I am a mum of two, and my kids are just 22 months apart. So I know the dilemma all new mothers go through couple of months after the delivery when they see that instead of losing weight, they are gaining more. That’s all right. You have time to lose weight. Around this time, (I would strongly advice) please do not take celebrity moms as your ideals, because they take EXTREME measures to lose down all those fats from their bodies, and more importantly, their photos are all photoshopped. So, as I was saying, you can take time, or, if you are in a hurry to get back to your good ol’ shape, then there are many exercises that will eventually slim you down.
Here is a first-hand experience of a mother who has successfully shed her extra weight in 33 days. This is only to inspire you not to stay frustrated with those extra body mass, and do something about it. After my first pregnancy, it took me eight months before I started to shed some extra fat. Now, let me tell you one thing. You can not cut down on food, because for the first six months, your baby’s meals entirely depends on you. Yes, I am talking about breastfeeding. So, this brings me to my first two points:
1. Say no to “No Food”.
This means no dieting, please! If you are frustrated with your weight, then dieting is not your thing. It is mainly because your body needs proper nutrients to help you recover from the delivery stress, for feeding your baby, and also to fight against infections. So, all you need is a very well balanced diet plan. Go to your dietician, and ask them to make you a proper chart. You should eat every kind of nutritious food to ward off your hunger. Munch on healthy snacks. Frustration will lead to more weight. That’s the last thing you want to do now.
2. Breastfeed to slim down.
Lots of women have successful stories on how breastfeeding has helped them to cut down on their weight. It is sort of true in the sense that when you breastfeed, 300-500 calories are burnt. It is a form of exercise both for the mother, and the baby. But do remember point number one from above. No dieting, no reduction of food intake. Because, you will get energy from whatever extra kilojoules you eat, and from your body’s existing fat stores. In this way, you are shedding extra fat from your body. For your convenient, here’s a diet for a breastfeeding mum.
Besides healthy eating, and breastfeeding, comes the physical part of the exercises. These exercises are simple, but effective. You would need to sweat your fats out. So here are some exercises that will shape you back to the old you.
3. Go walking.
This exercise is an old routine, which you can start right after your delivery. Begin slowly, but gain your pace once your body is pain-free, and relaxed. Start with small steps. Walk for fifteen to twenty minutes. Once you are comfortable, increase your time. Half an hour to one hour of rigorous walking is good enough for one day.
4. Kegel up whenever, wherever.
Kegel is a classic exercise. The reason why this is important is because this will help you to tone your pelvic muscles. The best form of doing this is, sit on a bench. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart. Put your hands on the hips. Now, contract your pelvis muscles, as if you are halting from urinating. Stand up. Now return to bench, and release. Do this 10 times per session, everyday. This is the actual way of doing kegel. But if you can’t exercise the proper way, then just do it while you squeeze in some time to watch television, or even during traveling while you are waiting in the signal.
5. Draw deep belly breath.
This specific exercise is specially dedicated to your abdominal, and stomach areas. Another beginner’s exercise, you can also start doing this couple of hours after your childbirth. Just sit straight, and breathe deeply. You have to inhale deep from the diaphragm. While doing this, contract, and hold your abs tightly. When you breathe out, stay relaxed. When you hold your breath, you can count the seconds. Start from 10 seconds, and gradually increase the time as you go. This can also be done whenever or wherever you are, and no one would even notice that you are exercising!
6. Work the floor bridges.
Floor bridges will target your hamstrings, and butt. What you have to do is lie down on the floor with your knees bent, and feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides. Contract your core muscles, and squeeze your butt to raise from the ground. Press your heels on the floor. Now, do the kegel exercise. Hold for 3-4 seconds, and slowly return to floor. Release the kegel exercise. You can repeat this 10 times at first, and can increase it to 20 times if you feel good.
7. Do the kneeling pelvic tilt.
This exercise is good for your stomach, abdominal muscles, and can relief you from back pain. Get on all fours, with your toes touching the floor. Your arms should be exactly straight down from your shoulder line, palms connecting with the floor as well. Stay relaxed, and straight. Now, breathe in, and pull your butt forward, lean you pelvis, and move around your pubic bone upward. Stay like this for 3 seconds, and let go.
8. Exercise the crunch beat.
Another easy exercise that targets your abdominal muscles, and legs. Lie flat on a mat, bend your knees 90 degrees, and lift your legs. Make sure your calves are parallel to the ground. Put your hands behind your head, elbows out, and crunch up. Lift up your shoulders. Next step, extend your legs straight forward, cross your ankles, and stretch your hands overhead. Stay like this while you shift your legs over, and under each other for 8-10 times. Relax, and repeat.
These are some basic, easy exercises that can boost your energy in getting into your original shape pre-pregnancy. For your benefits, here are some bonus tips for you. Drink plenty of water, especially right before you breastfeed. Drinking water will aid you in keeping yourself hydrated, will clear your urine, and speed up your metabolism. Another important thing is to get enough sleep. I know that the first few months will be super hectic, but I would recommend you to catch up on sleep whenever possible. Sleeping can release stress hormones, which is another reason for gaining weight.
Follow these simple life hacks and you will enjoy your post pregnancy periods. Don’t distress yourself on unnecessary thoughts, just appreciate your new role. This is a life changing experience, and a healthy you is what is required to experience it. Here is a first-hand
Featured photo credit: Nick Koch Weiler via flickr.com