Getting back in shape after having a baby has never been more controversial. Is it realistic for many of us to expect to be back in our skinny jeans soon after delivery, or has the media overload of celebrities post birth, skewed our mindset? Here are some tips for a healthy body and mind, while getting back in shape post pregnancy.
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There’s always controversy online between real post baby bumps and the contrasting totally flat tummy and skinny jeans moms. To add to this, we see a daily parade of celebrities taking selfies of themselves in their bathrooms just days after giving birth. The debate rages on, is it luck, genetics, exercise, diet or what?
The majority of us do not leave the hospital in our skinny jeans and instead take months to get back in shape.
There is plenty of good advice out there as to what to do, you don’t need me to repeat it. And yes every single person is different.
What annoys me most is the speed at which this weight is supposed to shift. Most of us will eventually lose the weight only to put it all on again as we cycle through a few pregnancies.
Yes, it does take a concerted effort, which is not aided by the sleep deprivation, the stress of working and the challenges of raising a young family.
Here are my top tips for helping you get back in shape, while maintaining a healthy mind:
#1. Have a Plan
As with all of our advice the key is to have a plan….take ownership of the issue for yourself and devise a timeline that suits you and most importantly, fits in with your lifestyle at this time.
Things happen – it may be that your child has some health or development issues that need your attention, or you need to return to work and cope with that adjustment first, or maybe you just need to wait until one of the children can get a place in childcare freeing up a few hours each day.
Be upfront with yourself, be honest and take control.
#2. A Little Bit of Exercise
Even though it may show little results initially, taking a little bit of exercise, even a stroll around the block with your baby in the buggy, will work wonders for your physical and mental health.
Getting a group of new Mums together and meeting to walk can be a great help and support and won’t feel like exercise at all!
#3. Eat Well
Eating well is often a challenge when we can barely get through the day! A take away or sugary snacks can become not a treat, but a necessity. Again all things in moderation.
During the week, try to eat a little more fruit and veg and drink lots of water. This, along with getting in that short stroll while you work up to a bigger effort, means you can reward yourself at the week-end.
#4. Healthy Mind
It is also very important to recognise if you’re feeling a bit more down and stressed than you expected. This could a be a sign of something more serious such as post-partum depression and if that is the case then do be sure to have a chat with your GP or an even a trusted friend.
There is lots of help out there so do not need to suffer in silence.
You may want to read this – My Friend Black Dog: A Postnatal Depression Story
#5. Slow and Steady
All the expert advice will tell you that slow and steady is best for you and best for your new baby. Your body needs time to recover after giving birth.
Start small, be realistic and try to meet other new Mums to share tips and advice with. This approach will ensure you keep the weight off and get back in shape after having your baby.
Over to you! How did you approach getting back in shape after having a baby? Share your thoughts in the comments below.