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“Rock-a-bye Baby” may be your little one’s theme song, but is yours more like “Bye-Bye Booty?”
Some studies show that it can take, at minimum, the length of a full-term pregnancy to get a new mom’s body back to its pre-pregnancy size and shape.
Remember: Always check with your doctor before returning to your exercise routine.
While good nutrition is imperative, especially to support nursing, keep in-mind that healthful foods do have calories. Heart-healthy fats such as nuts, whole grains such as brown rice, and some gluten-free bakery items found in organic markets are examples of beneficial foods that support energy and bodily function for any new mom.
But when you’re consuming more calories than your body can burn, even the calories in those so-called super foods, which—yes, do contain a heap of positive health properties— will be stored as fat. Be conscious of portions sizes, take time to read food labels, and, if you’re having trouble with emotional eating, get support.
It comes as no surprise that both the pattern and duration of a mother’s restful sleep becomes instantly compromised when a new baby arrives home. As sleep decreases, cortisol levels increase, which results in a mom’s inability to metabolize calories efficiently. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable and an honest expectation of new motherhood. To keep cortisol at bay, make sure you diminish cortisol spikes from other possible sources, for example caffeine, stress and overexertion in the gym too soon after giving birth.
Any tired, new mom is lucky enough to have the energy, let alone the time, to make it to a workout. Most postnatal women who have had vaginal delivery are urged to wait at least 6 - 10 weeks before beginning any postnatal exercise program, but it's also crucial to get medical clearance from a doctor prior to starting back into a fitness routine. Doing too much, too fast, can lead to any number of complications, including Diastasis Recti--separation of the abdominal wall--or simply exercise overexertion, which itself can hinder all of your efforts.
Once you're approved for exercise after giving birth, consider consulting with a fitness expert to get educated on what formats and exercises are appropriate for most postnatal moms, and which ones should be avoided.