• 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
• 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
• 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
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
• 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
• Eat a generous helping of vegetables and fruits.
Eat breakfast everyday and stay away from junk food.
Tone Up those Muscles..
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
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.
1. Lie down on your back with your knees slightly
2. Now press the hollow under your waist down on to
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.
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
4. Repeat this several times then bend that leg, straighten
out the other and continue the same exercise.
1. Lie with both your knees bent and your arms stretched
sideways at shoulder level. Keep shoulders flat and
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.