I am currently 6 months post-partum and have struggled for the duration of this time in gaining my pre-baby self back. Through this process I’ve realised that instead of going back in time, I can create an even healthier version of myself.
There is no magic potion to creating a healthy body. It will take time and perseverance. I have however seen a dramatic change in myself (in and out) since following the points below.
For the mind:
“Weight” it out
The very first thing that all new mothers should be aware of is that your body will take time to heal and recover from the process of giving birth. Do not strictly follow the 6 week wait period that many doctors recommend (for resuming physical activity). This is only a minimum. If you do not feel up to exercising then listen to your body – only you know best.
I did not start working out until about 3.5 months post-partum! In the meantime, drink plenty of fluids and rest. Get help with tasks around the house/ with baby if possible
Don’t focus on the weight!
Don’t weigh yourself frequently, this may only upset you. If you are going to the gym you may be seeing no change in weight for some time – the muscle:fat ratio may just be increasing (this is a good thing!). Taking your measurements can give you a better idea of inches lost. Again this will take time to see (for me it took about 2.5 months after starting an exercise regime).
Note: If your nursing, the weight may not drop off as fast as you would like. Your calorie intake will continuously need to be high in order to produce enough milk for your baby’s needs.
For your body
Eat healthy and control portions
This can be hard, especially after eating so much during pregnancy (I did!). Be mindful of your intake if you are breastfeeding. Do not try and have a caloric deficit in order to lose weight – again this can cause issues in your milk supply if you do not eat enough.
Keep your diet rich in natural foods ( veggies, fruits as well as protein) and really limit the intake of sugars from processed foods (sodas, desserts etc).
DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF – This is especially the case when breastfeeding as it can affect milk supply.
Try to go to the gym as frequently as possible. Especially if you’re home from work on maternity leave and have support (someone can watch the baby for you). Personally, I aim to go every other day.
I have been focusing on Cardio to lose weight. I tend to focus on training my core muscles through specific exercises only once or twice a week. The aim is to lose a certain amount of weight prior to toning the body.
Take your supplements! If you are nursings, it’s always best to ask your health professional before you start taking any supplementation.
The following are supplements I take and some of the reasons why they’re needed:
-Biotin(for skin and hair),
-Calcium and Magnesium (for bones),
-Vitamin B6 ( aids in magnesium absorption)
-Zinc(needed for Vit B6 utilisation).
Looking after your body has direct effects on your state of mind.There has been a profound impact on my mental state as I have followed the tips mentioned in this article.
What have you done to obtain a new you after pregnancy?
* ( I am not a health professional, this is simply an account of my experiences and the lifestyle changes I have made to create a healthier, new me!)*