Our bodies go through some major changes during pregnancy. Internal organs are rearranged (or grow, like your uterus), skin is stretched to its limit and beyond, and you can put on 25-50 extra pounds and beyond!
Understandably, it takes quite a bit for your body to get back to where it was before you got pregnant – and, honestly, there will be parts that will never be the same again – but there are some things that can help kick start your body’s return after your baby’s birth.
Now, before you get started on your exercise routine, you need to be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. For the first 6 weeks or so after birth, you need to give your body time to heal and your uterus to return to its normal size, so your doctor will have you on light duty, lifting nothing heavier than your baby.
During this time, breastfeeding will be your best friend. It burns tons of calories and releases hormones that cause uterine contractions, which promote faster healing. Also, be sure to eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated. Healthy foods feed muscles and promote skin elasticity, which can help reverse that sagging tummy.
After the doctor gives you the go-ahead to exercise, start slow. Try some easy cardio to burn fat or some weight lifting, starting light. Have your doctor examine your abdominal muscles, checking for possible separation, before starting too many crunches or ab exercises.
Above all, be patient. Your body took 9 months to change in order to accommodate your little baby, and it will take at least that long to get it back. Just be persistent and consistent, setting attainable goals and celebrating when you reach milestones, and you will get there.