Be kind to your post baby body. Don't get caught up in the pages of women’s gossip magazines where Hollywood stars with too many nannies and personal trainers giggle with glee over the fact that they have said 'bye-bye' to their baby bump in record time. This is you – in real life – where getting your post-baby body back into a shape you're happy with can be a slow process.
Strenuous exercise is not something your post baby body can cope with. Use the first few weeks being kind to your body as it gets used to the changes it has been through as a result of childbirth whether it was natural or a caesarian, along with the changes it is still going through with breastfeeding, for example.
If you're a first-time mum you might be shocked by the sight of your post-birth belly. Rather than shrink away instantly to its pre-pregnancy tautness, you've probably been left with something that looks like a deflated balloon. Don't despair! Over the next few weeks, your uterus will contract and help to flatten your tummy. When you're ready, consistent post pregnancy exercises and healthy eating can get it back in shape.
Given that the strain of pregnancy has split your abdominal muscles down the middle, it's very important to give these muscles time to heal before you launch into any extreme workout routines. If you are unsure about your own healing or readiness for exercise, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor for advice. Remember that those pregnancy hormones have softened your ligaments and joints. For about three months after the birth of your baby, you should avoid high-impact exercises and over-stretching.
For some women, a few months is all it takes to get their post-baby figure looking just like it did pre-baby. For others, it can take much longer and for some women, the changes of pregnancy and motherhood leave a more permanent reminder. Whether or not your tummy is ever as tight again, the most important thing to do is make sure that you are fit and healthy. Your baby is relying on you!
- You and your baby after birth
- Postnatal depression
- New mothers support groups
- Find your birth group
- Meet mums in your local area on Kidspot Social
- Siblings and a new baby
- Healthy recipes and snacks
This article was written by Claire Halliday for New Zealand's leading pregnancy resource, Kidspot.