After nine months of pregnancy, the chances are that you are left with a body that is not what you would like it to be. The area that suffers the most is the stomach area, and it is normal to feel like you will never have a trim torso again. Your body has gone through enormous changes, so go easy on yourself. Your main concern is to take care of yourself and your little one for now. However, there are some simple exercises you can do to prepare for getting back into shape, almost straight after giving birth.
As soon as you are comfortable after having your baby, you can incorporate some belly breathing, abdominal bracing, and pelvic tilts into your routine, as well as those all-important Kegels or pelvic floor exercises. You can also add some arm and leg movements to the bracing if you wish. You will feel tired, sore, you will be bleeding, and your breasts will feel uncomfortable, so the very gentlest of exercise is all you need to think about for the first six weeks
After six weeks, or eight weeks if you have had a C-section, you can start to think about building up muscle strength and core stability. Your core consists of your back, hips, abdominal muscles, and all the other muscles that make up your midsection. The hormone relaxin will be in your body, making you prone to sprains and strains, so don’t do anything you will regret; always listen to what your body is telling you, and if it hurts, stop. If you have some minor aches and pains, you can try products such as compression or leg sleeves for some added leg support and comfort. Compression sleeves can be effective in areas such as elbows, wrists, or calves; the compression helps promote blood circulation to the area that is giving you trouble, thereby helping to reduce inflammation.
Start with gentle exercise such as walking with the stroller, or with your baby in a carrier. Breastfeeding will also help you get back into shape as milk production burns calories and uses reserved fat stores. Then you could try swimming or some gentle jogging. It is essential that you eat a healthy, nutritious, well-balanced diet because your body needs energy to look after a baby around the clock, and your body is healing. Eat plenty of lean protein, healthy fats such as nuts, and as many fruits and vegetables as you can.
Build up gradually towards high-impact exercise. To really work the abdominal muscles and obliques, learn the yoga boat, yoga dolphin plank on a ball, and the yoga side plank. With the yoga boat, you sit on the floor, lean back slightly, and lift your feet off the floor. The plank involves facing the floor and keeping your body off the floor with bent elbows, keeping your back and legs straight like a plank. Hold for 30 seconds at a time.
Many women feel the need to get their figure back after pregnancy, and it is natural to want to lose some weight and tone up. Just remember to take things slowly – both you and your baby will be happiest if mother is fit and healthy, rather than injured or in pain.