Having a baby is one of the biggest changes your body will ever go through. You may be thinking to yourself, “Will my body ever be the same?”. Getting your body back after having a baby isn’t easy. But with these simple tips and guidelines, it is possible.
Many new mothers choose to breastfeed their new baby. You may know about the benefits of breast milk for your newborn, but there are benefits for you too. It turns out that breastfeeding burns around 500 calories a day. This can really help with postpartum weight loss.
However, it’s important to not restrict your diet or calories too much while breastfeeding. Maintaining proper nutrition and calorie intake is critical for producing enough milk.
Breastfeeding may also help your uterus shrink faster. Your uterus doesn’t immediately shrink after delivery – it can take some time. But breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, which may speed up the process.
Get moving, but start slow
Before starting up an exercise routine, you need to be cleared by your doctor. This usually takes around 6 weeks. In the meantime, you can still do light exercise, such as going for a walk.
Once you’ve been cleared, make sure to incorporate strength training moves into your workout. Rebuilding your muscles is important after going through labor. You can build your own program, but you may find it helpful to follow a post-pregnancy program.
Before doing any core work, make sure to check to see if you have diastasis recti. This is a condition where your ab muscles separate in the front, and it is common during pregnancy. It leads to a visible tummy “pooch” if not corrected.
Special workouts and physical therapy may be necessary to treat diastasis recti. Talk to your doctor about exercises are right for you. For example, traditional crunches are not good for treating diastasis recti.
You also need to be extra careful when trying to lower your belly fat after a c-section. The recovery time is longer, and your abdominal muscles will be especially weakened.
Get enough sleep
Parents of newborns often struggle to get enough sleep, but sleep is vital to your total health. There are many studies that show an association with sleep deprivation and weight gain.
Sleeping through the night isn’t likely, especially when you’re breastfeeding. A good rule is to be sleeping whenever your baby is sleeping. So take naps whenever your baby is asleep during the day, and go to sleep at the same time as your baby.
Another tactic is taking shifts with the father. This may be every other night, or “late night” versus “early morning” shifts. Either way, you will increase your uninterrupted sleep.
As with all weight loss, a combination of diet and exercise is the best way to get lasting results. But intense workouts and restrictive diets are not possible post-pregnancy. So eating the right foods is even more important when trying to lose weight after having a baby.
Your diet should consist of all the following nutrients:
- Lean protein, like chicken
- Healthy fats, like avocados and olive oil
- Complex carbohydrates, such as quinoa
- Colorful fruits and vegetables
And limit the following:
- Added sugar
- Processed and prepackaged food
Meal planning can be helpful in this new stage of life. Having a plan for the week and prepping ahead of time is a great way to stay on track, especially with how busy new moms are. If you’re new to meal planning, here is a great guide to get you started.
Another trick is to keep healthy snacks on hand, like a bag of almonds. This way you can stay on track even while on the go.
Stay Positive and Patient
Most importantly, stay positive and patient! The weight took 9 months to gain; it won’t all come off in 9 weeks. Celebrities may be able to regain their bodies in just weeks, but your life is different. They likely have full-time help, personal trainers, personal chefs and more!
For everyone else, this is a time to first and foremost enjoy being a mother. Spend time bonding with your baby and taking care of yourself and your family. With the tips you read here, the weight will come off, and you can get your body back!
Guest Post by livin3