Getting Back in Shape After Giving Birth
Please welcome my guest author Katie Moore, of Moore From Katie. I have a vague recollection of post-pregnancy fitness. It was limited to walking around Boston with my baby in Baby Bjorn or in a stroller. When we moved up to a double stroller, the workouts from pushing two kids around intensified.
Stroller walking IS great exercise and even more fun if you do it in a group or with a friend. An added bonus is that it calms a fussy baby. There are even exercise groups like Stroller Strides that set up mommy walking groups.
My recollection from three pregnancies is that your body will try to hold on to 10 pounds of “famine” reserve until you are done nursing. When I finally weaned my toddler, the last pounds just seem to go away on their own. So fear not, if the pounds don’t all go away. It will.
p.s. The Thousand Cuts Fitness program from Zen Habits is another way to start small.
Soon after giving birth, new mothers are usually beyond thrilled with their new baby. But when they look at their bodies after pregnancy and birth, they might not love what they see. It takes time for their bodies to shrink back to pre-pregnancy size, but they can help that process go faster by doing daily exercise. As a bonus, new moms who exercise are generally better able to deal with the stress that they might experience during life with a newborn, since studies say exercise helps people manage stress better. Also, other studies show that people who are active are healthier mentally as compared to those who don’t exercise.
Just as a mother planned for her newborn’s health during pregnancy, a mother should also plan to manage her own health post-pregnancy, making decisions surrounding immunizations andumbilical cord blood banking, and make decisions accordingly. How can a new mom manage to exercise every day when a tiny human being needs her to take care of it at all hours of the day? Here are five simple tips that can help a new mom be the mother she wants to be and the woman she wants to be.
1. Doctor’s Approval – It’s very important to get a doctor’s approval before beginning an exercise regime after giving birth. If a new mother exercises too much too soon, it can cause a setback in her healing time. Once a mother gets medical approval, she might want to start slowly and build up her endurance and strength with exercise sessions that get tougher and tougher over time.
2. Ask for Help – A new mom can ask her partner, friends or family members to watch the baby for an hour or so. Then she can use this time to exercise without interruptions.
3. Start at Home – New mothers can start out by exercising at home. That way, they can be near their baby and attend to them if necessary. There are so many exercise DVDs and even online videos that mothers can use at home.
4. Energy Booster – Remember that exercise boosts energy levels. Sleep deprivation can sap a new mother’s energy, but daily exercise can bring it back to manageable levels. No matter how tired a mom feels, she can do some light exercises, such as a walk around the neighborhood or stretching, that helps her feel better and more focused for the rest of the day.
5. Start Small – A new mother who is especially busy can break down her exercise sessions into two or three shorter sessions. Spreading out exercise sessions throughout the day can be as beneficial as one long workout session.
Giving birth is a wondrous experience, but it is also a physically demanding one. It’s very important that new mothers let their bodies heal before engaging into strenuous daily physical activity. Exercise is a wonderful mood-booster and physical stimulation, both of which new mothers will greatly benefit from. It’s worth the effort.
Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.