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This is the first of a series of articles to help you get back in shape after birth. Apart from using a postpartum belly wrap, you can approach this problem of losing belly fat from many different angles, a safe post natal exercise program or a healthy post partum diet just to name a few. In this article we will talk about postpartum exercises. However, before you think of any exercise routine or workout regimen do not forget to consult your doctor. Every doctor advises you to wait for at least six weeks before starting any postpartum exercises, especially if you have any medical complications or if you have undergone a C-section. But there are a couple of exercises that you can start a few days after birth, to help you start feeling better and regain strength.
Some postpartum exercises
Arm and legs movements: This is the simplest postpartum exercise to follow. Just lie down straight, bring your leg upward and move your foot in the circular direction. Then repeat the same with the other leg and then both the wrists.
Walking: This may sound a little unusual but walking really helps in toning back your body. Take a small, short walk in the home, terrace or your balcony and you are on the way to being fit
Posture: Whenever you stand or walk or sit, make sure that you are maintaining a good posture. Stay conscious of your back or spinal area and breathe slowly and deeply. If you feel uncomfortable, seek the help of your doctor
Abdominal muscles: Toning your stomach is probably high on your list! However, remember that your stomach muscles have been stretched a great deal and will take several weeks to go back to normal. Therefore chances of injury are higher and it is recommended to follow a doctor’s advice. It is usually recommended to avoid sit ups and curl ups as they are not very helpful. Once you get your doctor’s approval, start with an easy level of abdominal exercises and work your way up.
Swimming: Once the bleeding has ceased, you can try and swim lightly if you have access to a good pool
Pelvic floor exercises: You can start these exercises within a few days after birth. There are many opportunities throughout the day to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, when sitting, feeding your baby, watching TV, and the list goes on. How to exercise those muscles:
- Sit comfortably and squeeze the muscles just the way you would try to stop your urine.
- Do this for 10-15 times at a time.
- Keep breathing normally, and do not tighten your stomach.
- Increase intensity and frequency slowly with time
Aerobics: You can also start with light aerobics that do not put pressure on your body but increases the blood flow making you feel better and more confident. Low impact water aerobics are a perfect choice
Yoga: Yoga classes are a great way to relax and get back in shape for post-partum recovery. Some classes are designed for new mothers, search for those classes locally or check for them online.
Other tips for losing belly fat (which we will cover in future articles)
Postpartum belly wrap: Postpartum belly band or tummy trimmer help bringing the abdominal muscles together. You can wear a postpartum belly wrap shortly after birth for vaginal birth. In case of C section delivery, it is advised to use the girdle when the surgery stitch is healed.
Breastfeed: Besides being good for your baby’s development, breastfeeding helps to lose weight after pregnancy, it helps to burn calories.
Eat right foods: Eating the right foods will definitely help to lose weight, as well as stomach fat. Include fruits, veggies and grains in your diet. These foods provide you with lots of nutrients, which will make you healthier and lose baby weight.
Stay fit! Stay happy!