Right after giving birth, a new mom has to face a new chapter in her life that involves waking up at three in the morning, changing poop-filled diapers and figuring out how to lose all the weight gained in the process. It’s not necessarily a glamorous life, but most satisfied mothers can attest they wouldn’t have it any other way, save for all the excess pounds.
It can be difficult to shed the fat after pregnancy with all the demands a newborn makes on your time (and one tiny tot can be very demanding), but getting back in shape is possible with postpartum exercises. Regaining your pre-baby figure becomes even easier if you’ve kept yourself physically fit during the entire course of your pregnancy.
While we see supermodels already conquering the runway just three weeks after giving birth without an inch of fat in their bodies, it’s always wise to give yourself time to adjust before undertaking any rigid workout program. Your obstetrician will tell when you can resume your normal exercise routines and will give you gentle exercises to do in the meantime to prepare your body for more challenging physical activities ahead.
Here are some postpartum exercises that you can do to ease your way back to shape. Keep in mind, however, to proceed only when you’re ready. Breathe regularly during the whole routine. Stop and see your health care provider if you notice increased bleeding or bright-red blood during your routine.
Even before discharge from the hospital, postpartum women are encouraged to ambulate and walk to prevent complications like thrombophlebitis and pneumonia from lying in bed too long. To tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles and relieve backache, do pelvic tilts. Begin this exercise by lying on your back, with your knees bent. Tilt your pelvis by tightening your stomach and butt muscles. Keep the small of your back flat against the floor. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds before relaxing. Try to increase your hold to 10 seconds as you get more used to the exercise. Repeat it for five times.
Another postpartum exercise that you can do one to two weeks after you’ve given birth are diagonal sit-ups. This helps you trim back your waistline. To do this properly, begin by lying on your back with your knees bent. Breathe out as you raise your head and right shoulder, pointing your right hand toward your left knee. Make sure that your heels are on the floor as you hold for five counts. Gradually lower your head also for five counts as you breathe in through your nose. Repeat with the other side.
You may also choose to enroll yourself in a Yoga or Pilates program. While certain Yoga poses, especially those involving inversions, are generally not recommended immediately after pregnancy, the basic ones help to increase the blood flowing and tone your muscles. Pilates exercises also serve to strengthen your muscles and improve core strength and flexibility.
Observing an exercise regimen after giving birth ensures that you get your old figure back. Just make sure that you do these at a pace that’s right and comfortable for you.