Let’s be honest, pregnancy and childbirth is a lot.
Did you know that women not only gain 32lbs during pregnancy but also retain 10-20lbs after delivery?
Unfortunately, childbirth draws a lot of energy, and most new mamas find it exhaustive and overwhelming.
On the flip side, those who used to work out frequently before pregnancy usually are eager to get back on track.
But not so fast, though. As much as postpartum exercises help restore physical and emotional strength, you should approach it with great caution.
In this post, we share some of the best tips for keeping up with a postpartum fitness routine as a new mama. Keep reading, and you’ll find out.
Consult Your Doctor First
Never assume that you’re fit to resume exercising immediately after giving birth. Ensure you see a physician for full assessment before beginning postpartum exercise.
Upon examination, the doctor may give you the green light or suggest that you wait for a couple of weeks.
And for the sake of convenience, we recommend that you engage the doctor while still at the hospital after childbirth. Just ask them for advice on the best way of staying active during the breastfeeding period.
Abide by whatever doctor’s advice, so you reduce the risk of developing future complications.
Don’t Force It
So you’ve patiently avoided exercising for the doctor’s recommended waiting period to pass, and you’re now ready to kick it.
However, you want to start with small baby steps as you adjust with time.
Even if you were used to intense exercises before pregnancy, don’t just resume with the same psyche as if nothing changed. Start with simple activities like walks and stretches.
After getting enough of those, improve a little bit by walking for 15-30 minutes while carrying your baby. You can then move on to body weight squats, yoga, sit-ups, and so on.
The bottom line is trying simpler exercises and gradually moving to tougher ones after your body develops resistance to the pain.
Don’t push too hard as you may injure yourself and get back to the drawing board.
Get a Workout Buddy
Whoever said that unity is strength couldn’t be more right.
It’s been shown that having a relative or a close friend for a workout partner provides the much needed motivation to sweat it out.
Even during the days that you don’t feel like exercising, you’ll still find yourself getting to the gym or park because you don’t want to let your partner down.
Better still, your little angel can as well be your workout buddy. You can ride the baby on a stroller while you walk down the park, but ensure you watch out for the weather.
Dress your baby appropriately during winter or summer to prevent them from contracting a cold or sweating.
Wear the Right Outfit
In particular, wear the right-sized bra. There’s a thin line between a fulfilling workout session and an uncomfortable one. And the difference lies in the type of outfit you put on.
Get yourself a supportive sports bra that’s comfortable and versatile to accommodate walking, swimming, stretching, etc.
If your breasts hurt as a result of breastfeeding, get a sports bra with an extra layer of cushion.
Alternatively, you can wear two bras for steady support.
Get a Baby Play Mat
Think of the postpartum exercise as a meditation session where interruptions are strictly uncalled for.
Too bad babies are too young to heed to warnings.
However, there’s a way of keeping your little one entertained without disturbing you during the burnout. Simply buy a baby play mat.
They’re outstandingly colorful and comfy- just the way babies like it. If you can also get some play toys for the baby, you shall have bought enough time to sweat it out without interruption.
Don’t Be Hard on Your Abs
Seriously, take it easy on your abdominal muscles’ they’ve gone through a lot already.
During pregnancy, the core and the abs normally overstretch to create room for fetal growth and circulation inside the womb.
So when you give birth, the muscles will be weaker than ever.
Therefore, you need to be extremely considerate of your abdominal muscles for the first few months after delivery.
In that regard, you want to avoid exercises that engage the core like sit-ups instead of focusing on simpler alternatives like planks.
Planks help in strengthening and straightening the core muscles, which will slowly prepare you to embark on abs exercises.
As long as you are not sure how to go about it, please ask your doctor for the do’s and don’ts, so you don’t end up hurting your abs.
Eating healthily is as essential to losing the postpartum body weight as is working out. You need the right nutrients in your body, especially during the breastfeeding period, to protect yourself and your baby.
Some of the nutritious foods to take are plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and plenty of water.
Keeping your body hydrated helps in staying healthy and enduring the intense exercises as well.
We recommend that you always have a water bottle by your side.
Think of it this way – the more water you drink, the more you’ll sweat it out during workout and the more postpartum weight you’ll lose. Interesting, huh?
Also known as pelvic floor exercises, Kegels help in strengthening pelvic floor muscles supporting the uterus, small intestine, bladder, and rectum.
The exercises are especially important for those who face urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor conditions.
What’s more, Kegels can help restore your bedroom confidence and bring more pleasure during intercourse.
If you don’t know where to start, let your doctor guide you on a step-by-step procedure of doing Kegels the right way.
We understand that the baby is your priority right now, and it’s cool. But don’t give it so much attention that you forget to take care of yourself.
Sparing at most 30 minutes of your day to work on restoring your original self isn’t a vice.
And remember, even as you strive to keep up with the postpartum exercises, start small and climb the intensity ladder slow and sure.
Remember to consult with your doctor before undertaking a never-done-before exercise or when you notice any abnormality.