“I just had a baby and I want my body back.”
New moms are under a lot of pressure and stress following childbirth. Learning new routines, lack of sleep, and adjusting to this new lifestyle can be tough! What can also be frustrating is the looming thought of your body never going back to what is was, pre-pregnancy. Although this is an understandable concern, achieving your pre-pregnancy body is not as hard as you think!
The first thing moms can do may seem pretty easy, and it is! The answer? Start moving! We would recommend starting with a walk around the block! You don’t even have to leave your local neighborhood to start getting your pre-pregnancy body back! How awesome is that? Typically, new moms are discouraged from working out for six weeks following childbirth, however walking is a safe way to introduce movement into not only your life, but baby’s life too!
Walking while pushing your stroller is a great way to get outside of the house, get some Vitamin D, and exercise! Did you know that 20-30 minutes of walking can burn up to 200 calories?! When you walk past a bench or chair, try squatting down while holding a kegel! This is a great way to add slightly more intensity to your walking routine.
Following the six week mark, you should be ready to complete aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, biking) for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week.
Did you know breastfeeding after childbirth can burn 600 to 800 calories a day? Pretty amazing right?! If you are a breastfeeding mom, burning this amount of calories can definitely help with losing baby weight following pregnancy.
Some moms are even lucky enough to burn off all the baby weight by breastfeeding alone! Be careful however, once you stop breastfeeding the baby’s weight can quickly return if you don’t adjust your diet. When your body no longer has to burn calories to produce milk, your metabolism slows down, so adjusting your caloric intake is key to keep off the extra unwanted weight.
Following the six week period after birth and only after consulting with your doctor, it is acceptable to resume weight training. This weight training program is best implemented by specialists who have experience working with postnatal mothers. Physical therapists are the specialists equipped with the tools to help postnatal mothers get back to a fit and healthy lifestyle, free from medication and drugs!
Programs are specifically designed for each parent, and education is given during all sessions to make sure proper form is being used. This combo helps increase strength, while reducing the chances for injury such as low back pain and Diastasis Recti. A standard course of physical therapy following pregnancy is twice a week for six weeks, if there are no complications.