Bringing a new baby into the world is a beautiful and exciting adventure. Your life will be forever changed by the rewarding experience of motherhood, but that doesn’t mean your body has to be. We’ve all seen how celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Heidi Klum and Kim Kardashian have bounced back after childbirth, but how can a normal person get back to her pre-pregnancy physique and still be healthy?
Sure, your heart and other internal organs take priority over how your abs bounce back after pregnancy, but it's OK to also wonder when—or if—you'll ever be seen in a bikini again.
The best way to get your body to recover after birth is to enter your pregnancy in a healthy state. Unfortunately, this can be tricky given that 50 percent of all pregnancies are unplanned. So, whether you're trying to conceive or not, it's never a bad time to practice healthy habits like eating right, exercising and getting regular checkups.
Once pregnant, women should continue exercising but avoid contact sports and listen to their bodies to avoid overdoing it. There's no need to give it up.
“Exercise should be mild to moderate,” says Ricca Callis, a LifeFit Wellness Coach at Beaufort Memorial. “Make sure you take adequate rest periods between each workout and always include a proper warm-up and cool-down. Avoid exercise in hot weather and be sure to avoid belly-down exercises after the first trimester.”
Also, keep an eye on your weight gain. Some women may think pregnancy is a food free-for-all, but it's unhealthy to pack on an extra 70 pounds in nine months. A weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds is a healthier target. “Pay special attention to adequate fluid and nutrient-dense caloric intake,” advises Callis.
Do you have questions for our LifeFit staff about personal fitness goals and prenatal care? You can reach them at 843-522-5635.