Many women after childbirth face such a problem as being overweight. Your fitness level can be a key factor in getting back in shape after giving birth.
How to get in shape after childbirth, says our expert, sports nutritionist-nutritionist Anna Bilous.
Young mothers have become living proof that sports, maintaining a healthy lifestyle are not an obstacle to motherhood, because it is thanks to training that you can quickly return to your usual shape, lose extra pounds, tighten your sides and stomach, and also get a surge of strength and energy that needed in the early stages of a child’s development.
I do not want to prevaricate, I will tell the truth. Recovery after childbirth should be given at least 9 months, since a sharp weight loss during this period is very unlikely, and also negatively affects the state of health.
The consequence of improper and drastic weight loss in the postpartum period is a metabolic disorder and a decrease in immunity. Be sure to remember that physical activity should be increased gradually, because intense training will lead to problems with lactation, adversely affect the condition of the skin, hair and nails.
If your pregnancy and childbirth were difficult or you had a caesarean section, you need to realize that the recovery period will increase significantly. But there is nothing to worry about, because it is during this period that your health should take first place.
After natural childbirth, you can start exercising after 4–6 weeks. After a caesarean section, you will have to wait about three months until the seams are completely fused. If you hurry, there is a high risk of divergence of the seams, increased intra-abdominal pressure and lowering of the walls of the vagina.
Optimal are exercises using hydraulic equipment, which create the effect of water aerobics and strengthen all major muscle groups. Before embarking on classes, even sparing ones, you should definitely consult your doctor.
These terms are conditional and depend on the level of physical fitness and experience in training. I want to emphasize that 30 minutes a day for a young mother will be enough for classes.
What will be useful to remember:
- Regular exercises for weight loss, short workouts. You can certainly find 30 minutes a day of activities that will focus on burning fat and building muscle in specific areas that need it in the postpartum period.
- The load should be increased gradually. Sports 2–3 times a week will be enough to start. If we are talking specifically about losing weight after childbirth, then it is advisable to engage in hydraulic simulators. Also suitable for water sports. For example, water aerobics. It is important to remember that it is impossible to lose weight locally. If you decide to lose weight, be prepared for the fact that the whole body will lose weight.
- On other days, bet on aerobic exercises that burn fat. The easiest way is brisk walking or running.
- Training must be combined with proper nutrition.
I want to emphasize that abdominal exercises must be combined with exercises to strengthen the back muscles, because during the first year of life we often have to lift and carry our baby, and this requires a strong muscular corset.
If after childbirth you still have diastasis (divergence of the rectus abdominis muscles), then the classic exercises for the press with bending the torso from a prone position, with full and partial lifting of the body, lifting the legs are completely contraindicated.
In this case, breathing practices, stretching or yoga are suitable. It is necessary to strengthen after pregnancy, first of all, the muscles of the pelvic floor.
If the doctor has not forbidden you to play sports, then after a month, training should become your responsibility, because it is physical exercises that help us contract the uterus, improve the functioning of the genitourinary system and intestines, normalize appetite and sleep, strengthen muscles, build posture and prevent postpartum complications.
Physiotherapy exercises are needed by mothers from the first birthday of a child. It is worth doing gentle exercises that your doctor will advise you, right without leaving the hospital, lying in bed.
As soon as you are taken to the maternity ward, as well as in the next 2–3 weeks after delivery, you can start the exercises.
Everyone knows that it is the sides and abdomen that are the most problematic areas of the body for young mothers during the postpartum recovery period. Exercises worth paying attention to should include 3 muscle groups:
- oblique muscles,
- transverse muscles,
- rectus abdominis.
You can start exercising immediately after the confirmation of the doctor, 3–4 weeks after the birth and 2–3 months after the caesarean section. But do not forget that a lot depends on your well-being. At first, try to force yourself to exercise every day for 10 minutes, gradually increasing the time to 30 minutes a day.
If you are breastfeeding, doctors advise you to feed your baby before training, because the concentration of lactic acid remains in the mother’s milk for up to an hour and a half after exercise, which can adversely affect the well-being of your child.
Where do we start?
1. Talk to your doctor about when you can start exercising.
2. Try to walk more with your baby.
3. In no case do not exhaust yourself with diets, especially during lactation, since the intake of kcal should be 400–500 more than usual.
4. It is necessary to decide on the optimal training program for you near the house (or choose a set of exercises for the home) of the power direction. Dancing, stretching, running — it’s all, of course, amazing, but for muscle recovery, it is power loads that are needed.
5. You need to start training 2–3 times a week with low or medium intensity. You will start increasing the load when the doctor allows.
6. Adjust your diet to avoid further weight gain. I recommend the following: 3 full meals a day and 2 snacks. Breaks between meals should not exceed 3 hours. Remember: as soon as we are undernourished and allow long intervals between meals, our body begins to protect us and store fat in those places where we would like to least. Especially in the abdomen and thighs.
All of the above recommendations will help you recover faster after childbirth, return to active physical activity and optimally quickly reduce weight. It is necessary to strengthen your body after childbirth in order to become “as before” again, and so that possible fatigue, despondency and weakness give way to cheerfulness, energy and joy. Good luck!