After gaining 35 pounds with her pregnancy, Jennifer couldn’t wait to deliver and get back to her old self. After delivering an 8 pound beautiful baby boy, she didn’t expect her belly to turn into a tub of jell-o. After a long, depressing look in the mirror, she decided she preferred the big, hard pregnant belly to the soft mushy postpartum belly that she had today. Where did all the elasticity in her skin go anyway?
If you are in the same boat as Jennifer, don’t worry. You CAN get back to the size you were before. First, some guidelines:
- Don’t start dieting in the first three months postpartum. Although it may be tempting, you need to replenish your blood supply and your energy first. This is especially true if you are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding requires a lot of nutrients to produce good, quality milk for your baby. Also, with a newborn, you will be sleeping a lot less. Give your body a break. Don’t deprive yourself while you are adjusting to your newborn baby. You’re going to need all the energy you can get.
- If you are breastfeeding and want to diet after the first three months, just be sure to continue taking your prenatal vitamins. Also, be sure you are eating plenty of nutritious, balanced meals. Exercise should be your first course of action before trying any diet.
- Nursing may burn all the calories you need without dieting. Many women say that nursing alone put them back into their jeans within a few short months. Nursing or pumping full time can burn up to 500 calories per day. That’s equivalent to a 1 – 1 ½ hour intense cardio workout.
Once you are feeling that your body has healed and is ready to go, you can start your exercise program. Many postnatal exercise programs let you work out with your baby. Check out the programs offered at your local gym or find some great programs on tape or DVD!
If you haven’t been exercising regularly during your pregnancy, take it slow when starting a new program. Start by walking around the neighborhood or park with your baby in a stroller. You can eventually work up to daily runs with a jogging stroller. Combine some Pilates, yoga, or weight lifting.
While you may feel tired and frumpy now, once you get moving, you will feel a whole lot better. Just remember, it took you nine months to get this way. You should give yourself nine more months to get back.
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Want to lose weight fast? Breastfeeding baby!
I earned these stretch marks!