Your little baby is adorable and you love him dearly, but bringing him into this world has wreaked havoc on your body. You’re dying to lose those extra pounds, kiss your belly goodbye, and restore your core to its former glory. After all, your baby is the one who should be packing – not you.
Here are some tips to help you in your battle against the post-baby bump.
Carrying your bundle of joy around may seem like a great exercise, but there are other effective exercises that will help shed those pregnancy pounds. The trick is to start slowly and make sure you give your body time to recover.
It may be tempting to go straight for those abs, but doing so can actually work against you. After you give birth, your abdominal muscles stretch and some even have gaps in them that can take up to eight weeks to close. Avoid crunches and other six-pack-straining exercises until the area has healed.
Walking around the block with Junior in his stroller is a great way to lose weight and escape the monotony of your four walls. Remember to take your complete baby care package with him disposable diapers (or cloth), bottle (if not breastfeeding) and pacifier (optional). Swimming, Biking, Yoga, Water Aerobics or Pilates can be added to your routine when your strength returns.
Get a “new mom” friend.
A support system is a great thing–especially when you’re dealing with the demands of a newborn and trying to get back in shape. It’s also important to get out there and meet other new moms. Not only can they give you advice on the perils of motherhood such as calming a teething baby, relieving diaper rash and dealing with a colicky child, but they can also prove to be great partners in the battle against the baby bump. It’s easier than you think to get back in shape!
You can take long walks together, which allows you some adult time and encourages both of you to take longer and longer walks. Joining an exercise program geared toward new moms and their babies will also keep you on track and prevent you from going crazy.
Remember that Sleeping Beauty is sleeping
Junior may be small, but he has healthy lungs and you probably haven’t slept much since his arrival. With severely disrupted sleep cycles, your metabolism can hinder your ability to lose weight and get back in shape. That’s why it’s important to take a nap whenever your baby does.
This sleep period will increase your energy levels, reduce cravings for sweets, and better enable you to cope with the pressures of motherhood. So listen to your body. When tired, rest.
You’re no longer eating for two, so you need to cut back on empty calorie items – no matter how good they taste. Instead, choose lean protein options such as fish, poultry, eggs and beans. Make sure you eat enough whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
Never skip breakfast as this will confuse your metabolism. Try to eat smaller meals more often and avoid eating large amounts at one time.
But don’t be afraid to reward yourself for the goals achieved. If your diet is too restrictive and difficult to follow, you won’t be able to stick with it.
If you start to feel discouraged, remember that Junior is counting on you to get by. He deserves to have a healthy mother who feels good about herself. After all, when Mama is happy, everyone is happy.
What tips and tricks will help you get back in shape after giving birth?