My midwife advised me not to start to lose weight straight after giving birth as the body needs time to recover from having a baby. I waited until my postnatal check up at eight weeks before starting light exercise. Saying this however, I did think that I would need to start eating healthily immediately, especially as I am breast-feeding. This included plenty of fruit and vegetables and lots of water throughout the day to stay well hydrated.
Avoiding having lots of caffeinated drinks is a big positive and this can also help with bladder control (or so my physiology says!). You can drink most herbal teas when breastfeeding aswell. My physio also said that having an occasional alcoholic drink is unlikely to harm in the long term. However, it’s safest not to have more than one or two units of alcohol a week, if breastfeeding. Alcohol has been known to reduce milk supply, and can even affect baby’s development.
As I’m now 3 months postnatal I’ve decided it’s time to properly start getting back to my pre weight (if not a little more). I aren’t in any rush and I am happy to lose weight at a healthy pace, doing it this way will also make sure That i have plenty of energy to keep up with Tobias and his demands. I have read that one should try to lose the weight gained during pregnancy before trying for another baby. Losing the extra weight gained after having a baby may also help to manage my weight in the longer term, as in it will help to keep the weight off. It’s encouraging to know that breastfeeding can help me to lose weight.
As I’m sure everyone can relate to, finding the time to fit exercise into daily life can be tricky. So it’s always best to come up with an action plan. One of the first things I read was not to go swimming until after my body had recovered to prevent picking up any infections. I am going to try to go swimming once a week to try to stay active. I’m already doing some gentle exercise such as walking twice a week ( which consists of me taking Tobias for walks in his push chair) pelvic floor exercises and stretching at home. I plan on doing more aerobic types of exercise, focusing on fast arm and leg movements that make the heart beat faster. Yoga and Pilates are ideal to help build your core back and they can help you to sleep better too. Any exercise after having a baby is beneficial for your mood and keep you in a positive mindset. Exercise in general, is known to reduce the symptoms of postnatal depression.
There are plenty of fitness classes to join, such as buggy fit or baby yoga, where you can take your baby along with you and they can watch whilst you complete the different moves around them. There is also plenty of you tube videos where parents are using their babies as tools to help, such as weights, which could also entertain your baby.
Heres my top tips when exercising:
drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercising
give yourself a break if you’re overtired or feeling unwell
wear a support bra and supportive trainers!
avoid exercising on an empty stomach
learn to recognise when you’ve had enough
build up your strength and stamina
stop if you feel any pain