Any new mother wants to regain her silhouette before getting pregnant, or at least to get close to the physical shape she had before bringing a baby into the world. Here’s how to ease back into working out after having a baby.
Even if you get rid of a lot of the extra pounds gained during your pregnancy, your belly will not deflate by magic. It is normal to want to lose your after-birth belly in order to feel good in your own skin, once again but it takes time and patience, physical exercising, and healthy eating.
You need to know that the losing the unwanted body fat you gained during pregnancy depends on your metabolism but also on which type of birth you had, natural or C-section.
Regardless of how you’ve brought the little one to this world, you will soon feel lighter and slimmer than in the past few months.
Be patient and be optimistic
Many transformations have occurred at your abdomen level during the nine months of pregnancy, so it will take approximately the same time to return to your initial shape.
Do not compare yourself to other mothers or friends who gave birth. When your want to rebuild your belly after birth, the recovery period depends on many personal factors:
- your weight before pregnancy
- the weight gained during pregnancy
- if you’ve exercised during pregnancy
- if you’re breastfeeding or not
- previous pregnancies
- the genetic heritage
Recovery after a natural birth
If you are a mom for the first time, you will be amazed at the sudden changes that occur in your body just after the baby has come to the world. In the first few weeks, you will feel lighter and you will see how your belly slowly returns to a tonic form.
First of all, the uterus continues the contractions to return to its dimensions of before pregnancy. In just one week it will reach half the size it had at birth.
In addition, the internal organs, pushed by the uterus in which the baby has developed, will recover their normal positions.
You will feel a little bloated and you can face urinary incontinence but these changes will disappear in a few weeks.
Female hormones resume their place in the internal mechanism, and some external changes are due to these hormonal fluctuations. Estrogen, the hormone which during the pregnancy was responsible for uterine enlargement and fetal development, drops dramatically after birth, leading to the appearance of soft and fluffy tissues.
You need to know, however, that recovery after a natural birth is generally faster than in the case of cesarean delivery. Therefore, if you do not have a medical indication to give birth by cesarean section, do not just insist on it even if you fear of a more painful birth. Anesthesia is practiced in both types of birth, so the fear of pain is not an argument for opting for cesarean surgery.
Recovery after C-section
The transformations that the body suffered are similar no matter how you choose to give birth.
As in the case of a vaginal delivery, your uterus will also contract after a cesarean section and will return to its original size, the organs will resume their places, while the hormones levels will suddenly descend.
Unlike a natural birth, you will have a painful scar that will postpone the moment you can do muscular toning exercises.
Even if it will not be easy, it is advisable to try to get out of bed the next day after birth through a C-section and to move your legs, ankles, and knees. Even a short walk through the lounge is required if you want a quick recovery after C-section
How active do you have to be?
Do not force yourself to move if you have pain, but do not spend all day in bed. The level of activity and daily physical movements should be adjusted to the level of recovery you have reached.
Returning to normal activities must be done gradually.
The post-natal period is extremely demanding for a mother, so we recommend that you keep a balance between rest and physical effort periods. A short walk is sometimes enough to get you up and to put your blood on the move.
When should you start exercising?
Most of the new mothers feel ready to start moving and exercising six weeks after birth. This period depends on the way you gave birth. If you opted for a natural birth that was an easy one and did not require an episiotomy, you might feel ready to move after just two weeks since birth.
If you have had a cesarean section, you can only train after the scar is completely healed.
Regardless of the birth type you opted for, it is good to ask for a doctor’s opinion before you start some more demanding physical exercises. Most of the time, doctors recommend only light physical activity in the first few months after delivery, such as on-foot walks followed by and a lot of rest.
After receiving your doctor’s approval, there is nothing left to do but to choose what kind of physical activity suits you the best, and there are plenty of postnatal exercises you can go for.
Exercise for the new moms
If you are ready to start postnatal exercises, adapt them! Don’t do exhausting classes of aerobics or fitness. You will not be able to do that, and it is not advisable to put so much effort into physical activities right from the start.
Start with half-hour walks, several times a week, and alternate with stretching, or special Yoga poses for mothers.
Do not forget that weight loss after birth must be a gradual process!
In the first months after birth, your ligaments and joints are still weak, so very tough exercises may cause sprains or swollen ankles.
In case you went through a C-section, do not exaggerate with weight lifting or series for abdominal muscles because you can face a cesarean rupture. The effort level should be increased gradually, without exaggeration, even if you hurry to regain your silhouette of before pregnancy.
Relaxation and comfort
Massage can help you move more easily over the postnatal period, tone your muscles faster, re-energize, and relieve stress.
In addition, it makes you increase your confidence in yourself.
You can start massaging sessions as soon as your doctor gives you the green light for physical activity.
If you gave birth via C-section, it is good to wait for the healing of the scar before you do any massage sessions.
Some extra help
Many mothers feel more comfortable if they wear a postnatal belt after the baby comes into the world. It can be bought from pharmacies, it is easy to wear, and fits for every size of the hips and waist. The postnatal belt helps you to regain the silhouette and to strengthen the abdominal muscles.
Even if it does not help to diminish your waist circumference it will strength your abdominal muscles, and if worn under the clothes it will improve your appearance.
Recovering the silhouette you had before pregnancy and birth is not an easy task but it is possible. When you aim at weight loss after birth, besides exercise and postnatal exercises, you can add a healthy diet, plenty of moisturizing water and much rest to help your metabolism burn more calories and fats. How to ease back into working out after having a baby requires time, patience, optimism, physical activity, rest, and a balanced healthy diet.
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