For new mums, there’s always the pressure to ‘get back in shape’ after having a baby, but you don’t need to rush the process. Here are tips on how to lose the pregnancy pounds while caring for your body at the same time.
Don’t rush trying to get back into shape as it may take your body a while to get to its pre-pregnancy form. When you’re ready and after your doctor gives you clearance, resuming or starting an exercise program will help your body heal, become stronger, and get fitter.
Did you know that milk production will burn about 300 to 500 calories a day on its own? This will help breastfeeding mothers return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster.
Tips on exercising while breastfeeding
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout to avoid dehydration.
- Wear a good sports bra. Support your breasts with a good fitting sports bra so as to reduce the friction and movement of the nipple during and after exercises.
- Carry your baby while walking. One of the most comfortable forms of exercise for new moms is walking with your baby in the morning or at sunset when the weather is not too hot.
- Workout slowly. If you were used to working out regularly before your pregnancy, then gradually get back to your old routine. Your main aim should be to feel better and not to quickly return to your pre-pregnancy weight. If you are trying to get rid of excess fat in your body, you can lose a pound of fat a week without impacting the amount of breast milk you have.
- Get out of the house. Spending some time outside your house, will help to lift your mood and give you more energy to cope with being a new mum.
- Don’t overestimate your capabilities. Remember to take it easy in the early days and weeks after delivery. Just do what you can manage, even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes at a time.
- Eat Healthy. A balanced diet with a variety of foods from the different food groups is ideal.
Why getting back in shape is important for your body
As beautiful as pregnancy and the birth of your baby is, the pre and post-natal process imposes tremendous physiological and psychological changes and stresses to your body.It is very important for you to proactively get back into shape, not only to look good but to feel good and be healthy enough to care for your little one.Here are some reasons why regular light exercise after delivery benefits you:
- Helps you gradually get back to your pre-pregnancy weight & shape
- Reduces back pain by focusing on exercises that strengthen your back and core muscles
- Improves muscle tone
- Reduces leg & body cramps as well as overall swelling
- Eases constipation
- Improves sleep
- Relieves stress. Exercise releases the neurotransmitter, endorphin, responsible for relieving pain and feelings of happiness
- Increases overall energy levels