After welcoming your new bundle of joy to the world, you are probably eager to reclaim your pre-pregnancy weight and figure as soon as possible. However, it is crucial that post-partum weight loss is carried out gradually and safely to ensure that your body is able to fully recover after pregnancy. Read on for some ways to help you get back into shape.
Setting Realistic Goals
Despite seeing celebrities bouncing back to their pre-pregnancy figure in almost no time, in reality, losing weight after pregnancy takes time. Physical changes of pregnancy will last up to four to six weeks after delivery. As such, keep in mind to be patient with yourself and have reasonable expectations towards post-partum weight loss.
Setting realistic goals will also be helpful for your weight loss journey after pregnancy. Aim for a healthy amount of weight loss of about one to two kilos a month. An extreme decrease in weight abruptly may have detrimental impacts on your body such as a drop in milk supply.
Timing Your Exercise Plan
As your body needs time to recover from childbirth, it would be ideal to start with low impact exercises such as walking and abdominal exercises six weeks after delivery if you had a vaginal delivery. However, if you experienced any complications during delivery or had a caesarean section (C-section), do check with your doctor on when would be a good time to start exercising.
For mothers who are breastfeeding, it is important to breastfeed before your exercise session. This will avoid the build-up of lactic acid in your breast milk. In addition, your breasts will be less engorged, giving you greater flexibility and comfort during the exercise.
Being consistent in exercising will help you shed the weight faster. You can aim for 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week. If 30 minutes is too taxing in the beginning, you can start with just 5 minutes of exercise each session and slowly increase the duration to give yourself ample time to adjust.
Avoid exercising beyond your current fitness threshold. You should ensure that you are exercising at a moderate intensity. During exercising, remember to take frequent breaks if you feeling breathless.
Before exercising, we recommend at least 5 to 10 minutes of light stretches to warm up your muscles. Similarly after exercising, you can perform another set of light stretches to cool down and prevent muscle ache.
Here are some recommended exercises that you can try to ease your body into an exercise routine.
First 6 weeks after delivery:
- Light walking
- Abdominals Contractions – Sit upright and breathe in deeply, contracting your abdominal muscles into your backbone. Hold this position for 10 seconds before relaxing your abs and exhaling.
- Pelvic tilt – Lie on your back with your knees bent. Tighten your abdominal muscles and tilt your pelvic up slightly. Hold this position for 10 seconds before relaxing.
- Pelvic floor muscle exercise – Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and hold for 10 seconds before relaxing.
After 6 weeks of delivery:
- Brisk walking
- Low impact aerobics – Examples include Pilates or Yoga
- Abdominal Curl-Ups – Lie on your back with your knees bent. Raise your upper body off the ground till it is halfway between your knees and the ground. Hold this position for 2 to 5 seconds before lowering your upper body.
After 4 months of delivery:
- Moderate to high impact aerobics
It is important to constantly listen to your body and make necessary adjustments to suit you and your fitness level. Losing weight after pregnancy may seem daunting at first. Slowly but surely and with a proper and regular exercise routine, you could regain your pre-pregnancy weight and shape.
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