Pregnancy is an exciting period because of the anticipation of the yet to be born baby but it is also a stressful period for the pregnant woman. During pregnancy, the body undergoes numerous changes to accommodate the growing baby.
Once the baby is born, you might discover that all your energy is channeled to your baby. As a result, you might end up neglecting your health and well-being without even realizing. And before you know, you’d be faced with an uphill task of shedding the weight to get back to your pre-pregnancy physique.
What Happens After Pregnancy
After giving birth, you must be wondering why your tummy is still protruding six months after delivery. You worry as to whether you’ll ever get back in shape and fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes again.
If you have gained less than 25-30 pounds, you exercised regularly during your pregnancy, and have had your first child, you are more likely to tone down quickly. However, if you’ve gained the same amount of weight and did not exercise regularly, and it is your second or third child, it will take you longer to shed the weight.
It takes nine months for the body to expand to accommodate the growing fetus until it grows full term. Therefore, it will take nine months or more to regain your pre-pregnancy figure. However, this is a process that requires a lot of patience to avoid frustrations which might arise due to the slow pace of results.
To make sure you are on course to regaining your pre-pregnancy physique, here are 5 tips to help you achieve your goal faster and safely:
1. Breastfeed your baby if possible
Research has proven that breastfeeding helps in recruiting stored fat from the adipose tissue. During pregnancy, your body piles on fat in preparation for adequate nourishment of the baby. It has also been estimated that breastfeeding helps by burning approximately 500 Calories per day. Another very important benefit is that it also helps in getting the uterus back to its regular shape faster.
2. Do pelvic floor exercises
The pelvic floor muscles usually become lax due to the weight of the baby as the pregnancy comes to term. These muscles have a very important function of holding the female reproductive organs in place. They also offer the much-needed support to the bladder, womb, and bowel. Therefore, they have to be strengthened as soon as possible by doing Kegel exercises.
Kegel exercises help in restoring the lost tone and avoid the embarrassing condition of urinary incontinence. Incontinence or urine leakage is common after undergoing a normal delivery.
Having a healthy and strong pelvic will enable you to incorporate more activities into your exercise routine.
3. Eat sensibly
Ensure that you are getting a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. This is especially important if you breastfeeding because of the increased nutritional demands for production of milk. Avoid sugary and deep fried foods. These will always leave you craving for more and may frustrate your efforts to get back in shape.
Don’t be quick about going on a diet. This is because most diets are restrictive and may end up denying your body of the much-needed nutrients. Such important nutrients include calcium, iron, vitamins and other vital minerals.
4. Start walking
If you’ve had a normal delivery, get up and start walking as soon as the soreness subsides. Begin with as little as five to ten minutes daily and increase the duration gradually. Do only what you are able to handle and no more.
If on the other hand, you’ve had a C-Section, you will have to wait a bit longer or until your doctor gives you a go ahead. Avoid anything strenuous particularly if you were not active during or before your pregnancy.
5. Join a post-natal class
Joining a group exercise class will provide you with an opportunity to meet other young. You will be able to share your experiences on how you are tackling the challenges of motherhood. The camaraderie at these classes is so good.
In fact, it has been shown that young mothers are less likely to suffer from post-partum depression if they have access to such a group.
In addition, you will be taken through exercise by an expert who is well versed with handling you. The exercises in these classes are specific to your needs. You’ll be able to strengthen your weak back and relieve low back pain which is quite common after delivery.
So look for a class near you and sign up.
It is important to realize that different women gain weight at a much faster rate than others during pregnancy. The same thing applies when it comes to regaining your pre-pregnancy weight.
You might get in shape faster or slower than others depending on a variety of factors. Therefore, do it at your own pace and listen to your body at all times.
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