The best way to get back into shape is with exercise and a healthy diet. However, you should take it slow and don’t consider doing anything until at least six weeks after birth (12 weeks if you’ve had a caesarean). Remember your body will take some time to return to the original state before pregnancy, so give yourself plenty of time to regain that figure.
Most importantly, check with your doctor that you are physically ready to begin your post-natal exercise plan before your proceed.
Here are some pointers to get you started:
• Start with some gentle walking, building up a bit of speed after a few sessions.
• Pelvic floor exercises after birth will help strengthen the muscles of the vaginal walls and help episiotomy incisions to heal faster
• Once you are given the green light from your doctor, you can progress to take on aerobic exercises, dancing or swimming.
• You can incorporate your baby as part of your exercise routine. If you’re walking, take the buggy.
• Start with lower intensity and duration and work your way up to 30 minutes three times a week. Do not overstrain and always, always listen to your body.
• Avoid dieting. Consume at least 2000 calories a day (more if you are breastfeeding). Choose low-fat, high fibre foods, and plenty fruits and vegetables.
• Breastfeeding has been known to help new mums to trim down and lose weight faster, as it generates a hormone called oxytocin that will help tone you up naturally. Exercise after a feed so your breasts aren't too heavy and, most importantly, get equipped with a good sports bra for additional support.