How To Get Back In Shape After You’ve Had A Baby

My exercise ball is my new best friend.

My exercise ball is my new best friend.

Your little baby is adorable and you love him to pieces, but bringing him into this world has wreaked havoc on your physique. You long to shed that excess weight, kiss your belly flab goodbye, and restore your core muscles to their former glory. After all, your infant is the one who’s supposed to be packing on the ounces–not you.

Here are a few tips to help you in your battle against the post-baby bulge.

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Carting your bundle of joy to and fro may seem like a great workout in itself, but there are other effective exercises that will help while away those pregnancy pounds. The trick is to start off slowly and make sure that you give your body time to heal.

You may be tempted to attack those abdominal muscles right away, but this can actually do you harm. After you give birth, your abdominal muscles are stretched and some even have a gap in those muscles that can take up to eight weeks to close. Avoid crunches and other six-pack-straining exercises until that region has healed.

Walking around the block with Junior in his stroller is a great way to lose weight and escape the monotony of your four walls. Just remember to bring along your baby-care pack complete with disposable diapers (or cloth), bottle (if not breastfeeding) and pacifier (optional). Swimming, Cycling, Yoga, Water Aerobics, or Pilates can be added to your regime as your strength returns.

Get “new mom” friends

A support system is a wonderful thing–especially when you are coping with the demands of a newborn and trying to get back in shape. It is also important to get out there and meet other new moms. Not only will they be able to offer you advice about the perils of motherhood like soothing a teething infant, relieving diaper rash, and dealing with a colicky child, but they may also prove to be great partners in the battle against the baby bulge. It’s easier than you think to get back in shape!

You can go for walks together, which will enable you to have some adult time and encourage you both to walk longer and further. Joining exercise programs geared at new moms and their tots will also keep you on track and prevent you from going stir crazy.

Remember that Sleeping Beauty slept

Junior may be tiny, but he’s got a healthy set of lungs and you likely haven’t slept much since his arrival. With a severely disrupted sleep cycle, your metabolism can hamper your ability to lose weight and get back in shape. That is why it is important to nap whenever your baby does.

These periods of slumber will increase your energy levels, alleviate those cravings for something sweet, and better enable you to cope with the stresses that motherhood entails. So, listen to your body. When it’s tired, rest.

Eat sensibly

You are no longer eating for two, so you need to cut back on empty calorie items–no matter how good they taste. Instead, opt for lean protein choices like fish, poultry, eggs, and beans. Make sure you eat whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and adequate amounts of low-fat dairy products.

Never skip breakfast as this will confuse your metabolism. Try to eat smaller meals more often and forego having large quantities of food in one sitting.

But don’t be afraid to reward yourself for goals achieved. If your diet is too limiting and difficult to follow, you won’t be able to stick with it.

If you begin to feel discouraged, just remember that Junior is counting on you to persevere. He deserves to have a healthy mom who feels good about herself. After all, when Mama’s happy, everyone is happy.

What tips and tricks helped you get back in shape after childbirth?

Kimberley Laws
I am a freelance writer, avid blogger, illustrator, and aspiring novelist who thinks the world is a terribly funny place filled with bizarre things to observe--and, of course, comment on.
Kimberley Laws

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