pack, or sling and take a brisk walk. If the weather is too cold or wet, you can go to a gym or even a mall and walk laps. Once you feel comfortable leaving your baby, you might want to invest in a gym membership. Many gyms also offer childcare as part of their packages.
Of course, you don’t have to spend money on membership dues. There are so many exercise tapes and DVDs available, and you can exercise in your own home. Some women find that exercising with a friend keeps them motivated and on track. You may find a mothers exercise group in your area. These women regularly meet and exercise. They often bring their babies along, and some groups incorporate their babies into their exercise routines.
Along with an exercise plan, you will need to monitor your diet. If you are breastfeeding, you will not need to cut your calorie intake. You will need at least 1800 to 2000 calories each day. Whether you are breastfeeding or not, however, you still need to follow a diet that is low in fat and high in fiber. Look for healthy snacks, such as vegetable sticks, nuts, fresh fruit, and peanut butter and crackers.
Fad diets can be dangerous. Your body has been through a traumatic event. You were pregnant for nine months, and then you went through labor and delivery. It is so important that you nurture your body daily. You need to follow a balanced diet. Do not eliminate breads, pastas, and meats because your body needs a variety of nutrients.
Breastfeeding is an excellent way to help your body return to its pre-pregnancy state. Breastfeeding your baby will consume excess calories. Breastfeeding also causes the body to produce hormones which aid in weight loss. Some women do not notice excess weight loss, however, until after they have stopped breastfeeding.
Pregnancy and childbirth can take quite a toll on a woman’s body. If you follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly, however, you can lose that excess weight, help your body return to its pre-pregnancy shape, and become healthier in the process.Pregnancy and childbirth