Disclaimer: Before commencing any fitness or diet program, it is highly recommended that you consult your GP before doing so.
Having a baby can take the wind out of any woman’s sail.
There is so much unnecessary pressure on women to get back into shape following the birth of their child. What’s important to note is that every woman is different so should commence physical activity when they feel up to it and when it is safe to do so.
It doesn't matter whether it is your first time around or your fifth, there is no need to panic about getting back into shape post-pregnancy. Taking the pressure off yourself will help you lose weight properly. It will happen, just give it time.
With a little bit of patience, some determination and the right mindset, you will be well on your way to feeling your good old self again.
Here are 5 tips that will help you get into shape following the birth of your bundle.
1. Don’t Ignore Your Pelvic Floor
Your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor otherwise known as your core are unfortunately the worst hit during and after pregnancy. Some women experience abdominal separation of up to seven fingers and if this area is not strengthened quickly, it will start to impact posture, can exasperate lower back pain and will ensure that the excess layer of fat around the stomach will not go away easily. The good news is you can start doing working on your pelvic floor and abdominal separation within a week or so of having a natural birth and two weeks after a caesarean.
2. Get moving.
For years, women have been told to wait until the 6 week mark before commencing any sort of activity after childbirth. I’d like to de-bunk that myth. Yes, it’s important to get sign off from your doctor, but getting moving soon after birth is not only beneficial for your recovery but will also aid in weight loss. Now I’m not talking about running 10km nor do I mean hitting the gym for a hard core weights session. Pop your trainers on, put bub in the pram and go for a slow walk for 20-30 minutes twice a week initially then build up from there. Do this in conjunction with your pelvic floor exercises and you will start feeling great in no time.
3. Nourish your body
I cannot stress more about the importance of eating good, wholesome food that will not only nourish you but also your baby if you are breastfeeding. Sleep deprivation can do all sorts of things to us but don’t let binge eating be one of them. Ditch the fast food, fizzy drinks, sweets and replace with a balance of protein, lots of green vegetables and a portion of good fats. Your body will thank you for it and you will start to see results in no time. There is a catch with eating good, wholesome food. That is preparation. Pre-plan your meals on a Sunday for the week ahead including your snacks and you will always have heathy food on hand.
4. Set Realistic Goals
Always wanted to run or get back into your group fitness classes? Perhaps you’d like to get into that bikini this summer or simply get your jeans back on after the birth of your baby. Having a baby does not need to take over your life. There is no mistaking that being a mum is rewarding but it can also be tough going at times. That is why it is important to take some time out for you. Yes YOU! Book that fun run/walk that you’ve always wanted to do and start training. Set some fitness goals for yourself and make sure that they are realistic. Break them down into bite size chunks and revisit them regularly.
5. Consistency is Key
Trying to get into a routine with a newborn is difficult. Finding time to exercise seems impossible but it’s not. In fact, all you need is 20 minutes a few times a week. Short bursts of functional training (weight bearing activities that strengthen the core) is fun and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Think squats whilst cooking dinner or brushing your teeth. So long as you’re consistent, you will start to see results. Put it in your diary the days that you think that you can do some sort of activity and hold yourself accountable. Don’t worry if you can’t always stick to the schedule either. Things happen. It’s just important to keep your body moving on a regular bas