There is only one thing that is for certain when it comes to pregnancy and that is that no experience is the same. So when it comes to how much weight a woman gains while pregnant, it is definitely going to vary. Weight gain can be a concern for some, but it is necessary while carrying a child. Pregnancy is an extremely personal, unique journey, and it’s important to remember that what matters most is to eat healthily, take prenatal vitamins, and monitor your overall health/wellness.
Once baby has arrived safe and sound, you may have hopes of dropping back down to your pre-pregnancy weight right away. However, there are some important aspects for you to consider –– immediately following your delivery, you will need to take it slow. So here are some things that you can do in the first 6 weeks after childbirth to help you get your body back towards pre-pregnancy shape.
Focus on your core. Your abdominal muscles go through a huge amount of strain during pregnancy. It’s crucial that you know what classifies as inappropriate and appropriate exercise during and after it all. The combination of a weak core and intra-abdominal pressure could result in a common condition called diastasis recti. Working with a physical therapist can ensure you’re incorporating safe exercises during your pregnancy, and help you in paving the way for more strenuous core exercises 6+ weeks after childbirth.
Start and/or continue your Kegels. As important as it is to focus on your ab/core muscles, it’s just as important to focus on your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles stretch and weaken during pregnancy, so strengthening exercises are key. Doing so can help prevent pain from things like lifting your child, reaching for things, and even standing up from a seated position. Again, talk to your physical therapist to make sure you’re not starting these exercises too soon after your childbirth. They can also provide multiple kinds of Kegel exercises to help with your endurance.
Incorporate fitness throughout your day. Let’s face it, once the baby has arrived, your typical exercise routine (and daily routine in general) will go out the window. You may find it very hard to take an hour or even less for just yourself. Anytime you can incorporate activity and fitness into your day will help. From a family stroller walk around the block to a fitness class with other moms/dads, there are options out there that can help add it into your routine.
Be open to change. The important thing about your fitness routine after the baby is to keep an open mind and not put too much pressure on yourself. So what if you’re not training for half marathons like you used to, or going to barre class every night after work? Once you stop feeling the pressure from yourself, you may find that you are more open to the options that work better for your current chapter in life.
Advice for Getting Back to Pre-Pregnancy Shape