Regaining your figure after pregnancy doesn't have to be a chore. It does take time, however, to get back to your original figure. We've put together a simple 5 step guide to losing the excess weight you put on during pregnancy which, if followed, should ensure that you get your figure back quicker and easier.
Simple Steps to lose the Jelly-Belly
If only there was a postpartum fairy that would appear a few days after the birth, wave her magic wand and bam! The jelly-belly would be gone.
A quick fix would be wonderful to the common concern; but regaining strength in your stomach takes time. Remember that throughout your pregnancy and birth, your body has been under tremendous strain. It will heal itself eventually, although, there's no harm in giving it a helping hand. With that in mind, we've developed five simple steps that will rejuvenate your body and help you say goodbye to the jelly-belly.
1 - Exercise lightly
Remember the word 'lightly' here. It's really important that you don't try to do too much too soon. Forget the gym and the fitness class (who has time?) and think about a gentle stroll. As you begin to feel fitter, you can build this up to a good walk, but if at any point you feel tired, stop. Work with your body, not against it. You can also introduce some pelvic floor exercises to ensure your pelvic region regains strength.
After six weeks (and when you have had the all clear from your Midwife), you could join a specialist postnatal exercise class, such as aquanatal, Pilates or postnatal aerobics. Have a look at the Guild of Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Instructors website for more tips.
Don't forget a firm support nursing bra if you are going to exercise, as you will need adequate support for your breasts.
2 - Get support
Supporting your stomach with a maternity support girdle can help weak postpartum abdominal muscles go back together. The belt promotes firmness and can offer support and control whilst making your tummy feel tighter and flatter. If you had a c-section the support belt can also provide the additional comfort you need to recover. The belts have no bunching and are completely invisible under clothing, just there to offer you support where you need it most!
3 - Eat well
Don't start a diet - this will make you feel worse. Your body is still healing, it desperately needs nutrition and energy from the food you eat and, if you're breast feeding, your baby will be depending on vital nutrients from your food, so crash dieting won't help your body, your baby or your mood. Instead, look at the types of food you're eating. It's often easier at this time to opt for junk food or easy ready-made meals that are high in salt and sugar, but with a little planning and organisation, you can start to eat more healthily.
4 - Make Friends
Getting together with other new mums is not only a great way to pick up tips on motherhood and to keep sane, it's also an excellent way to lift your spirits and plan events.
An ideal way to do this is to join a Babes and Buggies class or try Powerpramming. Ask your midwife for a class in your area. These classes are a brilliant workout and will boost your wellbeing.
By involving yourself in activities with other new mums such as day trips and mother and baby groups, it also helps build up a strong support network. You'll quickly find that everyone has the same worries and concerns, one of which will be getting back into shape. By encouraging and supporting each other you'll not only build stronger tummies, but lifelong friendships.
5 - Sleep
Although sleep may seem like a distant memory, it's important to get as much as you can as research has discovered a 'link' between sleep deprivation and the failure to lose weight gained during pregnancy.
Just two hours extra a night can make the difference in weight loss, those who were sleeping for five hours or less when their babies were six months old were three times more likely to be carrying an extra 11 pounds at their baby's first birthday than mothers who got seven hours.
More information on the 'Lose Pregnancy Weight with Sleep' can be found on the NHS Choices website.
If you feel tired throughout the day, take a nap. When the baby sleeps, if you feel like a rest, have one. Forget the household chores and other things that you planned to do when the baby was sleeping, there's no point in struggling through the day. By getting as much sleep as possible, you will feel better and be less likely to snack on the wrong foods. Don't let guilt keep you awake, when you get the chance sleep, and give you and your body a well deserved rest.
6 - Cheat!
If all else fails to acheive the desired effect in the time needed then follow the celebs and cheat your way to a slimline post-birth physique.
Under your clothes - The Anita long-leg girdle with waist shaping is a high-function, fine-weave microfibre knit panty girdle - a great everyday shaper that will help to 'suck-in' your post partum figure. Providing a seamless look underneath your clothes this full girdle will make you feel slimmer and more comfortable in your pre-pregnancy clothes.
Belly Binding - The Cinch offers comfort, support, and peace of mind to new mums who want to continue giving their bodies the same attention and care as they did during pregnancy. The 9 month plan follows the philosophy that it takes 9 months for your body to nurture the growth of your baby while the weight goes on, and it takes 9 months to take the weight off and return to a toned physique. For the first 6-8 weeks, 'The Cinch' is recommended as a gently applied pressure wrap for 'Support', for the next 3-6 months post-partum, 'The Cinch' is an enhancement tightening the tension control on the adjustable wrap while accompanied with light exercise. From 6-9 months, the Cinch that can be tightened to begin to tone and firm the abdominals and a regular and cardiovascular exercise regime is recommended. All the while considering what you eat, healthy, organic, nutritious choices.
Celebrity mums that have been Cinched: Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani, Minnie Driver, Jennifer Garner, Amy Poehler, Ashlee Simpson, Lisa Marie Presley.