Many new moms want to get back the bodies they had before the pregnancy, or even get into better shape than before. It is completely normal to gain weight while pregnant, and your body will transform to make space for your baby. However, there is no need to pile on any additional weight, except for the baby and their necessities, so eating a healthy diet and lightly exercising while pregnant can get you a head start for when the baby is out. And after that, there are a few things you need to know.
Be realistic and start slow
If you think that you can be back in the gym the day after giving birth, your body will be the first one to tell you to sit down and lower your expectations. You’ve just been through something very powerful, your body is exhausted and you need to let it recover. Use the downtime to talk to your doctor about what diet you should be following, which exercise regimes are the best for you and what are the precautions you should be taking. It is most important to let your body heal completely and to slowly get into exercise, instead of just jumping right back where you left off. Start by simply walking around and interacting with your baby, and then slowly work your way up.
You will be amazed at how much calories breastfeeding burns – up to 500 calories per day. Not all moms can nurse, but if it is something you are looking into, it can be a way to substitute that hour at the gym. Be careful, though, because once you stop breastfeeding, you will have to adapt your diet, or risk putting the weight back on. Talk to a nutritionist about how you can slowly adapt your diet so that it’s not as much of a shock.
Get professional help
Some issues simply can’t be resolved by eating right and going to the gym, and you need the help of professionals to really get everything sorted out. You might not have noticed excess skin and fat around your abdomen, but pregnancy can really put it in the spotlight. You can do an abdominoplasty to get your lower stomach in great shape and reduce the traces that the pregnancy left on your body. Make sure you research your options well and go to a reputable clinic, where you will have a safe and pleasant experience. This will also allow you to continue exercising more comfortably to further your progress.
Join a group
It is always easier to work out with people who are there for the same reason. Many fitness centers offer classes tailor-made for new moms, where your condition will be taken into consideration with every exercise. You can also use this chance to meet other moms who are going through the same experience and make new friends, whom you instantly have something to bond over. If you can’t find a mommy class, try some light pilates or bar practice, but make sure you tell the instructor that you are a new mom, so that they can adapt the program for you if needed.
Mommy & me workout
Speaking of not working out alone, you need to realize that you literally just gave birth to your new exercise buddy! Besides the work you will be putting in with actually taking care of your baby, you can also dance around with them and even use them as a weight for different workouts! They will love spending time with you, and you will be bonding with them at the same time while working on your body. When they get a little bit older, you can look for programs that are for the mom and baby, where you can have fun with other peers – both yours and theirs – and have fun together.
Pregnancy is a wonderful period of your life, and the first time you hold your child, all the troubles will be worth it. When they are born, they are going to be the center of your world, but you have to keep in mind that, in order for you to take good care of them, you have to take good care of yourself, as well, so give yourself permission to put yourself first every once in a while and feel good in your own skin.