Sunday, September 18, 2011

Beat the baby fat


Pram Pushing


You can get your pre-pregnancy body back, with a little effort and a good pram
Over the past few months there’s been a lot of fluffy news about Miranda Kerr.
The stories painted her as a “the perfect mother” from the moment she went drug-free for the birth of her son Flynn, her amazing body when she returned to the catwalk and did a swimsuit photoshoot, and her love of coconut oil (‘nuf said).
In every story, the words and pictures celebrated her post-baby body.
But there is no secret why she looks as good as she did before she had a child. She’s a model... she was born that way, and on top of that she is still young (at 28 years of age, she isn’t yet fighting gravity), and she is breastfeeding (a key ingredient to losing the baby fat).
Getting your body back in shape after childbirth is one of the most common goals of mothers around the world.
Most mothers will achieve their goals through hard work and lots of pram-pushing, while others are fortunate enough to lose the extra baby weight without any effort at all.
I am one of these mothers. Breastfeeding has been a blessing not just for my children, but also my weight. As my baby got bigger, I got smaller.
It makes sense that breastfeeding will help you lose weight as the baby can take around 1000 calories per day.
Some mothers find that fat stores stay during the first year of nursing, but then disappear with the second (another reason to continue breastfeeding for at least two years).
But if you’re not as lucky as me (or not breastfeeding), here are some ideas to help you get back in shape.

All women, no matter what age, shape or fitness level, experience great physical changes during pregnancy, and it can take some time for you to feel like you are back to “normal”.
If you have also had a particular difficult pregnancy and birth, or had a caesarean, make sure you exercise at a safe level.
Regular exercise after pregnancy will not only help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight, but it will also reduce back pain, improve muscle tone, reduce leg cramps, swelling, constipation, improve sleep and you will get those “feel good” hormones circulating.
During the first four to six months after the birth of your baby, low impact exercise is recommended such as swimming, walking, water aerobics, low impact aerobics, light weights and yoga.
You can increase the intensity of your exercise as you feel able to, provided you do not experience any pain or discomfort.
Pelvic floor and abdominal muscles are probably the most important ones to work on and it can take as long as four months to strengthen these muscles before returning to normal exercise such as running or heavy lifting.
Women often incorrectly believe sport and other high impact exercise will take care of their pelvic floor muscles, but these activities may actually reduce pelvic floor strength and cause long-term bladder and bowel problems, including the risk of prolapse.
If you feel any back pain, pelvic or vaginal heaviness or urine loss during or after exercise, you need to slow down or reduce your intensity level.
Always wear a good supportive bra, maintain correct posture, drink plenty of water, and eat a healthy diet with plenty of proteins. And if you are breastfeeding, don’t skimp on calories, so your baby continues to get good nutrients too.
Remember, if it took nine months to gain the weight, it may take this long to lose it, so don’t give up.

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