Whether you're a mother of one or ten, you know that having babies can be rough on your body, even after the children come. Many people think that after the pregnancy and the birth, you can just shrink back down to your old size and regain your strength and energy quickly. The truth is, it will take a while to get back to a version of yourself that you are comfortable with. If you’re stuck in your mommy body and want to take active steps to regaining your old form and fitness, begin today with these proactive steps to lose weight and increase muscle strength while still staying busy with new mothering responsibilities.
RE-DESIGN YOUR DIET
Lean meats, whole-grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you to regain your former weight and increase your energy for mothering tasks. If you are breastfeeding, it is critical to ensure that you are getting sufficient amounts of calcium, iron and other vitamin-rich foods in your diet for both your and your baby’s health. Yogurt, turkey and leafy vegetables will help to ensure that you get these compounds in your daily intake.
HOLD YOUR BABY STRATEGICALLY
Help relieve strain on back and internal organs that may have started in pregnancy by learning to carry your baby in a way that supports your body. Switch your baby from one side to the other to avoid straining muscles on one side of the body. Utilize pillows and cushions when feeding, bathing, rocking or doing other baby-care activities. When you aren't holding the baby, you can use a back support pillow to help re-align your spine and give you relief from some of the strain your back has gone through. Since you'll be holding your baby for the first several months of their life, you should try stretches to work out any muscle strains you are experiencing in your back and torso so that they don't get worse over time.
INCORPORATE YOGA OR TAI CHI INTO YOUR DAILY LIFE
You can begin to reshape your body as soon as six weeks after your baby is born, and it won't require crazy, vigorous workout routines. Start with gentle yoga or tai chi movements that you can do at home or take a class if you have the opportunity. Even these gentle exercises can help you to regain muscle strength and form, and over time, it will allow you to participate in more robust work outs, in order to fully get your strength back. It can be difficult to find a good time for exercise when you're a new mother, because most moms like to sleep while there baby is napping. However, as the months go on, you will find that doing a Yoga or Tai Chi DVDs while the little one is down for a nap will put your body at ease and give you the energy you need for the rest of the day.
You can increase your overall condition and cardiovascular health by getting outdoors with your baby as much as possible in your area of the country. This can be difficult right after the baby is born, but as your child gets older, going outside will be good for both of you. Pack up the stroller or pram and enjoy the feeling of movement as you tour the neighborhood or walk through the park. Every step will help to get you back into your former condition. After being cooped up for so many months during your pregnancy and during the first few months of your baby's life, getting some fresh air will be the best think for both your physical as well as your mental health.
WEAR SUPPORT GARMENTS
When you're pregnant as well as during your resting period after giving birth, your muscles will weaken. Special garments that help to support breasts, abdomen and back can help you to re-gain your former shape and assist in supporting muscles that may have weakened during pregnancy. A wide range of support products are available that can help to provide extra comfort throughout the day and help you to get to your previous physical condition. If you aren't able to exercise as much as you'd like, this is a great way to strengthen your muscles throughout the day by giving you support and helping to re-shape your posture as well as your muscles.
After giving birth, many mothers are so focused on the health and well-being of their children, that their own health starts to deteriorate. For the first little while, you'll be exhausted and probably unmotivated to cook healthy food and take the time to exercise. But as time goes on, it's important to get back into good habits in order to keep your health from declining. Maintaining a consistent diet and exercise regime can not only help new mothers regain their former appearance; it can also help manage stress, increase focus and help with minor physical problems left over from pregnancy such as lower back pain and weak abdominal muscles. We all dread being stuck in a “mommy body” for months or even years after our children are born, but if you are able to take charge of your life and get into good habits, you'll regain your former strength, energy and motherly glow.