You’ve had your baby and taken the new angel home and are on your way to a rapid recovery. You know you feel puffy and your body feels a lot more saggy and lumpier than it ever did before having the baby. Then you look in the mirror without your clothes on and realize that pregnancy and confinement has done more to your body than you realize.
What happened? What do you have to do to get your old body back?
This is a very common reaction for women after having their first baby. Don’t fear that you are being shallow or petty by worrying about your figure after having a baby. All women worry about this!
The first thing you have to consider is how much time has passed since giving birth to your baby. Right after having the baby you will have a lot of swelling and may be quite bloated. You should give your body a couple weeks to let go of that then you should feel at least a bit better.
Even if you still feel miserable about the way your body looks and feels once that initial swelling has reduced, you shouldn’t start dieting or exercising just yet. You need some time to properly heal before your body is safe for confinement tea and exercise and if you restrict your calories or nutrients while breastfeeding you won’t have healthy milk for your baby.
Give it some time before you start taking active steps to bring your body back to its old self again. Sustaining an injury that prevents you from losing the weight for an even longer period of time is the only thing worse than this weight gain.
Develop a Plan
Once you have been cleared by a doctor to start exercising, it is time to develop a plan that will get you back into shape quickly. You will be quite surprised how fast your body can bounce back if you are very consistent with a workout plan.
This workout plan should include cardio to burn fat and strength training for the entire body. You can’t just focus on the abdominals or thighs where you may have experienced the worse weight gain and body changes. The goal is to burn fat fro the entire body while strengthening all muscles throughout the body. That is the only way to lose the baby weight and get your body back quickly.
You can actually use exercise time as bonding time for you and your baby. Get creative and think of ways to workout with your baby without any risk of hurting them. This may mean doing push ups with the baby on the floor beneath your chest and kissing them every time you come down. It may also mean putting the baby in a stroller with a rear facing seat and talking or singing to them as you walk around the neighborhood.
You can sit and cry about the weight gained during your pregnancy, or you can use the confinement tea to take care of the problem. Give your body some time to heal and remember that you should never diet or start exercising without the approval of a doctor.