Staying in Shape After Pregnancy: Some Tips on Taking Care of Yourself

Your obstetrician has forbidden you from returning to sports in the weeks after giving birth, but you still want and need to take care of yourself? Gently bringing exercise back into your routine and integrating some new habits into your diet will help you slowly reacquaint yourself with your body.

Your breakfast ritual
The nights are short, and with the fatigue and change of pace, it can be incredibly tempting to compensate with overly sweet and fatty comfort foods. To stay energized and start the day off right, remember the importance of a good breakfast: it’s a meal that can be both healthy and balanced without a lot of time spent in the kitchen – ideal for young mothers. A pot of green tea, fresh, seasonal fruit of your choosing and some dried fruit mixed into your yogurt (be sure to maintain some variety: cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, soy…). And if you like brunch, don’t hesitate to make yourself an egg, topped with thinly sliced ham and grilled vegetables.

Long walks with the stroller
If there’s anything all young mothers will enjoy, it’s an outing with a stroller and her newborn. Long walks allow even the most exhausted new mothers to return to physical activity, and gradually get back into the rhythm they had “before…” Establish a daily ritual of leaving the house at least once a day, always giving your outing a different objective: run a small errand, buy a new book, pick up a package. Bit by bit, you’ll defeat the fatigue and explore past the boundaries of your own neighborhood, without even realizing that you’ve completed more than an hour of daily, physical activity.

A light yoga/Pilates session
While baby’s napping, take some time just for you. Little, daily obligations can wait – aim to dedicate at least one of the baby’s naps each day to your own well-being. On the program? Some gentle pilates exercises (no ab work – the perineum is still recovering), yoga or simply some relaxing, deep breathing….Fifteen minutes should be plenty of time to become gradually reacquanted and reconnected with your body.

Anti-stretch and anti-cellulite massages
Your skin still remembers your pregnancy, and once your child is born, you shouldn’t lose the good habits you established while pregnant – continue to generously hydrate your body, day and night. Also be sure to apply anti-stretch mark cream in the first months after delivery, remembering to pay special attention to affected areas. You can also opt for an anti-cellulite cream, which – when effectively used and massaged in – can help firm and smooth skin.

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Translated by G.W.