Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Getting your pre pregnancy body back

When it comes to pregnancy and the stress and changes to your body, they say the first is the easiest. But I've seen and been around women who don't get their pre pregnancy bodies back even after the first.

I can't comment on what it's like for multiple pregnancies (obviously), but I think that if you don't get your pre pregnancy body and fitness condition back soon after the first child, then it's a slippery slope from then on.

From my experience so far, here's what helped me.

1. Have the best pre pregnancy body u can
Even before you start looking to get pregnant, get in shape. Don't say, oh I'm going to be fat when pregnant anyway so I'll just start after the baby is born, no point getting in shape and then get pregnant.

I see lots of comments whenever fitness mums & celebs show off a great post pregnancy body a few weeks after giving birth. Usually people view that negatively and say- there's no way regular people can do that, she probably has a personal trainer, she probably had surgery. I think in most cases this is not true. It CAN be done, and yes it can be done within weeks of giving birth.

One thing is definitely true though... that if you were out of shape before being pregnant, u have even less chance of getting in shape after giving birth.

In our busy lives, it's hard to find the time to get in shape. Try slipping in 10 minutes a day for a start, or instead of taking the lift, climb the stairs. It's the little things which will eventually add up. If you're planning to get pregnant, start getting in shape now. Once you're pregnant and after you have a baby, you will also be thankful for that extra stamina you built up.

2. Prepare for the stretch
One of my concerns was stretchmarks because I have dry skin, and I also had stretchmarks (on my knees and thighs) from puberty. My mom has pregnancy stretchmarks. A lot of this is genetic.

I used a variety of stretchmark creams in rotation (because I wasn't sure which would work best for my skin. So I hedged my bets by using a different one on each application. Example, Mustella in the morning, Elancyl in afternoon and coconut oil at night). I loved coconut oil (not sticky or smelly at all!). I think it's a good inexpensive way to moisturize your stretching skin.

Don't forget to apply it EVERYWHERE. Not just the belly. I was horrified to see the beginning of a stretchmark on my boob. So I began applying it religiously all over. Hips, thighs, lower back, chest. Not just your belly!!! I'm happy to report that it worked, and worked well. No pregnancy stretchmarks, and even the one stretchmark that was starting on my boob disappeared too.

3. Don't worry about pregnancy weight
There's no need to minimize weight gain. Unless you have a medical reason to, like if you start out overweight or you have gestational diabetes. Other than that, I would say do not worry about the scales. The scales scared me a lot (in retrospect, I should not have worried about it). I was envious of my friends who like put on 8kg (or less!) throughout the whole pregnancy. I gained 12 kg within the first trimester itself.

And I wasn't even eating a lot. Don't talk about eating for two, when I can barely eat for one. But the scales kept jumping up up up. I think your body knows what to do. If you're pregnant and your starting weight is under weight, your body will automatically retain more of the calories(?) and put weight on to prepare for the rest of the pregnancy journey. I was eating healthy, lots of fruit and during times where I struggled to eat (because morning sickness all day), I supplemented with Friso Stage 0 milk which is the first maternal milk with prebiotics and probiotics for mums to get the nutrition they need.

In all, I gained 20Kgs. That's like putting on almost half my original body weight. And I had a 2kg preemie so hardly any of that was her weight, it was all on me. Lol. But I managed to lose all that and more. This is without hitting the gym. Which brings me to my next point...

4. Get back on your feet as soon as possible
I was not able to get any help after the delivery, so I had no choice but to get back on my feet and take care of baby, and handle all the night feeds, and also carry on with the house chores and cooking. That was a period of extreme exhaustion. But you know what? I survived it. And it took the weight right off.

So mummies who are don't doing confinement, don't worry, work at your own pace, prioritize your newborn baby's needs first and the rest of the housework can do later. You can do this.

And if you are doing a month long confinement, even if you have someone helping you to take care of baby and take care of the house chores, do try to get back on your feet and do some simple exercises as soon as you feel you're ready for it.

Oh and they say after a csection, your abs would never be the same again. Because it cuts through the stomach muscles, your abs will never be flat around that area and you will have a small paunch you can't get rid of (this was the main reason I was dreading having to get a csection. lol. Vanity). Not true. So super not true at all. Don't worry about it. Even if you have to have a Csection, you can get back in shape after baby is born.

5. Don't eat (too much) junk
When trying to get rid of post pregnancy weight, it's ok to eat anything and everything. Just in moderation. I eat junk food. Just the other day, the cleaning lady passed me by the poolside and was shocked I was having a Macdonald's. She said - "I thought you're the kind who won't eat junk food."

Indulging in bit of junk food won't make you fat. I have it (macdonald's, popeye, jollibee etc) maybe twice a week. But what will make you fat is if you consume more calories than you can burn.... even if those calories comes from healthy foods. So don't go hungry, just be smart about it.

6. Participate in your child's play

At first I thought that a baby kept me on my feet a lot, but oh man a toddler keeps me on my toes!
Whatever stage your child is at, get in there, get on your knees, run about, and engage in healthy activities with them.


This could be taking them to a bouncy castle, an indoor playground, swimming, go for walks in the park, etc. It's a great way to bond and to help your child experience and develop.

So yeah, it irks me when people tell me I'm "lucky" that I shifted all that weight so "easily" and quickly. While it is attainable, it's not by luck.

I know that when you have a child, it's easy to let your own well being take a back seat. Trust me I know that (my face hasn't been seen with nice make up for the past 1 year plus lol). But when it comes to health and feeling good and confident with your own body... you need to take charge. And I don't want this to come across as a slap in the face when you're sat there, exhausted, and still having tummy flab or that stubborn last 5kgs you haven't shed.... yet.

I know, I understand. Don't worry mummies, you can get your pre pregnancy body back. Do it!

If you're pregnant now (congrats!), find out more about the changes your body will go through in this Pregnancy guide.

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