My little one is 13 months by now. However, already after like four or five months postpartum, I got asked by quite a few people how I managed to get back in shape so easily and fast. So now that everyone is getting ready for bikini-weather, I wanted to share my secrets (which are not secret at all 😉 ).
First of all I want to tell you that the most important after giving birth is to eat enough and to rest enough. Your body needs a whole lot of energy now and this really is NOT the time for diets. It is so important that you eat plenty so that you can produce plenty of milk for your baby. I did not exercise at all in the first six months after giving birth (except for walking) and I ate around 3000 kalories a day. Every day. I lost my pregnancy weight completly in the eight months after delivery and I am now two kilos lighter compared to before pregnancy.
So here are five easy steps for getting back in shape after giving birth:
This is the most important to get a beautiful body after pregnany. Plus it is the easiest one to follow. You really do not have to do much, except for allowing your little one to suck out all the extra fat from your body. S/he is doing all the work and you can just lay back and watch the extra reserves disappear.
2) Do NOT rush
The first few months after giving birth are not the right time to exercice. Your abs need time to get back to where they belong and if you use them too early you risk them to actually tear appart (which will make it pretty much impossible to ever get a flat tummy again). You have plenty of time to get back in shape – do not rush!
3) Eat healthy
What do I believe a healthy diet looks like? Look at this or this post for more information. In a nutshell: Your body needs a whole lot of GOOD CARBS! So eat loads of whole wheat, brown rice, potaoes etc. it will give you the energy you need to nurish your baby (and make you have plenty of good milk). You do NOT need any animal products, hence no diary (will give your baby colics) no meat, no eggs. You do not need any oils (empty calories, refined product). Eat whole foods only. Have a look here for a post on eating a vegan diet while breastfeeding.
4) Moderate exercise
A few days after giving birth you can start with short walks and as your baby gets older, the walks will get longer. I walk an average of 60 minutes a day. Some days only 30 minutes, other days up to 2 1/2 hours. Its an easy and relaxing exercise, yet it helps you strenghten your entire body and to get back in shape in an healthy way. Around six months postpartum you can begin to go running. Before that your pelvic floor is still too soft and you risk to get problems with incontinence later in life (and who wants that?). Yoga is also great to get back in shape without demanding too much of your body. As is pilates.
5) Love yourself
You gave birth! You made a new person! You are amazing! Do NEVER forget that. There will be days on which you look down on your breast/belly and you see strech marks and there will be days where you try the skirt from last year to see if it finally fits again – and it does not. And that is okay! You can be extremely proud of you! And about your stretch marks and the too much of skin around your belly. In the end, is it really important what you look like at the beach when you are there with your adorable girl/boy? You are beautiful and you can be soooo prouf of you, wonderful mother!
Did you find these tips helpful? Did you find it easy to get back in shape after pregnancy? I would love to read about your experiences!