The dangers of rushing in to an old routine
Be careful—rushing your body back into its pre-pregnancy condition may actually not be the safest and healthiest option, for you or your baby. While it may be tempting to measure up to celebrity moms, or your peers, the best advice is to approach your recovery at your own, natural pace.
Make sure to consult your doctor before embarking on any plan to lose weight after giving birth, especially if you’ve had a difficult pregnancy or a caesarian section. Once you’ve established parameters with your physician, there are a variety of strategies to apply to your routine.
Getting back in shape
It’s typically safe for most new moms to begin exercising within six days to six weeks post-delivery. Once you do start back up, take it easy. The hormone relaxin is produced in the ovaries and placenta of pregnant women to help loosen up the body’s joints. Relaxin often remains in a woman’s system in the weeks after pregnancy, making her venerable to injury. With that in mind, focus on low impact exercises such as walking or yoga.
While it might sound great in concept, working an exercise routine into your post natal life is a challenge all on its own. Here are a few tips for making it happen:
• Delegate tasks: your exercise time can be quality bounding time for your partner
• Break out the stroller: if the weather’s nice, take walks with your baby
• Workout together: join a postnatal exercise class, or team up with other moms for daily walks. Working out with friends, or as a part of a group, is a terrific way to stay motivated
It’s important to pay attention to your body as you begin working out. If anything seems irregular, it’s never a bad idea to contact your doctor. Keep an eye out for the following warning signals:
• Immoderate bleeding
• Pain in your pelvis or stomach
• Muscle soreness that persists longer than two days
• Severe shortness of breath
• Abnormal fatigue after light exercise
Budget your calories
While you don’t want to dramatically cut you caloric intake, being mindful of healthy targets will help streamline your diet. Breastfeeding mothers are advised to consume a minimum of 1,800-2,000 calories a day. Anything less can not only be bad for you, but also negatively affect the nutrition of breast milk. The good news is that nursing actually burns between 500 and 700 of those calories each day!
Obviously, soda pop, chips, and other high-sugar low-fiber snacks aren’t going to help your cause. Instead, stick with lean proteins, whole foods and grains, and low-fat dairy foods. Some healthy snack ideas include:
• Egg or chicken salad (made with yogurt as opposed to full-fat mayonnaise)
• Raw vegetables with low-fat dip or salad dressing
• Whole grain toast with almond butter
• Low-fat, low-sugar yogurt
The time of day you eat can also affect weight loss, for example eating protein in the morning can help shed pounds. But, stay away from starchy and sugary foods just before rest periods.
Motherhood presents a myriad of challenges. Finding a weight loss program you can stick with can be tough enough during any time in a person’s life, let alone postnatal. Don’t let it overwhelm you—our team at Plantation Wellness can help you find a plan that works for you, your baby, and your doctor.