Childbirth is definitely an important part of motherhood, but let’s face it, getting your pre-baby body back is something most new moms think about. Is it possible to return to pre-pregnancy weight? Don’t feel guilty if these thoughts have crossed your mind. There are ways to achieve fitness while still enjoying the incredible transition into motherhood. Keep reading to learn more about losing weight and staying fit after pregnancy.
Body after Pregnancy | A Guide to Postpartum Exercise and Better Mama Health
In This Article:
- Where You Come from Matters
- C-Section Moms Need Extra Care
- What Types of Exercises Are Okay after a Month or So?
- What Exercises Are Good Two Months After Giving Birth? Postpartum Exercise: How To Reclaim Your Body After Pregnancy
- What about Cardio?
- Pulling Together a Workout Regimen
- Focus on Your Diet Too
Where You Come From Matters
Some women may find it easier to reclaim their body after pregnancy than the others. Usually, those who worked out before and even during the pregnancy may be able to bounce back faster. Women ready for a change but without a lot of gym time beforehand will need more time to adjust.
For all women, no matter your level of exercise prior to pregnancy and giving birth, it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your routine to fit your new lifestyle.
Before you begin your journey to weight loss after having a baby, however, always speak to your doctor. In fact, it should be part of your postpartum care plan with the physician.
Why should you need a care plan in the first place? Your body and mind undergo a lot of changes and stress after pregnancy.
During the birthing process, your body’s muscles stretch and contract. Tears in tissue and loss of blood play a role in your recovery, especially during the first few weeks.
You also likely have a baby demanding a great deal of your attention. If you are nursing, the baby is also taking away calories from you.
Weight loss after pregnancy for a nursing mother, therefore, needs proper management. You do not want to lose too much weight too fast and be unable to provide a steady supply for your child.
Your sleep schedule is also different. Your emotions and hormones are everywhere. During these initial weeks, you need to learn to adjust your exercise to meet your body’s needs. A doctor can help you with that with a self-care program.
C-Section Moms Need Extra Care
For those who underwent a C-section, getting their body back after pregnancy may take a while longer. The procedure, after all, is a major surgery.
Additionally, too much strain in your abdomen may lead to a hernia. You can also face concerns over an infection.
Wait until after you speak to your doctor during a post-operative appointment to start exercising. Restrict even minor exercises during this time to avoid complications.
After consulting with your doctor and creating some steps about losing pregnancy weight, focus on going slow. Instead of heading to the gym, go for a brisk walk first. Increase the length and intensity of your walk over a few days.
It’s also beneficial to do Kegel exercises at this point to work on your pelvic floor. You can do them throughout the day and as often as you would like to.
What Types of Exercises Are Okay after a Month or So?
Losing pregnancy weight during the 4- to 6-week period after giving birth is more common. It can be safe as long as your healing progresses normally.
During this time, focus on low-impact activities whenever possible. Your goal is not to get your body after pregnancy back right away, but instead to get active.
You want your body to adjust to the demands of motherhood while bringing back the levels of pre-pregnancy energy to normal. It can take some time to reach this point if your baby is not sleeping through the night, though.
Here are two activities you can do:
One of the exercises you can do to start losing weight after pregnancy is swimming. It is a low-impact activity that allows you to adjust your routine to fit your actual needs for the day. It is also an excellent way to remove stress and get some alone time.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to begin losing weight after having your baby. You can even incorporate it into your daily activity such as when you push your baby’s stroller while out. You can increase its intensity and difficulty to burn calories faster.
If you cannot go out, you can walk in place. Move your hips back and forth as you march. This gives your body the ability to twist and turn, flexing your muscles as you go.
A key to remember here is what exercise can do for your overall energy and emotional health. Your body’s hormones are shifting, but exercise pumps more endorphins into the bloodstream. It can also help bring down the body’s cortisol levels. In turn, you feel good and reduce your feelings of stress.
What Exercises Are Good Two Months After Giving Birth?
Most new mothers will see a doctor around 6 weeks to 2 months after they give birth. This is the time to ask about more intense methods for postpartum weight loss. You will want to talk about your diet as well.
Next, discuss with your doctor your overall body strength. They can examine your body to ensure there is no tear in the abdominal wall, which is common in women with multiple births. If this is okay, your doctor may recommend more intense workouts.
Also, if you do have any type of tear, speak to your doctor about how exercise can help. Some women with a diastasis tear can see improvement by exercising properly during this time. Abdominal exercises done under the guidance of your doctor could encourage healing and strengthening.
Working on your core muscles is what will help you get back your body after pregnancy. To build up your abdominal core, you need to exercise on a consistent basis.
Strength training can be effective for many women as well. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Use Weights during Workouts
Increase the intensity of your walks and other exercises with a few light weights. Add a few of these to your existing routines to see improvements.
2. Proceed with Sit-ups and Crunches with Caution
You do not want to strain the muscles, but to get them strong, you need to use them.
3. Consider Yoga
Yoga can be an excellent exercise for women during pregnancy and after giving birth. It may tone the body without bulking or building large muscles. It can help you feel flexible and strong while restoring your body’s strength after having your baby.
Start slow and work your way up. The key to weight loss after pregnancy is not pushing hard all at one time.
Instead, work consistently. Give your body enough time to rest and adjust between workouts.
What about Cardio?
Cardio exercises are essential if you want to get back your body after pregnancy. They can help improve your endurance so you can perform your routines much longer.
They can also help burn calories, although you don’t want to do them excessively, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Again, start slow with any type of cardio workout regimen. Usually, you can do cardio 4 months after giving birth.
You can ride a bike, swim more often, and spend some time dancing. Exercising at the gym at this point is acceptable as well. Your goal should be to challenge yourself a bit more with every workout to achieve improvement.
Pulling Together a Workout Regimen
Here are a few rules to follow to restore your body to pre-pregnancy weight and strength:
Even if you do not have the time or energy for a full workout, get in some physical exercise throughout the day every day.
2. Build Up Slowly
Use a journal to track how much and what type of exercise you complete each day. It can add up to a couple of extra minutes daily.
3. Get Some Help
Working out with other moms is an excellent way to stay focused and motivated.
Focus on Your Diet Too
To get back your body after pregnancy, you need to balance several key factors. Besides exercise, you need to diet.
Your doctor can help plan the ideal calorie intake at different stages of your postpartum care. They may also provide vitamins and minerals for supplementation.
Regardless, now is not the best time to follow most of the diet plans out there, especially if you’re nursing.
What your body needs are something that’s balanced. You don’t have to remove certain food groups from your meals.
Some steps you can do include focusing on lean meats and increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits.
You will also need to keep your fluid intake up to ensure your body is moving nutrients to healing cells faster.
You don’t have to restrict calories either to avoid stressing the body further. Instead, eat meals more often but in smaller amounts. Choose healthy snacks such as fruits, nuts, and veggies. Pick whole grains instead of processed food.
If you have diastasis recti, here’s a post-natal yoga from SarahBethYoga you can try:
Getting back your body after pregnancy takes a lot of work, but it’s part of the journey to motherhood. Remember postpartum exercises are different for each person, so the results will also vary. Give your body the time to adjust and work toward your goals one step at a time. Most of all, enjoy the process and your baby.
What are your techniques to get your body after pregnancy? Share your stories with other moms below!