Before you lose the baby weight

Jeanie StaskoJeanie Stasko is a Health Educator for Rex Wellness Centers who blogs about fitness, exercise & overall healthy lifestyle topics. This summer, Jeanie wrote about Exercise for Moms-to-Be. Now she fills us in on how to take care of yourself after giving birth.

010714_babyEveryone wants to know how to quickly lose their baby weight. In my opinion, there is just an unnecessary pressure on moms to regain their pre-pregnancy shape immediately after birth. I’d like to slow down a bit and talk about a few things to focus on the first couple months that will help set you up for baby weight loss success in the future.

First, forget about losing the baby weight for the first six weeks. Forget. About. It. Yep, here’s a six week pass. Don’t weigh yourself, don’t even think about it. Your body is going through a tremendous amount of recovery and the focus should be on your baby and resting as much as possible.

010714_babyposture

Pay attention to your posture to help your body re-adjust post-birth.

As your belly expanded, your hips probably shifted forward as your shoulders shifted back to maintain your balance. It was okay when you were expecting, but now that your bundle has arrived it’s time to fix your posture! Bring your hips back underneath your shoulders and pull in your abdominal muscles to help support your back.

As you are caring for your baby your upper body assumes a very rounded posture. Cuddling and changing diapers and breastfeeding all round your head, neck, and shoulders forward. To save yourself from some aches and pains later, make yourself aware of your upper body when you aren’t caring for baby and focus on bringing them back into alignment.

080713_breastfeeding1Breastfeed your baby/babies if at all possible! I’ll skip talking about the immense benefits for your baby and focus on one of the perks for mom. Breastfeeding can burn a serious number of calories. Your body requires approximately 20 calories to produce an ounce of milk. If your baby eats 20-30 ounces a day, that’s anywhere between 400-600 calories (keep in mind a pound is about 3,500 calories). Plus, it’s designated time to sit down and relax with your precious little one (and it will get you out of doing the dinner dishes!).

051313_foodinfridgeStock your fridge and pantry with healthy foods. Bringing a baby home is a very busy time. Add in a bit of sleep deprivation and you’re really doing yourself a disservice if you eat a crummy diet on top of it. Enlist the help of family and friends to bring you prepared meals or run to the grocery store. Don’t feel bad when asking for assistance. Your baby won’t be a baby forever and soon you’ll be paying it forward.

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