Children are a precious gift. We go through nine months of labor to bring that gift into the world. And, while we are overjoyed, our bodies are usually not. Here are a few tips to help you get your “before baby” body back after pregnancy.
First of all, it doesn’t matter how many years you are post-pregnancy, you can still achieve the body that you desire. Unfortunately, many moms think that once they deliver that big bundle of joy, they will instantly drop about 50 pounds. Not so. What you will lose is the weight of your baby plus a few pounds.
So, where do you begin?
1. Take a look at what you eat. When you were pregnant, those cravings may have sent you to the fridge for chocolate cake, peanut butter, and jelly or French fries. Now that you are without that extra mouth to feed, it’s time to get back to reality.
For breastfeeding mothers, eating right is important. Your nutritional intake directly impacts that of your child. If you eat something that changes the taste of your milk, your baby may not be too thrilled with you. The best nutrients come from whole foods. Think about including more servings of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grain bread, and low-fat dairy.
2. Plan ahead so that you don’t have to resort to fast food. If your baby is young, then you know how much attention they need. Use your time wisely. When the baby is asleep, prepare your meals. Vegetables can be eaten raw as a quick snack with a low-fat dip. The same goes for fresh fruit. Just cut it up ahead of time.
Make mealtime quicker by doing as much prep work as you can ahead of time. Cut up veggies and freeze them until you need them. Make sandwiches for lunch from leftover dinner meats.
3. Get moving. You don’t have to hit the gym for a hard workout right away. Start with a walk around the neighborhood. You can push the baby in a stroller so that they can get some fresh air too. Walking is one of the best overall exercises you can do. If you want to ramp it up to a jog or run, invest in a jogging stroller for the baby.
One of the best exercises to do is Kegels. These will help you to strengthen your pelvic floor again after giving birth. You can squeeze these muscles as you sit in the car, as you are feeding a baby or even watching a movie. With exercise, your work is cumulative so the more mini sessions you can fit in, the better.
You won’t get your old body back overnight, but it will come. Start by transforming your diet and then get moving. You don’t have to wait for a sitter; take the baby along to help with your workout.