Pregnancy Advice: 3 Strategies To Help You Stay Fit Post-Delivery

Pregnancy and childbirth take a toll on your physique. It is extremely important that you pay attention to your health prior to, during, and after your pregnancy. After your pregnancy, make sure that you take pay special attention to your health and take the time to let your body heal. You can use these three strategies to stay fit and get back into shape after delivery.

Watch Your Diet

During the first six weeks after delivery, you should not make any significant changes to your calorie count. In fact, if you are breastfeeding, your doctor may tell you to double up on calories so you can produce enough milk for your baby.

Despite being told to add calories to your daily dietary intake, you do not have to get all of those calories from fat and junk food. You can take in the required caloric value without compromising your fitness level by eating a healthy and well-balanced diet that consists of whole grain, fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and a modest amount of healthy fats like peanut butter and avocado.

Your lactating body will burn through those calories in no time without having to store excess fat in your stomach, thighs, hips, and backside. When you are given the all-clear to resume exercising at your six-week postpartum checkup, you will not have to worry about getting rid of fat stores in your body and instead might be able to pick up where you left off with your fitness level prior to becoming pregnant.

Take Up Swimming

Depending on your delivery, you may have to wait a while before you can safely get back into water. However as soon as you are cleared from your doctor, you may want to consider pool exercise. The gentle resistance of the water may relieve any soreness and stiffness you might experience after giving birth. Likewise, the time you spend in the water may help you relax and decompress after spending hours taking care of a newborn.

You should check with your doctor before swimming repeated laps in the pool. Until you are given the all-clear at your six-week postpartum doctor’s visit, you might be advised to swim one or two laps in the pool before calling it good for the day. You could also consider taking mommy and me swim classes to get in some exercise and quality time with your baby. This will also help your baby become more accustomed to the water. If you are planning on spending a lot of time near water, you should consider infant swimming lessons that can help your baby learn life saving skills.

Use Your Baby to Power Lift

If you had a C-section or you have stitches, you will likely be told to avoid lifting anything heavy until you are cleared from your doctor. Lifting heavy objects could rip out your stitches and cause you to healing problems.

In fact, your doctor may tell you to lift nothing heavier than your baby. With that, you may utilize lifting your baby as a type of exercise to ease your way back into exercising. Doing gentle curls while holding your baby or even slightly elevating your baby with a secure hold can start to tone muscles that have gone soft for nine months. The motions of the lifts also may calm your baby if he or she has colic or does not sleep well.

It is important that you listen to your doctor and avoid lifting even the lightest of hand weights or bar bells. Your goal is to recover completely from giving birth before going back into your former rigorous exercise routine.

Having a baby has significant impacts on your health, and in turn could impact your fitness levels. You can ease back into exercising and start toning your muscles by using these three tips to get fit after giving birth.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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