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Getting Back Into Shape Post Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be the most dramatic body change that women can go through. It’s typical to gain 25-35 pounds throughout a nine-month pregnancy. After, many women are left wondering how to properly get back in shape. 

It can take months for your body to fully recover from a pregnancy. It is typical to lose approximately 13 pounds immediately after giving birth and then another 5-15 pounds over the next six weeks. While it is different for everybody, it can take up to a full year to reach your pre-baby weight.

From a physical standpoint, most women can get back to exercise within a few days of giving birth. However, this must be done with some caution and levels of restriction. It is usually good to start walking for 10 minutes a day in the beginning and then slowly build up over the next six weeks after birth.

Once a pattern of walking is established, it is important to get back into the routine of exercising. The first step is to retrain the pelvic floor by doing Kegel exercises (see below). Once you have mastered Kegel exercises, you can start to incorporate belly breathing, which is the practice of letting the belly button expand, which will help strengthen your core. 

Finally, it is always difficult to strike the right balance between exercising and caring for your newborn. Some strategies to help this balance include doing a mom/baby class, trading child care without another parent, using a jogging stroller, and asking for help as needed.

How to do Kegel Exercises
Once you know what the movement feels like, do Kegel exercises 3 times a day:

  • Make sure your bladder is empty, then sit or lie down.
  • Tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Hold tight and count 3 to 5 seconds.
  • Relax the muscles and count 3 to 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times, 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, and night).
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