When you bring home your new bundle of joy, you may also bring home something unwanted: the post-pregnancy flab. The wobbles, wiggles and jiggles of your post-baby body is enough to drive you straight into a pint of ice cream. However, there are ways to beat it, and it doesn’t even have to break the bank. Forget expensive gym memberships and fancy diet pills. Getting your body back into rocking shape doesn’t have to cost more than just a few twists to your usual routine. Are you ready? Let’s get in shape.
Getting Back In the Game
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a woman can safely assume a physical exercise program four weeks after a normal delivery and six weeks after a c-section. A recent blog on the Wall Street Journal’s Livemint.com suggests that this gives both the body and the uterus time to get back into shape. However, if you were already exercising during your pregnancy, it will give your body the ability to bounce back a lot quicker than if you weren’t. Seeing as you’ve just had a baby, there can be financial implications against hiring a personal trainer or joining an expensive gym with year-long contracts. Ditch the money pitfalls and instead look into some cheap, tried and true methods for shedding the post-birth pounds.
1) Breastfeed to increase calorie burn.
It’s no big news that breastfeeding is not only the healthiest way to feed your baby for the first six months of life. However, did you know that it’s also a massive calorie burner? New mother’s who are breastfeeding can expect to burn several hundred extra calories a day. It’s important that you make up for that in nutrition to keep your milk producing at a good rate. There are specific healthy diets you can use to make sure your milk production stays up while your flabby thighs go down. As usual, speak to your doctor before you engage with any new exercise or nutrition program, particularly if you are breastfeeding your child.
2) Get some exercise where you can.
Finding time to squeeze in a little exercise can feel like an impossible task when you’re not even sure how you’re supposed to take a shower with a new baby. Look for opportunities and think outside the box when it comes to your exercises. For example, taking your baby for a walk or a jog in a stroller not only gives your tot a great way to experience the world around them, but also for you to burn off a little bit of that tummy. Nap times are also a great time to invest some time in a workout video.
3) Entertain your baby while you work out.
There’s nothing worse than a bored baby, and making sure that you’ve got your little one entertained while you get yourself in gear is essential for keeping up your fitness routine. A great way you can do this is with toys such as a Bright Starts bouncer, or even a baby play yard. Both can keep your child safe and secure while you work out in front of them. Encourage your child to laugh and clap along with what mommy is doing to really make it special. Not only can you get your workout in, but you can make it your special time with your little one.
4) Continue to make healthy choices.
Yes, you’ve heard it all before. Eating healthy will lead to more effective weight loss. Try to focus your diet more on lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, keeping fats and sugar to a minimum. Don’t give up on your favorite foods — instead learn to make them more healthily. For example, try mashing cauliflower instead of potatoes for a low-carb side dish. Thinking creatively when it comes to your food can go a long way to keeping you on track with your diet.
5) Find some other moms for support.
There’s nothing better than having some moral support, and who will understand better what you’re going through than another new mom? Look online to mommy blogs and message boards to meet other women in your area who might like to go for long walks with their babies, or even host play groups to give you some much needed time off. Not only are these groups usually free, they’re also a lot of fun and can help foster relationships for your children in the future.
If you’re feeling flabby after giving birth, you’re not alone. Getting your workouts back in gear after pregnancy can give you a great boost emotionally and physically. Look for ways to improve your eating habits and find other moms for support. It doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg, and you’re guaranteed to feel better as you go.