New Mom, New You

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Pregnancy and motherhood can be among the happiest times in a woman’s life. But learning how to balance physical and emotional changes while trying to get back in shape and maintain a healthy post-baby weight can be challenging.

The weeks and months following childbirth can simultaneously be overwhelmingly joyous and stressful. Fighting fatigue and keeping up with a new baby’s needs, along with stresses of running the household, can seem like a never-ending battle. Getting in shape or finding time to go for a walk can seem like just another drain of your already depleted energy reserves, but research shows low-impact exercise can help new moms relax and refocus.
Seek workouts that allow you to take your baby along, like walking or running with a stroller or biking with an infant carrier. You might also consider joining a local gym with a nursery where your child will be cared for while you work out.

Exercising to lose baby weight can help moms shed pounds, manage mental stress and improve self-confidence, but one important thing to realize is getting in shape is as much of a process as nurturing a developing baby. Setting realistic weight-loss goals and taking time to focus on your health should be seen as a necessity. And, even if you’re not ready to go full-force with a new workout routine, easing into exercise through yoga or swimming can be therapeutic and mentally refreshing.

A Little ‘Mom’ Time

Here are a few tips to help new moms achieve a more balanced life:

  • Give yourself the same attention and care as you would a loved one.
  • Learn to accept help with the baby without feeling guilty or inadequate.
  • Enlist the help of a personal trainer with a certification in prenatal and postnatal fitness for a few sessions to get you on the right track.
  • Maintain a balanced diet filled with calcium- and vitamin-rich foods, and routinely count calories and fat grams to help manage your weight.

Did You Know?

> A woman is likely to gain more weight with her first child than she will during subsequent pregnancies.

> Women who breastfeed their babies for three months or longer lose weight faster than mothers who do not breastfeed.

> Pushing a baby stroller can be a great workout for new moms. Depending on your weight, speed at which you walk and the terrain you're traveling, you can burn 150 calories or more by pushing a stroller for one hour.

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