The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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From the moment the baby weight starts to accumulate on our bodies, the scheming begins about how to drop the pounds once the little one arrives. After your baby is born and your days gradually begin to regain somewhat of a routine, it’s time to put your ideas into action. If you’re not sure exactly how to begin, here are seven proven steps for working your way back to your prepregnancy bod—or better!
Looking at Gina Grant’s tight, toned body, it’s hard to believe that she’s ever had a baby. In fact, the 36-year-old has given birth to four (now ages 8, 9, 13 and 15), with the youngest two born just a year and a day apart. Good genes? Perhaps, but she still had to work hard to get back in shape and lose the pooch after each pregnancy. And it wasn’t until after the arrival of her third child that Grant discovered her secret weapon: Zumba classes.
Yeah, so much mobility, as I said last week. Tuck has really gotten the hang of crawling, though it isn’t a pretty, smooth action yet. But he is a madman, moving all over the place so fast we can’t even figure out how he’s doing it. We lowered the crib mattress last week because he suddenly figured out how to sit up/try to climb over the edge. This morning he’d pulled a blanket rack over to himself and gotten a blanket into his crib (that’s been moved).
What Causes It?
The skin stretches with your expanding belly but may not shrink back to its prepregnancy state, explains OB-GYN Sean Daneshmand, M.D., a maternal-fetal specialist at San Diego Perinatal Center. Excessive weight gain can make it worse, as can a twin-or-more pregnancy; previous pregnancies and sun damage can contribute as well.
Ask new moms which body part they’re most worried about getting back into shape after pregnancy and the answer is always the same: abs! We’re here to help. These exercises will work to strengthen and recondition your abdominals.
They’ve been adapted from Strollercize, a postnatal exercise program developed by Fit Pregnancy contributing editor Elizabeth Trindade, a personal trainer and mother of three.
For 40 long weeks, you marveled at your body’s transformation. You caressed your burgeoning belly and contemplated the new and mysterious life growing inside you. But now that your baby has arrived, you’re facing the reality of a less-than-svelte vessel. You find yourself constantly peering in the mirror and wondering if your once-flat, fabulous midsection will ever reappear.
Most of us want to get our bodies back after having a baby, particularly our abdominal muscles. You can, even from Day One, begin gentle exercises that will help you do just that. At six weeks postpartum, you can ease into a more rigorous workout (with your doctor’s OK, of course).
Your body is recovering from childbirth and needs a steady supply of vitamins and minerals to heal. What’s more, with a new baby in the house, you’re undoubtedly fatigued, and you need healthful foods to refuel your body. And if you’re breastfeeding, your baby is relying on you for crucial nutrients.
The eating patterns you set in the first six months after having a baby can help you lay a foundation of healthful eating for the rest of your life, says Eileen Behan, R.D., a dietitian in Portsmouth, N.H., who specializes in weight management for individuals and families.
Keep my abdominals toned during pregnancy...why? After all, there's no way I'll have a flat belly, no matter how many exercises I do!
If that’s what you’re thinking, think again. Ab work serves a crucial purpose right now. Your abdominals provide a stable core for the rest of your body, and during pregnancy it’s critical to maintain that strong center.
Name a movie star, model or neighbor who looks fantastic and who is also a new mom. Got someone in mind? Well, there you have it: proof-positive that getting back in shape after having a baby is possible. With a little healthy know-how, there’s no physical reason why you can’t have a great postpartum body — even a flat belly. In this special section, we’ll give you a progressive workout to get your body, especially your abdominal muscles, looking better than ever. We’ll also provide tips on changing your eating habits to meet your postpartum weight goals.