- Women's Health
How to Maintain a Feminine Figure Post-Pregnancy
Post- Pregnancy Body Image
Staying healthy and fit during your pregnancy is hard work. Thanks to the women before me I have learned some important tips on how to make your body look as close to your pre-pregnancy self as possible. First thing first, with lucky genetics and surgical enhancements aside, most women will not go back to the exact body they had pre-pregnancy; however, in addition to exercising and eating healthy, there are important essentials to have on hand to start using the day you arrive home with your baby to keep your body in great shape.
It’s no secret that women’s breasts grow during pregnancy in order to store milk for her hungry and growing baby. The extra weight in your breasts means they’ll need more support. If you’re planning to breast feed (which I highly recommend), choose a high quality nursing bra that offers plenty of support.
Many people warn against nursing bras with wires; however, I think a wire bra is paramount to supporting lactating breasts, especially for women who already had larger breasts prior to becoming pregnant. It is wise to stock up on a few different sizes, as your breasts will not always produce the same amount of milk and therefore will not be the same size throughout the time that you are breastfeeding your baby.
Alternatively, if you don’t wish to spend an arm and a leg on nursing bras, you can still nurse with a regular bra by pulling your breast out and over your bra to nurse. You can manage the ever-changing size of your bust line by wearing a sports bra over your bra to give yourself extra support. Sports bras will be a fraction of the cost of nursing bras and still provide excellent support.
Elomi Nursing Bra
Trim Your Tummy
After your baby is born, you will still look like you are about 3 to 5 months pregnant, as your uterus is slowly shrinking back down after having been ballooned out to carry your baby. Though an important process, it’s not so flattering to still look pregnant when you’re not pregnant anymore. On average, it can take up to three months before your post-pregnancy bump goes back down to a more eye-pleasing flat tummy.
One permanent mistake to avoid is to leave your belly unsupported during this transition. Just like busts need support, as they will droop over time, an unsupported belly will droop and become rolls, leaving you with a bulge and people wondering, is she pregnant again already?
An absolute must-have is an adjustable waist slimmer belt. These inexpensive foam-like belts secure with Velcro around your waist. After my pregnancy, I wore them day and night. As my belly shrunk, I tightened the belt. Within a couple months, my waist was back to 25” with no rolls.
Keep in mind you’ll likely be sweating out fluids from your pregnancy and this belt will magnify the perspiration, so it is best to have two or three on hand to change throughout the day. This way, you will always have one to wear while waiting for the other(s) to dry. Simply hand-wash them in the sink and hang them somewhere water-safe (like a bathtub or shower) to dry. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water.
Weight Loss Tips
If you were “all baby” during your pregnancy like I was, it is very easy to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding requires a significant amount of work for your body, resulting in losing calories from fat very easily and quickly. Obviously, being concerned about giving your baby the best and most nutritious food is important (that being breast milk), but breastfeeding is also extremely helpful in melting those extra pounds gained from pregnancy. The longer you breastfeed, the better the outcome for your figure and your baby’s health.
Working out post-pregnancy can be difficult to keep on a schedule, especially when you have a little one that is nocturnal and are functioning off of less than adequate sleep. Consider investing in a jogging stroller. Your baby will love the cruise and most likely take a nap or enjoy the scenery while you take a brisk walk or a jog.
You can also take your baby with you to Baby Boot Camp. Work out with fellow mothers with your baby in a stroller. Working out with women in the same boat as you are is encouraging and much needed motivation. It’s also a great way to get advice and talk through mom-issues with local mothers.
If there’s not a Baby Boot Camp near you, start your own Meetup Group to get other mommies together to workout.