It took you nine months to grow a beautiful, healthy baby, and it will take approximately the same amount of time to lose the baby weight you gained and get back in shape. Small changes are your best bet, and getting back in shape after having a baby doesn’t need to be stressful or overly tiring. Moreover, exercising as soon as possible after giving birth will give you more energy and may decrease the risk of postpartum depression.
If you exercised regularly during your pregnancy, it will be easier to lose the baby weight. Of course, ask your doctor for their approval before you start exercising.
#1. Start slow
If you had a healthy pregnancy and delivery without any complication, you can slowly begin exercising again after two weeks. Take your time to avoid injuries, and most importantly, listen to your body. Start going for a walk for five minutes a day, then gradually increase. It should always feel comfortable. Getting out with your baby in the stroller will also lift your mood!
The worst thing you can do is do too much too soon. This will set you up for failure, as you will feel exhausted and discouraged to continue.
#2. Practice Kegels and pelvic tilts
These can be done as soon as one or two days after delivery if you have your doctor’s approval. These simple exercises will increase the blood supply to the perineum and help speed up the recovery process.
#3. Gentle Abs workout
Strengthening your core muscles is something that you want to do sooner rather than later. Your core weakened during pregnancy. The muscles are all attenuated and stretched out and it’s important to strengthen it soon to avoid injuries.
Planks and modified sit ups are good exercises to start with.
Dieting is off limit if you’ve chosen to breastfeed. You need to get at least 1,800 to 2,000 calories a day to produce quality milk and feed your baby properly. Make sure you eat a balanced, nutritious diet in order to give your baby all the nutrients it needs.
And the good news is, breastfeeding burns up to 600 calories a day!
#5. What you shouldn’t do
Experts recommend avoiding any type of exercise that put stress on your joints, such as jogging, running, jumping for at least six to eight weeks.
During pregnancy your body produces relaxin, a hormone that makes joints loose and more prone to injury. This hormone is still present in your blood for several weeks after giving birth. Putting too much stress on your joints too soon can result in serious injuries.
#6. When to stop?
Whatever you do, you should always listen to your body and pay close attention to warning signs. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Excessive bleeding
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Extreme shortness of breath
- Exhaustion after even mild exercise
- Muscle soreness that does not go away within a day or two