How to get back your pre-pregnancy Shape
During pregnancy, mums typically gain weight to better sustain their health and that of their child. But many mums are left surprised when they see that their bellies still look rounder even after giving birth.
Post-pregnancy bellies can be riddled with lines and stretch marks and may look like a 6-month pregnant tummy. Excess fat from the pregnancy also remain in areas like the upper arms and legs.
The length of time that the body needs to get back to normalcy and balance differs per woman. It takes time for the body to recover after pregnancy — hormones are released that decrease the size of the belly and the appetite of the woman, helping the body return to pre-pregnancy size. But we can also do some things to steer our body in the right direction and get back in shape after giving birth.
Here are some exercises and diet that mums can do to get back there pre-pregnancy body:
So as not to add excess stress to the body, heavy and harmful gym equipment must be avoided. Moderate exercises or low-impact aerobic workouts are suitable for recovering mothers. Some of the things they can do include:
- Brisk walking. Strengthens the heart, lungs and muscles and burns calories.
- Swimming. Builds endurance and tones muscles all over the body.
- Aqua-aerobics. Burns calories and relieves tension in the joints.
- Yoga. Increases flexibility, tones the muscles and reduces weight.
- Pilates. Aligns the skeleton, improves posture and improves metabolism to burn more calories.
- Cycling. Tones the legs, aids in weight loss and burns calories.
- Light weight training. Helps improve muscle volume and strength.
The recommended level of workout is five to 10 minutes at a time. For those who can sustain the workout, the length of exercise can be extended from 10 to 30 minutes to an hour.
The diet that a nursing and recovering mother must follow is actually very simple and can be prepared in no time.
- Well-balanced diet is important. A diet rich with vegetables, fruits and whole grains are recommended for mothers who want to curb excess post-pregnancy weight.
- Mothers who are hungry between means can munch on at least five portions of fruit and vegetables for their daily dose of vitamins and minerals.
- Avoid fatty ingredients or cooking methods that are unhealthy. Instead, switch to steaming as it is a quick and healthy way to cook meat, veggies and fish.
- Crash diets as well as supplements are not recommended as they may contain substances that are not approved for women who are nursing.
Before applying any of the methods above, it is important to let the body naturally recover first. This period of natural recovery can take up to 12 weeks. Here are some other reminders to live by for a healthy post-pregnancy body:
- During the recovery period, the body needs an adequate amount of calorie to provide breast milk for the baby and for the body to heal. Mums need to maintain a minimum daily calorie intake of 1500 and an extra 400 calories when breastfeeding.
- The mother’s body is very delicate after giving birth, especially if she gave birth through C-section. It is recommended to wait until the six-week postnatal check or until the midwife or GP gives the go signal before trying any regular exercise.
- Pacing in exercise is important — mums should not force their bodies if they’re already tired of the exercise. Wear supportive bra to reduce stress on the breasts.
- Adequate sleep is very important at this delicate stage of a mum’s life. Studies say that enough sleep can decrease depression and increase daily energy levels. Simply put, the better the mother feels, the better she can deal with post-pregnancy body changes.
Finally and most importantly, consult with the midwife or GP before undertaking any exercise or diet after childbirth.
Have you had any post-pregnancy problems in the past? What did you do to solve them? What things did you do to get back in shape? What other tips can you share to mothers who would like to erase their post-pregnancy bellies? Share your experiences and tips by commenting below!