6 months old
Getting Back into Shape
- Perhaps you have some more pounds to lose, or maybe you’ve already dropped down to your pre-pregnancy weight. As much as we like (love?) to judge those who can button up their skinny jeans mere months after delivering, factors like good genes, pregnancy weight gain and breastfeeding do play a part.
- It’s a fact that breastfeeding mothers burn extra calories to make milk, which can really help in trimming down without being too strict about what you’re eating.
- If you’re breastfeeding and still having trouble with those last 5 or 10 pounds, be careful not to drastically slash your calories because your milk supply could be compromised. Plus, you need those extra calories for energy, and depleting your stamina will make exercising near impossible.
- But beyond weight, most of us are stretched and sagging in all of the same places, which will unfortunately not be fixed by a miracle diet or even breastfeeding.
- We’re about to seriously depress you: Your abdominal muscles will never snap back into shape on their own. You’ll need to exercise.
- To make matters worse, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to pull them back to their pre-pregnancy strength.
- In fact, with each pregnancy you’ll see more sagging than the one before.
- The only real way to tone your stomach back up is the classic formula of aerobic exercise + toning techniques + sensible eating.
- Abdominal exercises will also help strengthen your back (which you’ll need for all of the car seat lugging, stroller hauling and endless baby rocking), as well as boost your psychological and emotional state.
- However, keep in mind that sometimes a cesarean can alter your shape in a way that exercise simply can’t change.
- The same goes for all postpartum women: There are sometimes body changes (like slightly deflated breasts, a bigger shoe size or wider hips) that simply can’t be reversed.
Can’t find the time to work out? Feeling too exhausted?
- Sign up for a postpartum exercise class that involves your baby. This way you’ll be exercising and bonding at the same time – a win, win.
- Strap your baby in a stroller or a baby carrier and take a brisk walk around the neighborhood, or even invest in a good jogging stroller. Plus, your baby could use the fresh air and soothing ride.
- For those who prefer the comfort of their own living room to a stuffy gym, there are plenty of postpartum exercises on DVDs that can be done with your little one strapped right to your chest in a baby carrier.
- You can also hold your baby during calisthenics and do some arm raises with him or her while your baby giggles away.
- Just because you can’t spend two hours in the gym kickboxing and practicing your sun salutations doesn’t mean a little exercise here and there won’t help. Taking a walk with your baby and doing some targeted toning can really make improvements.
Here are some more tips for postpartum exercise:
- Schedule it into your day, otherwise you’ll never find the extra time for it. If it’s important to you then make it a priority – even if it’s only 20 minutes of walking and 15 minutes of toning three times a week.
- Short on time? It actually might be better to break up your strengthening sessions into short bursts throughout the day, such as three 5-minute ab sessions.
- Ease into an exercise routine. Don’t expect to jump back into your pre-pregnancy routine without feeling incredible soreness and exhaustion. Remember, you’re working on serious sleep deprivation and months of loose muscles and stretched ligaments. Take a more gradual approach or else you won’t be able to tote around your growing baby the next day – let alone walk.
- Drink lots of water before and after, especially if you’re breastfeeding.