Although the responsibilities of parenthood never subside, once you get into a certain rhythm with your new baby, it’s good to turn some of that attention back on yourself. You deserve some self-care. According to studies, the average healthy woman gains between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy, and while you shouldn’t feel pressured to lose it all right after you give birth, it is a healthy idea to get back into shape after pregnancy. Let’s look at seven ways to accomplish your post-baby workout, keeping it as manageable as possible since you have a baby at home.
Breastfeeding, which is beneficial for your baby, in general, can draw 500-800 calories per day from your body. In fact, doctors will tell you to up your calorie intake while breastfeeding. By carefully balancing any additional caloric intake with the natural calorie draw of breastfeeding, you can lose weight naturally. Not all mothers decide to breastfeed, so speak with your doctor to determine what the best course of action is for you.
Part of any good wellness program is working out after having a baby through movement or exercise. Keep it simple, though – a stroll around the block, a stroller push around the local park, or even some moderate yard work around the house can burn hundreds of calories. Make sure to get active by yourself, with your baby, and with the entire family to get everyone involved in the fun. Also, work in a few post-baby exercises to help you tone your body and increase strength.
Get Enough Sleep
Have you ever heard how important sleep is to overall weight loss? Well, if you have a baby or young kids at home it can be difficult to get enough rest at night – especially if you’re currently nursing. Instead of stressing out about getting enough sleep at night, add a 30-60-minute nap to your daily routine to help support healthy weight loss. You’ll want to schedule these naps, as life will always seem to get in the way. Call on your partner or another family member or friend to help you prioritize this and make it happen!
Watch What You Eat
This may seem like an obvious solution, but eating well after pregnancy can be a challenge. Don’t create or adhere to an insane diet right after giving birth. Instead, choose foods that are minimally processed, low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol, and high in protein, Omega-3s, and other key nutrients. Partnering with a qualified nutritionist can do wonders. Meal prepping healthful snacks and freezer meals will also be helpful, especially for new parents who usually have limited time to eat anything at all.
Meet New Moms
One of the best ways to bounce back health-wise and get back into shape after pregnancy is by meeting new moms, creating a social network, and establishing some accountability for yourself. Join a new mom’s walking club, support group, or exercise team, and then create a calendar that works for everyone. A friendly team competition that rewards the groups that have the best attendance can add a bit of friendly accountability, too. There are also exercise classes where you can bring your babies with you, a great bonding experience for both.
It certainly helps to add weight training to any fitness regimen. Start small and increase the number of sets or amount of weight slowly to see results. Do several light reps over several sets, and you’ll see the results in no time. Always make sure to consult with your OBGYN before starting any weight-training regimen, though – especially if you had a C-section or high-risk pregnancy. But if your body was used to working out before, it should be easier to get started again with your post-baby workout.
Take Care of Yourself
Though exercise, diet, and socialization are important parts of recovering your pre-pregnancy body, always focus on your own wellbeing first. How are you feeling? Do you have enough support at home, or do you feel you have enough people in your life that can help you with your new baby? By ensuring you have the support you need in life, you’ll be better positioned to create and adhere to a diet and exercise plan to help you lose weight and get fit.
Your main focus right now is likely the little bundle of joy you get to call your son or daughter. But, that doesn’t mean you should neglect your own needs. Create a post-baby workout plan that prioritizes healthy eating habits, plenty of movement, and building a social support system, and you’ll bounce back to your pre-baby weight in no time.