Healthy You

Getting back into shape after childbirth (what you need to know)

Most newbie mothers are eager to get back to their pre-pregnancy shape post-delivery. While over exerting your body that has been through a lot is a bad idea, there are some simple things that you can do which can speed up your recovery and set you off on your fitness path. Here are some of the things you should know…

Good to know

You need to remember that your health and baby are the first and foremost priority after the delivery. Women require a lot of rest and care as the body is adjusting to the new changes and is quite vulnerable at the time. So, make sure you don’t rush into losing weight and wait for your doctor’s go ahead before you indulge in any form of exercise. Usually it is advised to start exercising after six to eight weeks after the delivery.

Here are simple and quick tips that can help in losing weight gradually and in a healthy way…

Breastfeed

Some women find it hard to believe, but it is true that breastfeeding does make you lose weight. Wondering how that happens? It is because women burn about 600-850 calories while they breastfeed. However, it is essential to understand that as soon as you stop, you will be required to keep a check on the calories consumed.

Start moving around

Though it may be a distant dream with all the overwhelming changes in your life, it is important to get and start moving around. You may start by taking a small walk around the block, if that goes well, gradually increase the pace and time of walking. A lot depends on the type of birth. Rebuilding your core strength after delivery is essential because childbirth tends to rearrange the way your body works. Also, watch out for any aches and pains in the back and other regions so that you can stop before there is an injury. Wait at least a 6-8 week and consult the doctor before taking on any form of intense exercises.

Toning and Firming Creams

While massages are essential, it would also be a good idea to slather on some toning and firming creams so that the solution continues to seep into your body and muscles over the course of the day. Options include Bottega Di Lungavita’s Body Butter for Toning and Firming, Himalaya for Moms – Soothing Body Butter with a rose fragrance and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Tummy Butter. You can rub any of these creams into the body post a shower so that the skin is soft and gradually the stretch and pull abates so that the body bounces back to shape. Also, make sure that you apply the cream in gentle upward circular movements to ensure the skin is bouncy and nice.

Get back to your household chores

When the baby is sleeping or playing, you can start getting back to household chores. Research shows that most household chores burn tremendous calories, which helps in getting your workout routine in place without having to hit the gym twice a day! This would be a good way to take care of your home and get back into shape even as your baby is close by.

Watch what you eat

Dealing with hunger pangs and anxiety eating can be really difficult. Many women crave sugar and can’t stop themselves from binging on the tasty sugary snacks. These practices can take the entire weight loss program for a toss. It is, therefore, necessary to keep healthy snacks stocked up and get rid of all the unhealthy ones. Stock up your groceries with yogurt, milk, fruits and nuts. These make for quick snacking options. Eating whole wheat crackers, veggies and high-fibre foods is also a good way to keep the weight under control. Have about five to six small meals in the day so that your metabolism gets back on track.

Getting back into shape is a gradual process and one should not rush it. Plan your exercise around your baby’s routine and do not go into overdrive as far as your diet goes, because this can lead to loss of strength. And it is a well-known fact that once you have had that baby – you will need all the strength in the world to look after it!

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