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12 steps to get your body back in shape after pregnancy

Jul 31, 2014, 9:54 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Hello and a warm welcome to yet another edition of She-she-she, your weekly column that deals with issues of women and girls within the country and beyond.

In our today’s edition we will give you some tips on how to get your body back in shape after giving birth.

Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal for every woman but the headache is how to get back that curvy, slim and gorgeous body after giving birth. Well here are 12 steps that can guide you through the process.

Timing is very important; in everything you do in life timing is important so give yourself some time. Immediately after giving birth to baby is not always the best time to try and lose the baby weight.

The body needs to return to pre-pregnancy hormone levels, blood volume levels and water levels. This can take up to 12 weeks and needs to be taken into consideration before restricting calories and exercising to lose weight after baby.

Decreasing caloric intake is also very important. There are two reasons not to reduce calories immediately after having a baby. The first is the extra caloric intake needed for the body to heal. This is especially true with women who have delivered via C-Section.

The second is breastfeeding. The body needs extra calories to produce the milk needed to feed the baby. Reducing the caloric intake too far will reduce the amount of milk available to baby.

Essential calories: Mothers who have just given birth need to keep calorie total at a minimum of 1500 in order for the body to heal and deal with the post partum changes. Most diet will lower the caloric intake below this amount so adding in an extra snack or two is a healthy choice.

Breastfeeding and calorie burn: the post partum mom needs at least 400 extra calories a day if breastfeeding. The body will use these calories as part of the basal metabolic rate (the average number of calories burned doing normal daily activities.)

Exercise after baby: After baby is 6 weeks old and the doctor has released mom from care, exercise can begin at pre-pregnancy levels. Before this time, the only exercise the mother should be doing is the same exercise she was doing before giving birth.

The importance of a good night’s rest: Recent scientific studies have linked a good night’s rest to decreases in depression and increases daily energy levels. The better mom feels, the better she will be able to deal with weight loss after baby.

Gym equipment and postpartum weight loss: For the first 6 weeks after baby is born, using gym equipment that could be harmful is not recommended. This is especially true if the baby was born via C-Section.

Weight loss supplements and baby: There are many ingredients included in weight loss supplements that are not approved for women who are pregnant or nursing. These supplements should not be taken if the mother is breastfeeding baby.

Eating multiple times a day: As with any other weight loss programme, eating multiple times a day increases the metabolism and decreases the feeling of hunger associated with dieting.

Increasing the right foods: The right foods include vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Eating from these three food groups is a good option for any woman trying to lose weight.

Reclaiming the healthy food mentality: When pregnant, many women feel as though they can eat anything and get away with it because they are pregnant. This mentality will need to be reigned in after the baby is born. Mom needs to eat healthy foods in healthy portion sizes.

Portion size and post partum weight loss: Portion size is not a huge problem due to the fact that baby took up so much space at the end of the pregnancy that mom is used to eating less. Sometimes, however, moms will give birth and resume eating larger portion sizes once baby is out of the way (so to speak). This is not the best option for weight loss.

Well for those of you who are worried about how to get back that body that attracts your man towards you, worry no more, and just go by these steps and you will surely get back into shape.

Free your mind, relax and remember: don’t rush it and no matter how hurry you are to get back into your body in shape, put the interest of your baby first.

She-she-she is giving this article to all mothers as a special ‘Salibo’. Being a mother is the greatest gift from God to women, cherish it and take good care of your body after giving birth.

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