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How to lose weight after pregnancy

You have just given birth. You look at yourself in a mirror and see rolls of fat on your hips, loose stomach muscles and stretch marks. It is natural, as nine months of pregnancy change woman's body. Yes, but it still does not change the fact that you do not like what you see and you are not comforted by the thought that you are not alone. Do you want to change this, take care of your body, reach your pre-pregnancy weight? We will give you some tips how to lose post-pregnancy weight in an easy and relatively effortless way.
Edited by LOVI | 22 March 2014

The truth is that your weight was increasing regularly for nine months, so you cannot expect to return to your pre-pregnancy look and size within a few days of giving birth. There is no use cheating yourself - if you are not one of these lucky women who seem to have the return to their pre-pregnancy shape encoded in their blood or genes, then it will require time, effort, systematic actions and appropriate diet. But it will not take some frightening amounts of time or effort.

When should you start


When to start
 

Do not wait! Start, when you feel ready. But do it reasonably, at appropriate intensity and rate.

At the beginning: recovery, walks, Kegel muscles exercises, stretching and flexing of muscles;

After the puerperium: intensive walks with a pram, stomach muscles exercises, fitness, swimming pool, and anything else you like the most.

You should know that woman's body is so programmed that the best time to lose post-pregnancy weight is the first six months. We are helped in that by our hormones. During birth, together with placenta birth, levels of estrogen and progesterone, responsible for accumulation of fat tissue during pregnancy, drop. With the reduced level of these hormones your appetite will also decrease, and your metabolism is set to burn fat. Also the blood volume, as well as the volume of other fluids in woman's body are gradually reduced, while the uterus returns to its pre-pregnancy size, and this also will take a  few kilograms off.

The puerperium, lasting for six–eight weeks after a childbirth, is a time required by woman's body to recover after pregnancy and birth.  During that time, you must take care of yourself and you should not overstrain yourself. This is an important recommendation, because excessive effort may result in the separation of post-birth or post-Caesarean wounds.

The puerperium is the time for recovery, but does not have to be the time of idleness. However, it is rarely so. The very care after the baby, getting up in the night, walks, are a physical exercise necessary to burn calories. Combine these with light Kegel muscles exercises and exercises stretching and flexing individual groups of muscles, including stomach muscles, and you will begin to recover your shape.

However, whenever you feel dizzy, weak, see floaters, notice increasing bleeding or post-birth discharges - stop them immediately. And consult a doctor before trying again. Your health is the most important thing.

Diet

Regardless of whether you breastfeed or not, a diet reducing the energy value of daily caloric demand  is not recommended after birth. Pregnancy and childbirth were exhausting for your body, and now you face a new, challenging and demanding task - care after your newborn, so you have to be in shape and provide your body with all necessary nutrients.

  • Go for a well-balanced, light diet rich in vegetables and fruit. Ensure it contains a lot of proteins, mainly coming from white meat and fish, carbohydrates that will give you energy, and fibre facilitating metabolism.

  • Prepare meals in a healthy way, by steam-cooking, baking, roasting and grilling.

  • Hydrate your body sufficiently. You should drink mineral water, occasionally choosing highly mineralized one. Minimize sweetened juices, avoid carbonated drinks.

  • Eat often but small amounts; go for healthy snacks. Almonds, seeds and nuts are a great supplement of your diet.

  • Give up sweets, alcohol, fast food and highly-processed food completely.

  • Eat last meal at least four hours before sleep.


Take care of your breasts
 

In this you will be assisted by creams improving skin firmness and hydration, as well as chest muscles exercises.

During breastfeeding use only appropriate creams and be careful with breast massage, as incorrectly performed it can affect lactation.

Exercises

Physical activity should be started slowly, without overburdening the exhausted body, you should listen to its signals. The  puerperium  is the time for your wounds to heal and strength to recover.

Walks  - do not go for first walks alone and too far from your place. You must learn your strength after childbirth, and it will increase with each day. For the first few weeks walk slowly. In time, increase the number of kilometres walked.

Kegel muscles exercises, that is, exercises strengthening pelvic floor muscles - flex the muscles just as if you wanted to stop urine flow, hold for a few seconds, and relax. Start with a few contractions, and gradually increase the number and frequency of flex-relax cycles, until you reach a few series of several contractions; you can exercise in any position. It is good to exercise muscles surrounding the anus in a similar way.

Stretching and flexing muscles - work on individual groups of muscles, flex them, hold for a few seconds, and relax. Straighten your back, pull your scapula together, flex, and relax. Pull your buttocks up, flex, and relax. Do similar things for muscles in legs, hands and any other you will discover :) Slowly and gradually you can start stomach muscles exercises - work with muscles in such a way as if you tried to glue your navel to the spine. Do these exercises breathing normally all the time.

The exercises flexing and relaxing your muscles do not require much, and are invisible or hardly noticeable to people around you, so you can exercise anywhere and while doing many other things. And that's the thing - it is regularity that matters here.


For folds and stretch marks
 

You can restore flexibility of your body with the diet ensuring correct hydration and nutrition of your body, physical exercises and regular application of firming creams/balms, reducing stretch marks. You may want to consider a series of professional massages and get acquainted with a range of cosmetic treatments available for young mums.

After a follow-up visit to the gynaecologist, usually scheduled around six weeks after birth, when everything is OK, and the doctor allows you to go ahead, you can increase the intensity of your exercises.

Continue with these you did during the puerperium, you can increase their frequency and strength.

Intensive walks - replace slow walks with intensive walks with a pram, an hour long intensive walk three times a week will have an excellent fat-burning effect. When you have that opportunity and can go out without a pram, then Nordic walking is an excellent solution. This dynamic way of walking with poles will not only help you to lose extra kilograms, but will also provide your body with fresh air and support about 90% of your body muscles, including your back muscles.

Stomach muscles exercises  - well... bad news is, the appearance of skin on your stomach does not only depend on muscles elasticity, skin firmness and thickness of fat tissue are also of importance, but here we enter a zone of diet and genetic predispositions. However, the muscles should be exercised and it is worthwhile, because only this way you can get your flat stomach back. So continue with your exercises from the puerperium period - pull in your stomach, as if you want to glue your navel to your spine, and hold it for several seconds, repeat frequently.

Exercise diagonal stomach muscles - lay on your back with legs bend and hands on your nape, lift your head and simultaneously turn your shoulders alternately. Repeat this exercise a few times, in several series.

Do crunches - lay on your back with legs bend and hands on your nape, lift your head and shoulders without moving your elbows. Repeat this exercise a few times, in several series.

Twirl hula-hoop - it is an excellent exercise to stretch your stomach muscles and slimmer your waist.

Exercises for your breasts -  they will help you to improve firmness and shape of your breasts.

Flexing - stand with you legs slightly apart, with your arms bent at elbows and joined along forearms; flex and relax your muscles moving hands to the sides. The exercise is more effective when you add some load, e.g., dumbbells.

In the next exercise, put your palms together in front of you as if you wanted to pray, press your palms strongly together, hold them for a few seconds, and relax; repeat several times.

Push-ups on knees - kneel on the ground, your buttocks should form a straight line with your back. Bend your hands at elbows, so your breast almost touch the floor and then return to the initial position. Repeat the exercise several times.

Fitness exercises - the increasing number of clubs offers sessions for young mums. There are adapted to needs of women who have recently given birth and, what can really be important, you can attend them with your baby. This can be an excellent way to combine business (loosing weight) with pleasure (you will meet  other mums, maybe make new friends).

Swimming pool - swimming engages many groups of muscles in a simple and unburdening way, including the muscles of your shoulders, stomach, back, legs, chest and thighs; additionally, working against water pressure you model your shape more effectively.

Other sports - in fact, you can be physically active in any way you want and can think of. You can go back to your pre-pregnancy passion, and if you did not do any sports then, now it is really a time to think about it. True, you have less time, but stronger, or at least, more visible :), motivation.


Summing up…
 

recovering your pre-pregnancy weight and shape requires time, effort and regularity. For first six months your body itself is your ally. The diet is important, preferably, it should be  light and rich in vegetables and fruit. And as for physical exercises, they do not have to be a nightmare. They are easy to add to a daily schedule of an active mum. Also, there are exercises you can do while doing many other things, and practically everywhere. So start now! Pull your stomach in, square your shoulders, tense your buttocks and go for a slow or an intensive walk with a pram.

 

 

 
 
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