18 Sep 2020
Getting back in shape after pregnancy is an important priority for lots of mums. While there’s no quick fix for post-pregnancy weight loss, there are steps you can take to get healthy after having a baby.
It’s important to note that the average time to lose baby weight can vary depending on a range of factors, including your health, age, and pre-baby weight. According to Women’s Health, it takes most women somewhere between three months to a year to shed any excess weight gained during pregnancy, although some mums need more time.
Regardless of your goal weight, these postpartum weight loss tips will help you gradually regain your fitness.
Trying to snap back to your pre-pregnancy physique immediately after giving birth is not only unrealistic, but also potentially unhealthy. Despite what celebrities and Instagram models would have you believe, losing weight after baby takes time for most people. Set reasonable weight loss goals to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself.
No matter how eager you are to start your post-pregnancy fitness regime, your body will need time to heal and adjust. Most doctors and midwives recommend waiting at least 6 – 8 weeks before exercising after giving birth (you may need to wait longer if your baby was delivered via caesarean). Ask your doctor for advice if you’re not sure when it’s safe to start exercising.
Once you’ve got the green light from your doctor, opt for gentle forms of physical activity. Even if you were super fit before giving birth, it’s still advisable to begin your post pregnancy weight loss journey with less intense exercise. Try walking or doing yoga to avoid injuring yourself by going too hard, too fast.
When you first start exercising after having a baby, pay careful attention to how your body feels. Don’t force yourself to push through pain, as this could aggravate birth injuries. And if you lost a large amount of blood during labour, dizziness and fatigue could indicate an iron deficiency.
It’s normal to want your old body back after giving birth, but crash dieting is not the answer. Going on a crash diet involves severely limiting your calorie intake with the aim of losing weight rapidly. Taking this approach to dieting can be harmful at the best of times, let alone when you’ve just had a baby. Rather than going hungry, eating lots of healthy food is a far more effective option for weight loss after birth.
Growing and birthing a baby is hard work, and nourishing your body is an important part of post-birth recovery. Eating a diet filled with fruit and veggies, lean meat, whole grains, and healthy fats will give you the energy you need to care for your new baby. But of course, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to the occasional sugary snack. You’ve earned it.
Getting motivated to exercise after a sleepless night can be challenging, especially if you’ve never been a big fan of working out. Finding a physical activity you genuinely enjoy will make exercising much easier and more fulfilling. If you’re not sure where to start, try lots of different exercises to find one that suits you.
If you need help with postpartum weight loss, a personal trainer can assist you with getting your fitness back on track. Your trainer will be able to recommend exercises based on your individual health needs and weight loss goals while also providing you with motivation.
Whether you want to use your baby as added weight when doing squats or dance around the house with them, your little human can play a starring role in your exercise regime. In addition to making you more fit, getting your baby involved in your workouts is also a great way to keep them entertained.
Even if you’re trying to lose weight and get fit, it’s still crucial to accept your new body and acknowledge that it may never look or feel the way it did before pregnancy. Remind yourself that regardless of weight, your postpartum body is beautiful.
If you’re expecting a bundle of joy, get a head start on your postpartum fitness with these Pregnancy Exercises for Active Mums or check out our blog for more great fitness advice.
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