Now that you’re bundle of joy is here, things are going to be a little bit hectic, leaving you little time to really focus on yourself. That’s okay, soak in every moment. The first 4-6 weeks after giving birth are all about healing. It’s around this time that your Doctor should give you the okay to start working out again. When the green light it given, start your workouts off slow. There’s no reason to put more stress on your body than you already have. Always wear comfortable shoes, loose clothing and a supportive bra. Eating a light snack before will help with your blood sugar levels and should give you the energy you need to get you through it. Staying hydrated is just as important. Carry water on you not only at the gym, but everywhere you go. This will ward off hunger and insure your body is functioning properly throughout your day. As you’re getting back into the swing of things, keep in tune with your body. If you feel dizzy, have shortness of breath, chest pain, get a headache or muscle weakness, slow down or stop completely.
Light cardio should become be your best friend in the first few weeks, with a moderate weight lifting routine. Don’t expect to be able to lift as you once were for at least a month, depending on your fitness level before and during your pregnancy. When choosing which foods to eat, keep the word “clean” in mind. If it’s from nature, not processed and doesn’t have a long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce, chances are it’s “clean”, a.k.a. healthy for you. Good examples of this would be fruits, vegetables, lean, low- sodium, low-fat meat, beans, lentils, almonds, low-fat, fat-free dairy, and slow digesting carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, couscous, oatmeal, whole wheat bagels, toast and pasta. When your sweet tooth kicks in, it’s okay to give in from time to time. Don’t over indulge, and always portion in a bowl or on a plate. Never eat from the carton or bag.
If you decided to breastfeed, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough fluids, limiting caffeine, and consuming at least 300 more calories a day. You can consume up to 500 calories if your workouts are more vigorous. Decreasing your calories too much will decrease your milk supply. Dairy and supplements like Fenugreek may help encourage milk to continue to come in consistently.
Whether you’re very active or less active than you’d like to be, keep up the good work. Being consistent and patient are key to stay focused and see real results. Good Luck!