Getting your pre-pregnancy body back may seem like it will take forever, but with a little perseverance and a lot of patience it can be done. Being pregnant can place a lot of strain on your body so it’s important to take your time when trying to get back into shape.
How long should it take?
There really is no set amount of time for getting your pre-pregnancy body back, as every woman’s body is different. Some women need three to four weeks to recover, while others may need five to six months. The general rule of thumb however, and what most doctors will recommend, is that you not exercise or place strain on your muscles for at least four to six weeks. For some women that can seem like forever, but following your doctor’s counsel is best. Once you have made it past those four to six weeks, or at least two months for a Cesarean you can then begin to think about setting up a consistent work-out schedule to get your pre-pregnancy body back.
What you can do immediately
There are several things you can begin doing immediately after you have had the baby to help in the whole weight loss area:
- Start stretching. If you had a normal delivery, without complications you can start doing small exercises as early as the day after you give birth. Keep in mind that these should be very simple and you should feel no stress on muscles whatsoever. Stretching your legs and doing Kegel exercises are two things you can begin doing right away. They will help strengthen your pelvic muscles and get your muscles stretched out again.
- Walking. It’s important to build up your cardiovascular system again so walking is a great alternative to running. Walking will get you out of the house, help with post partum blues, help get your legs toned, and improve your overall health. Walking is one of the best exercises around. If the weather doesn’t cooperate with your plans then find an indoor track and start walking.
- Breastfeed. Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to burn calories and get your tummy back to its original shape. Breastfeeding actually uses up your fat stores and can burn up to 500 calories a day. You do the math.
What does it take to actually get your body back to normal?
There are multiple things that contribute to getting your pre-pregnancy body back. Here are some necessary things you will need to incorporate into your life in order to get back to feeling like you did before you were pregnant:
- Eat a well balanced diet. It probably comes as no surprise that eating healthy foods will help you get that body back much faster than eating sugars and fatty foods will. Eat foods that are high in vitamin B12 and vitamin C as these are both vitamins that help break the fat down. It’s also important to get enough folic acid so you have the energy to function normally.
- Exercise. Exercise alone won’t do it, however when combined with the right foods, you will start to see those pregnancy pounds fade quickly. Make sure you balance out a cardiovascular workout with some weightlifting. This will tone your body and help you lose fat.
- Drink lots of water. Your body will need fluids, especially if you are nursing so don’t forget to drink at least eight to ten glasses a day.
- Plenty of rest. With a new baby, a new schedule, sleepless nights, and nursing, your body is definitely working overtime so make sure you get plenty of rest. Your body also burns calories while you sleep so don’t deprive yourself of a good night’s rest.
It will take some time, but getting your pre-pregnancy body back is possible with some hard work and time.