Did you think that the weight you gained when you were pregnant would magically disappear once your baby was born?
Most women gain an average of 30 pounds when pregnant. Babies only weigh about 6-8 pounds. The first 18-20 pounds usually disappear within about a month after birth. The last 5-10 pounds are sometimes harder to lose. Getting fit can help you lose that extra weight.
It's easier for women who exercised during their pregnancy to lose weight. Studies show that moms who exercise and breastfeed lose more weight. Most exercising mothers return to their pre-pregnancy weight by their baby’s first birthday.
Start your exercise routine slowly after having a baby. Make sure you talk to your doctor about it. He or she may suggest some simple exercises. Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles of the vaginal walls and opening.
Slow walking is a good way to start. Walking will get the rest of your body back in shape slowly. It may also reduce stress. Be careful because you may still have back pain and posture concerns.
Nursing mothers may have some upper back pain from the extra breast weight. Because of this, adding back exercises may be very helpful. Wait 6 weeks after giving birth to return to more demanding activities
Those who delivered by cesarean section will need more time to heal and regain strength. The surgery will leave you feeling less ready to start into an exercise routine, so begin slowly. Be careful when exercising, especially with your stomach muscles. It is important to ask your doctor about a safe exercise program.
You may be most concerned about your tummy. Be careful not to do too much too soon. You may want to start with pelvic tilts. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Put your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Contract your stomach muscles. Press your lower back against the floor. Feel your pelvis tilt or rock toward your shoulders. Your pelvis and bottom should come slightly off the floor. Add stomach curls to your program when you are stronger.
Make sure that you do not cut back too much on calories in order to lose weight. Breast-feeding moms need more calories, and those who exercise will need even more calories. Breast-feeding mothers really need an extra 500 calories per day. The extra calories give their babies a proper diet. Cutting calories may cut out nutrients that are important to you and your baby.
Exercise can be fun for you and your baby. Put your child in a stroller and take a walk together. You may both feel the benefits of exercise. It will give you another chance to bond with your new baby. This quality time with your baby will also help your body--giving you more energy in the future to chase after the baby!
*Specialist in sports nutrition and physical activity of MyDiet™
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