For Mommy

Reclaiming your Body after Childbirth

When a woman becomes pregnant all kinds of changes occur, the most obvious to the body. The body prior to becoming pregnant completely transforms as the embryo grows into a fetus that soon becomes a living, breathing baby.

Although most pregnant women find this to be a fascinating time, it also creates concern that the body will never go back to being “normal”. After all, weight gain is common in pregnancy so once the baby is born, that weight needs to be lost and the skin toned.

A very common change seen in pregnancy is stretch marks. Some women will get only a few while others get a lot. In either case, stretch marks resulting from pregnancy will not go away as the weight comes off. However, the scars will fade over time. Therefore, you want to focus on reclaiming your old body through diet and exercise.

Most women will want pregnancy information during and after the birth with questions around exercise. To a woman, being able to start an exercise program so she can recapture her pre-pregnancy body is important. The key to reaching your goal is to do the right exercises and in the right time. If you were active during your pregnancy then it will be easier to get back to exercise but if not, be realistic that getting your old body back will take a little more work and time.

The challenge is that as we watch Hollywood moms, they seem to drop all their pregnancy weight overnight. However, what is not seen is that person working with a personal trainer before, during, and soon after delivery. This means the celebrity was likely in great shape to start with so getting back to the body she had prior to getting pregnant is not that difficult. It is important not to compare or rate yourself against other new mothers, especially Hollywood moms. This quick weight loss after pregnancy is not the norm. Instead, understand it will take a little time and work but only after your doctor has given you the go-ahead.

The process of losing weight after pregnancy is challenging. This will be a daily process of eating right and exercising. Once the baby is in the home, your time is going to be dedicated to his or her care, which leaves very little time for you. For this reason, you want to try to set at least 30 minutes a day aside for you, a time when you can exercise and focus on getting back to the body you had prior to getting pregnant.

One of the most effective ways of losing weight after birth is by making sure while pregnant, you stay active. Unless your doctor has specifically told you not to exercise, there is no reason why moderate activity should be avoided. Walking and swimming are excellent options that will boost your energy while pregnant but also make losing weight after the pregnancy far easier.

Other things you might try to lose your pregnancy weight include biking, aerobics, light jogging, and yoga. Again, if your doctor gives you approval, these activities can also keep you in shape during the different weeks of pregnancy.

Typically, a doctor will advise the patient to avoid any exercise for a period of six weeks after giving birth. After all, the body has gone through tremendous stress and needs time to heal and rest. Once you get past that point, incorporating mild exercise is fine, slowing building to a more intense workout. With daily time and dedication, the weight from pregnancy will start to melt away. To ensure you stay focused, we recommend choosing the types of activities you enjoy. That way, you will not look at exercise as a chore but a time for you to relax while reclaiming your body.

Methods for Losing Weight after Pregnancy

One of the downsides to being pregnant is the excess weight left over after birth. Most women will gain weight during pregnancy, which is normal and healthy but getting it off afterwards can be tough for some. If the woman breastfeeds, she will find the weight seems to come off easier than if bottle feeding.

Typically, a pregnant woman needs approximately 300 calories more than usual simply due to the physical challenges of being a new mother. Then, if she breastfeeds her baby, the caloric intake would increase to about 500 more daily so she produces enough milk and stays healthy. The body is amazing, knowing that additional nutrition will be needed even after birth.

If you are pregnant and made the decision to breastfeed, you might not like the idea of eating 500 extra calories a day but keep in mind, all of these calories will be burned off and as mentioned, breastfeeding makes it easier to lose weight. The main focus is of course eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.

If you are pregnant but have made the decision to bottle feed, you still need extra calories because the body has been through a lot but give yourself a break, knowing getting the extra weight off will take a little longer. With a balanced diet and exercise (once your doctors gives permission), you will be on your way to your pre-pregnancy weight.

As a new mom, your body is going to burn extra calories quickly. Before getting pregnant, you would have had to do a lot of exercise to burn off 500 calories but as a mom, it will be burned faster. After all, you will be carrying a baby around, pushing a stroller, lifting, and doing a lot more walking than you think.

If you look at it logically, it is easy to see that being a new mom requires tons of energy. Even if you get most of the weight off but still have five, ten, or fifteen to go, talk to your doctor to see if you can start on a light to moderate exercise program. The most important thing to remember is that you just went through a pregnancy and delivery, which are hard work. Your body has been pushed hard so the last thing you want to do is push it further. Be realistic and patient and within a few months, you will begin to shed the excess pounds.

In fact, after being pregnant and now breastfeeding a new baby, it is extremely important not to get too carried away with exercise. A toll has been taken on your body. Now, your body is producing milk and you are breastfeeding a baby, which is work.

To keep yourself from becoming discouraged, remind yourself of the nine months of pregnancy, the delivery, and the care you provide for your new baby. Give yourself a break and set realistic goals. Instead of looking at all the weight you want to lose, set five pound goals. That way, you will not feel overwhelmed and will see accomplishments easier.