Your body has just achieved the greatest feat of all time - it has created and nurtured and then brought a whole new life into the world. Aren’t women’s bodies just incredible? But once that’s all done and dusted, and the little bundle of joy is in the world, many women feel the need to quickly reclaim their bodies as their own and return to their pre-pregnancy weight. This is a totally normal desire, and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. The key here is time, healthy eating, and managing expectations.
Take your time
Your body has just done something incredible; you’re going to want to take some time to recover. It is advised that in the first six weeks or so following birth, you just take it easy, bond with your beautiful baby, and avoid any vigorous exercise. Once you’ve both been given a clean bill of health, it’s safe to start with gentle exercise and healthy eating. It’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and crash dieting isn’t going to help either you or your baby, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Manage your expectations - when you’ve got a newborn, you’re going to be pretty tired, so high-intensity workouts on a daily basis might not be a sustainable way to go. On the other hand, a 15-minute spin class is a whole lot less time consuming than an hour in the pool, which can be great when you’re working around a baby’s schedule. Play it by ear and see what exercise works for your time and energy availabilities. Try walking with your baby in a pram if you’re unable to get time to yourself. Otherwise, swimming or cycling are a great way to get you started, and you can go from there.
If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll burn between 300 and 500 calories extra a day, which means you can eat more calories and still lose weight. Just bear in mind that when your breastfeeding eventually ends, your required calorie intake will drop immediately, leaving you susceptible to weight gain if you don’t adjust accordingly.
Get a little help
It can be tricky to motivate yourself when you’re a new mum, especially if you’re struggling with sleepless nights. Surrounding yourself with other mums allows your to give each other the moral support you each need to keep making good decisions, and it also keeps loneliness at bay. Some new mums also choose the help of medication such as Orlistat tablets to get their pre-pregnancy bodies back - it’s entirely up to you how you choose to do it.
Eat healthy snacks
Keeping healthy snack foods on hand allows you to manage your blood sugar - especially important when breastfeeding - but also helps you to avoid binge eating. Try to snack on nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, yogurt, egg, and all the leafy greens your heart desires. You’ll feel far more energetic, which is great for combating sleepless nights, and you’ll be encouraging your body to drop a few pounds too.
The key is time - don’t allow yourself to fixate so much on getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight that you stop enjoying the experience, it’ll all come with time.
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