Having a baby can be a very rewarding, deeply moving experience. But it can also wreak havoc on your body. Most women put on between 22 and 26 lbs. over the course of a pregnancy. The body undergoes other changes to facilitate birthing a baby, and that can make it a chore to drop those pregnancy pounds. Wondering what to do to get back your pre-baby shape? Here are a few ideas that may help.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. It’s typical for doctors to advise that new moms wait until after they have a postnatal check-up to get back into any serious physical activity. That usually means a wait until about six weeks after giving birth. After that, follow you doctor order’s, start slow, and don’t overdo it.
- Diets are out. Following an official diet after a pregnancy isn’t a great idea. Depriving yourself of favorite foods while dealing with the stress of caring for a newborn may lead you to put on weight. Instead, eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods. If you need a snack, healthy items like apple slices, carrot sticks, or wheat crackers work really well. Be mindful not to drop below 1800 calories a day, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
- Keep hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water. It prevents dehydration, fills you up, and may even help speed up metabolism.
- Get plenty of superfoods. Your body needs maximum nutrition post-baby. You can get plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, particularly salmon, sardines, and tuna. Milk and yogurt will give you the calcium to strengthen your bones. Lean meats, beans and nuts are great places to get protein.
- Get up and move. Okay, so maybe you can’t go full bore, yet. But aerobic exercise and strength training are still recommended. Getting your heart pumping will help dispel depression, it helps you sleep, and it can ease the effects of stress. If you can’t get through a full 30 minute session, try breaking it into 10 minute chunks and work up from there.
- Slumber. You need your sleep if you want to lose your baby weight. Studies have shown that new moms who get five hours of sleep or less a night have a tendency to put weight back on. This may be because when you’re tired, your body releases stress hormones that promote weight gain.
There are plenty of low risk activities that can help you drop some baby weight. Walking, cycling, swimming, and Kegel exercises all promote fitness for new mommies while not risking injury.