After nine or so months of pregnancy and then birthing a baby, you’ll be forgiven for wanting to get yourself back to full health, or you may even be considering a new diet or exercise programme. Here’s some great tips to help you on your way:
Take Your Time
There’s really no rush to fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothes or run your next marathon. Listen to what your body is telling you. After your six week check, as long as you had a natural birth and no complications, you should be fine to start a gentle exercise programme. Accept that it will take longer if you have had surgery or a difficult birth. Keep taking the advice that your GP, midwife or health visitor is giving you. It will do no-one any good if you injure yourself because you haven’t let your body recover fully from the birth.
From day one, it’s important that you keep yourself hydrated and well nourished, especially if you are breastfeeding. Aim to eat frequently through the day and pick foods which are filling and sustaining – porridge, yoghurt, soups and stews are brilliant for this. You should be aiming for the equivalent of 10-15 glasses of water in a day, so keep a water bottle handy. It can be a good top-up to take collagen and probiotic supplements, to help restore your body’s levels of these.
Take Care of your Tummy
It goes without saying that if you’ve had a caesarean then you should take extra care of your stomach area; you will be given specific exercises by the hospital or your health visitor. The impact of pregnancy on your stomach muscles can effect all mums though, with a condition called diastasis recti. This is where your ab muscles separate to make way for the baby, and this ‘gap’ can cause back pain issues in later life. If you do suffer from this, exercises such as sit ups which contract your stomach muscles should be avoided. Pelvic floor and deep core exercises are great for mitigating this issue though. It’s also important to focus on your posture now that you’re not carrying the extra weight of a baby, again to avoid any back issues later on.
So with a bit of planning and a few simple steps, you can help yourself to achieve a safe and healthy regime of post partum diet and exercise.