Your body is going to be different after developing and growing a new person and that’s OK. Just because your body doesn’t look exactly the same doesn’t mean that you can’t love it. It’s common to retain about 10 pounds of “baby fat.” But if you’re determined to get back in shape, here are some tips to help you get to a healthier you!
We’ve all heard the old saying, “breast is best,” but did you know that nursing is just as good for us as it is for our babies? Breastfeeding/chestfeeding can help you lose weight more quickly by burning an extra 500 calories a day. And because it increases oxytocin, it helps your uterus quickly shrink.
A balanced and healthy diet is essential after giving birth. A diet that includes healthy amounts of protein, calcium, iron, and other nutrients not only help moms to thrive through the healing process of the postpartum period, but can also stave off unhealthier urges to snack on less nourishing foods. The goal is to fill your body with the good stuff that keeps you feeling energized, strong, and ready to tackle the new experiences that motherhood brings. Keep healthy snacks on hand as a good-for-you go-to when temptation strikes. Options like nuts, fresh or dried fruit, vegetable crudité, and protein bars within easy reach will ensure you feel full and satiated. And always have a water bottle close by to ensure you stay hydrated.
In those first weeks post-birth, most recovering moms can safely get in a little exercise by incorporating a daily walk. Put your sweet newborn in the stroller or wear them in a sling or wrap while you get some gentle physical activity and some fresh air. The new sights, sounds, and sensations are great for your little one’s development as well.
Many of us want to lose weight during the fourth trimester, and that’s a healthy, normal goal. Just be sure to keep your expectations reasonable. It took nine long months to grow your little miracle, so give yourself some duly earned grace. Your body has done some amazing work and it will take time to recover. The most important goal is to ensure that you are caring for yourself by giving your body what it needs: love, grace, patience and time. Happy parenting!
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