Getting Back in Shape After Giving Birth

By Consumer Dummies

The key to post-pregnancy weight loss is to take it slow and steady, just as you did when gaining weight while you were pregnant. After all, you didn’t gain all those pounds overnight, and they certainly won’t come off that fast!

As you get started, focus on eating smaller portions and leaving a few bites behind on your plate. Listen to your stomach when it tells your brain that it’s satisfied and stop eating before you get overfull.

Don’t give in to the temptation of starving yourself after pregnancy. You’ll very likely be tired of carrying those extra pounds, but eating too little isn’t good for you or your baby. Remember that your body is still recovering. If you’re nursing, keep in mind that you need a good deal of calories to fuel milk production.

You may be surprised to find out that your pregnancy belly stays for a little while after delivery. The truth is much of your expanded stomach is actually your uterus, and it takes several weeks to shrink back to its normal size. Ignore anyone who tells you she wore her pre-pregnancy clothes home from the hospital, and make sure you hang on to your elastic-banded pregnancy pants for a little while longer (or live in comfy dresses).

As soon as you receive clearance from your doctor, which may take eight weeks or more if you have a cesarean (C-section) delivery, start adding exercise to your routine. Put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk, take a swim, pop in a yoga DVD, or attend a postnatal exercise class. Doing so will not only help you burn calories but also provide you with some much-needed stress relief and give you a nice boost of mood-elevating hormones.