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By Planning Family

Getting back to the Old YOU

The Facts

• FACT Extra pregnancy pounds don't stay forever.

• FACT Even after your baby, the placenta and the fluids are gone, you could continue to weigh as much as you did when you were pregnant, albeit for a short while. The good news is most women lose about 25 pounds by the time they are due for their 6-week postpartum checkup!

• FACT Extra fat is built for use in producing milk; whether or not you decide to breastfeed, your body will have prepared to build the fats.

• FACT Your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles are still stretched. To regain its previous fitness and length you will need to exercise.

• FACT To accommodate the baby your womb will have stretched 10 times its normal length.

• FACT A breastfeeding mother should not diet as this will result in half starving the baby.

• FACT An overly overweight mother will lose weight more quickly than one with only a little excess weight.

• FACT A good posture will make a profound difference.

• FACT A body with muscles burns calories faster than a flabby one.

• FACT Fat occupies 4 times more space compared to muscle so your dress size is up from prepregnancy although you are back to your normal weight.

• FACT If you are over 35, getting back into shape will take longer.

• FACT With an uncomplicated childbirth you can ease back into physical activity right away but with a C-section you would need to check with your doctor first.

Some Sound Advice

• Your goal is to maximize muscle tone and minimize body fat since muscle means burning those calories up. Invest in a pedometer and start measuring your steps every day. You should ultimately be taking 10000 steps daily which are about 4 miles (this works up to about 3000 to 5000 steps more than the average woman). Use the walk-jog stroller very often, walk after or before each meal, take the stairs and walk at least 5 minutes every hour in a sedentary job. Tone your muscles by lifting light weights twice a week starting at week 6 or 8 for c-sections. Mix this with yoga or pilates.

• Your uterus and abdominal muscles take time to regain its elasticity and shrink back to its prepregnancy size. So give your body a break. Feeling down and negative about your size and shape works adversely instead - it actually makes you look and feel fatter. It all boils down to self-esteem and how this can affect you mentally and hence your thoughts about your physical appearance. Focus on what you can do now instead since strenuous exercise and dieting are out for the time being.

• Do your kegel exercises more vigorously than any other form of exercise now; avoid anything that may ache your back or stretch out your abdominal muscles too soon.

• When you walk, make the effort to put your shoulders down and pull in your stomach muscles. Tuck your buttocks in and correct any pregnancy swagger.

• A balanced meal of smart foods - high quality carbohydrates (50%), fats (25%) and proteins (25%) every 3-4 hours will help you achieve and maintain the best body composition.

• Drink as much liquid as you can; opt for unsweetened drinks and avoid strong beverages and alcohol. Drink healthy.

• Eat a generous helping of vegetables and fruits. Eat breakfast everyday and stay away from junk food.

Tone Up those Muscles..

The Underlift

This exercise is essential for your pelvic muscle and can be done right after your baby's birth. It should be done frequently throughout the day before you lift or carry anything. It helps restore your pelvic floor muscles. Done regularly it brings fresh blood into the pelvic region, reduces swelling and discomfort.

1. Lie on your back with knees slightly apart.

2. Imagine a tampon in your vagina and pull it up as slowly as far as you can.

3. You should feel the tension inside your vagina and not your buttocks, thighs or stomach. Hold tightly for a moment or two and let go.

From the third day after baby's birth these 3 exercises can be done every day, few times per session and gradually increase the number to a comfortable level. The Rock helps to tone up the center-front stomach muscles while The Hitch helps the sides of the waist. The Twist helps muscles which cross over from ribs on one side to the pelvis on the opposite side.

The Rock

1. Lie down on your back with your knees slightly apart.

2. Now press the hollow under your waist down on to the bed.

3. Pull up the pubis towards the ribs as far as possible

4. You should feel a shortening around your stomach and your buttocks contracting as you lift your hips slightly off the bed.

5. You must not lift your waist off the surface. Relax and ease back into position.

The Hitch

1. Keep one leg straight and draw up the other

2. Make the straight leg feel shorter by hitching up the hip on the same side towards your ribs.

3. Then make it seem longer by stretching out your foot to touch an imaginary object which is out of your reach.

4. Repeat this several times then bend that leg, straighten out the other and continue the same exercise.

The Twist

1. Lie with both your knees bent and your arms stretched sideways at shoulder level. Keep shoulders flat and feet together.

2. Twist one knee sideways until it touches the mattress or the floor. Keep both your knees together as you make the twist.

3. Hold the position for a moment then twist the other way leading with the other knee.

4. Repeat the exercise few times in each direction rolling from side to side.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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