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Sunfire Ways to get back to Pre-Baby Shape! by Priyanka ,  Jun 17, 2013
After 40 weeks of pregnancy, hours of labor and countless sleepless nights with a crying baby, getting back to your pre-baby workout routine can seem impossible—but it's not! Take the first step with advice from Bob Greene.Welcoming home a new little one is an amazing experience, but it's not always easy. As a father of a 3 1/2-year-old and an 11-month-old, balancing a growing family with workouts and other responsibilities is a constant juggling act. And of course, it's even tougher on the mom, whose body has undergone drastic changes during and after pregnancy.But this doesn't mean you can't get back into shape after delivering. In fact, studies show that moderate exercise can not only help you shed those post-baby pounds, but can boost your mood and improve your fitness level. And if you're breastfeeding, don't stress: Moderate exercise doesn't seem to affect milk production, according to research.But to get back on track after baby, you have to keep these four things in mind:Be PatientYou gained your pregnancy weight gradually—over the course of nine months—so don't expect to lose it right away. While it's not uncommon to drop 10 pounds shortly after childbirth, the rest may come off more slowly. Not to mention, many women may not be able to return to their original routine right away, particularly if they have had a C-section. Remember, a C-section is major surgery.Plus, your hormones are still fluctuating. These things can make getting back on track more challenging, but when you do succeed, what a wonderful triumph it will be. Make sure you check with your doctor before you begin exercising...and aim to build up slowly. For instance, if you used to go for a 30-minute walk twice a week, start with once a week for 10 or 15 minutes, or as long as you can comfortably go. The next week, try to increase the time. Once you get back up to 30 minutes, add another day of walking, and so on. Stay focused and be patient. With hard work, you'll get there!
Get Ready to WorkOnce you're able to work back up to your pre-pregnancy fitness level, you'll probably find that you'll need to increase the frequency, duration and/or intensity of your cardio sessions even more to continue to lose weight. For new moms who don't have a lot of extra time, intensity becomes a key factor. If you exercise at a more vigorous pace (ideally, a 7 or 8 on the perceived exertion scale—the point at which you can still carry on a conversation, but would prefer not to), you can burn more calories in a shorter amount of time than working out at a more moderate pace for a longer period.Stay FlexibleWith a new baby to care for, you may not have the time or ability to stick to your regular workout schedule. Staying in shape may now involve being a little more creative. For instance, you may have to break up your workouts, so instead of one long one, you do several mini-sessions during the day, like when baby's napping.And I'd recommend taking advantage of whatever resources you have at home. Instead of trekking to the gym to take an aerobics or spin class, simply pop in a fitness DVD. Or, rather than going for your regular run, put the baby in the stroller and take a brisk walk. Look into baby joggers too! I like BOB strollers. (I have no connections with the company; the fact that we share the same name is purely coincidental!)Be RealisticEven if you do take off most or all of the weight, it's possible you won't be able to reclaim your original figure or get back down to your exact pre-pregnancy size. Remember, it's not just about fitting into a certain dress size, but living a healthy life—and, of course, taking the time to enjoy your new little bundle of joy.

From the moment the baby weight starts to accumulate on our bodies, the scheming begins about how to drop the pounds once the little one arrives. After your baby is born and your days gradually begin to regain somewhat of a routine, it’s time to put your ideas into action. If you’re not sure exactly how to begin, here are seven proven steps for working your way back to your prepregnancy bod—or better!

1. Get up and move

Most new moms are too sleep-deprived and overwhelmed to even think about exercise. That’s perfectly OK, says exercise physiologist and postpartum-fitness expert Renee M. Jeffreys, M.S. Most women’s bodies aren’t ready for serious exercise until six weeks after giving birth, anyway—longer if they’ve had a Cesarean section.

Start by walking around the block, Jeffreys says. If it feels good and doesn’t cause or exacerbate bleeding, walk a little farther the next day. Do this until your six-week checkup, after which you should be ready to do 20 to 30 minutes of cardio 3 to 5 times a week.

You don’t even have to leave your neighborhood: The Surgeon General says that pushing a stroller 1-2 miles in 30 minutes burns 150 calories. So does walking up and down stairs for 15 minutes.

Need some more ideas to get moving?  Squeeze in a quickie workout that you can do with your baby, or try some ab rehab.  And if you're looking to have better post-baby sex, make sure you do your Kegels.

2. Breastfeed

When you’re breastfeeding, you need an extra 500 calories a day, or about 2,700 total. But since breastfeeding burns 600 to 800 calories a day, even if all you do is sit comfortably and feed your baby, you could still be losing weight.

Some lucky women can drop all their baby fat, and then some, through breastfeeding alone. That happened to Tiffany Tinson of Bronxville, N.Y. Six months after giving birth to her first child, Connor, Tinson had dipped to 10 pounds below her prepregnancy weight, even though she was eating more and not exercising much. “I attribute it all to breastfeeding,” she says.

But be aware that as soon as you stop or taper off breastfeeding, or begin supplementing your baby’s diet with solids, your calorie needs will plummet. You could really pack on the weight if you don’t adjust your diet downward and/or your exercise routine upward.

3. Lift weights, get strong

Weight training will go a long way toward speeding up your metabolism. However, instead of going to the gym or investing in a set of dumbbells right away, Jeffreys suggests incorporating your baby into your routine. Hold the baby to your chest and do lunges, say, or do lunges behind the stroller as you walk. Or lie on your back, holding the baby above your chest, and slowly press her up toward the ceiling several times.

If you’re unsure about what you’re doing, hire a personal trainer with a certification in prenatal and postnatal fitness for a few weeks to get you on the right track.

4. Watch calories and fat

Say no to empty-calorie foods like sodas and chips, as well as fad diets that eliminate entire food groups. Instead, fill your diet with a variety of nutrient-rich meals containing lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of low-fat dairy products, says Tammy Baker, M.S., R.D., a Phoenix-based dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

Experts advise against going on a diet right after giving birth. “To get your body back, you have to think health first,” Baker says. “Your body is working to repair itself.”

And try to spread out all those fresh vittles. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day will keep your blood- sugar levels steady and help prevent you from overeating, Baker says. Keep in mind that if your calories are distributed throughout the day, they’re metabolized more efficiently and are less likely to be stored as fat.

And watch the juices. All the vitamin C you need for one day is in a small glass of orange juice. Any more  than that and you’ll be drinking unnecessary calories.

5. Take naps

“Getting plenty of sleep has been shown to help with weight loss because you’re not compelled to binge on high-calorie, high-sugar foods for energy,” says Sheah Rarback, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Strange sleep cycles like those forced on you by a newborn can upset your metabolism and make it harder for you to lose your pregnancy weight, Rarback says. Take a nap anytime the baby does, housework be damned. That way, you won’t end up with a long-term sleep deficit, and you’ll keep your energy levels and your potentially naughty cravings in check.

Whatever you do, don’t sacrifice sleep for exercise time in those early weeks. If you don’t sleep enough, you won’t have enough energy for satisfying workouts, anyway.

6. Eat healthful snacks

Eating too much sugar can send your blood-sugar levels on a roller-coaster ride. And when your blood sugar drops, you’re more likely to eat the first thing you can get your hands on. So skip the sugary treats. To avoid temptation, keep only nutritious foods at your fingertips. And stock up on low-fat milk and yogurt for snacks, as studies have shown that calcium from milk and yogurt actually can aid weight loss by blocking a hormone that allows the body to store fat.

Also, eat high-fiber snacks like figs and raisins or whole-wheat crackers with veggies, suggests Rarback. They can fill you up and help with digestion and regularity.

7. Get with other new moms

It can be helpful to connect with other moms for regular exercise. Carolyn Pione of Baton Rouge, La., just didn’t feel she had the energy or the time to exercise after she had her baby in 1999. Then, some pals who had formed an early-morning running group showed up on her doorstep urging her to join.

At first Pione, who had gained 38 pounds during her pregnancy, couldn’t keep up. But before long she felt compelled to catch up, and besides, she didn’t want to miss out on the friendly conversation. She lost all of her baby weight and now runs in 5k’s, something she never would have worked up to without the help of the group. “Alone, it would have been impossible,” she says.

Gaining weight during pregnancy is part of a normal pregnancy, and after pregnancy it's important to get back into shape.

  1. Timing is everything. Give yourself some time:  Immediately after giving birth to baby is not always the best time to try and lose the baby weight. The body needs to return to pre-pregnancy hormone levels, blood volume levels and water levels. This can take up to 12 weeks and needs to be taken into consideration before restricting calories and exercising to lose weight after baby.
  2. Decreasing caloric intake. There are two reasons not to reduce calories immediately after having a baby. The first is the extra caloric intake needed for the body to heal. This is especially true with women who have delivered via C-Section. The second is breastfeeding. The body needs extra calories to produce the milk needed to feed baby. Reducing the caloric intake too far will reduce the amount of milk available to baby.
  3. Essential calories. Mothers who have just given birth need to keep calorie total at a minimum of 1500 in order for the body to heal and deal with the post partum changes. Most diet will lower the caloric intake below this amount so adding in an extra snack or two is a healthy choice.
  4. Breastfeeding and calorie burn. The post partum mom needs at least 400 extra calories a day if breastfeeding. The body will use these calories as part of the basal metabolic rate (the average number of calories burned doing normal daily activities.)
  5. Exercise after baby. After baby is 6 weeks old and the doctor has released mom from care, exercise can begin at pre-pregnancy levels. Before this time, the only exercise mom should be doing is the same exercise mom was doing before baby was born.
  6. The importance of a good night's rest. Recent scientific studies have linked a good night's rest to decreases in depression and increases daily energy levels. The better mom feels, the better she will be able to deal with weight loss after baby.
  7. Gym equipment and postpartum weight loss. For the first 6 weeks after baby is born, using gym equipment that could be harmful is not recommended. This is especially true if the baby was born via C-Section.
  8. Weight loss supplements and baby. There are many ingredients included in weight loss supplements that are not approved for women who are pregnant or nursing. These supplements should not be taken if mo is breastfeeding baby.
  9. Eating multiple times a day. As with any other weight loss program, eating multiple times a day increases the metabolism and decreases the feeling of hunger associated with dieting.
  10. Increasing the right foods. The right foods include vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Eating from these three food groups is a good option for any woman trying to lose weight.
  11. Reclaiming the healthy food mentality. When pregnant, many women feel as though they can eat anything and get away with it because they are pregnant. This mentality will need to be reigned in after the baby is born. Mom needs to eat healthy foods in healthy portion sizes.
  12. Portion size and post partum weight loss. Portion size is not a huge problem due to the fact that baby took up so much space at the end of the pregnancy that mom is used to eating less. Sometimes, however, moms will give birth and resume eating larger portion sizes once baby is out of the way (so to speak). This is not the best option for weight loss.

Getting in Shape after Baby - 10 postpartum exercise tips for new moms

The first few months after giving birth, often referred to as the fourth trimester, are a blur. Diapers, feedings, hormonal changes, and tears have become your new normal, and exercise is the last thing on your new mom-brain. So it’s no surprise that it can be a huge challenge to navigate when and how to get back to working out. But with all of the chaos, this may actually be the best time to start exercising. Not only will it help you lose the baby weight, it might also save your sanity. Here’s a list of 10 tips to help you begin an exercise program and get back in shape.
Take your time Most doctors recommend getting back to exercise around 4-6 weeks postpartum, but some women may feel ready sooner. If you’ve had a C-section, you may need to wait even longer. Although you may be anxious to get back to working out, your body will thank you for waiting until you truly feel ready (I personally waited two months until my episiotomy and milk-filled breasts felt less sore). Starting an exercise program too quickly may add unnecessary stress to your body and make healing take even longer.

some tips and reassurance on getting used to your body after pregnancy and birth, and details of gentle workouts and exercises you can try out.

What's happened to me?!

It's natural and inevitable that carrying a baby for nine months and then giving birth will have changed your body dramatically. Your abdominal muscles were stretched to the limit to accommodate your growing bump, and the extra weight elsewhere is what nature laid down in preparation for breastfeeding (combined - quite possibly - with the effects of comfort eating during pregnancy!) Also fairly inevitable is a downward turn in the chest department: as the breasts swell during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the ligaments and tissues are stretched, with saggier boobs (it's known medically as breast ptosis) the result.

So, if you're keen to get back into shape after birth, how and when should you do so? Let's face it, dieting is no fun - and definitely not a good idea if you're breastfeeding. Exercise is your best bet, combined with sensible, healthy eating. Apart from helping you shift some unwanted pounds, which will boost your confidence and self-esteem, regular activity improves your general health and fitness and is good for the mind, too, since exercise releases endorphins, the 'feel-good' hormones.

Don't enter the race

All that said, exercise is not something to be rushed into after birth. Getting back into shape is something to start when you feel ready - be it six weeks or six months down the line. And even then it should be a slow, gradual process, not the unhealthy race run by all those celebrity 'yummy mummies'. Ok so maybe, with a personal trainer, a clever stylist, a 24-hour nanny and an expensive plastic surgeon on the payroll, you too could be wearing a size-eight evening gown to your next film premiere, a mere six weeks after popping out your offspring at the Portland.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, experts agree we should allow ourselves closer to a year to get our bodies back to normal after birth, inside and out. 'It's really important to give yourself a break and not put too much pressure on yourself. It took nine months to make your baby, so give yourself at least that long to get back in shape', says Judy DiFiore, author of The Complete Guide to Postnatal Fitness,  available on Amazon here, and co-founder of the buggy-based fitness franchise, Pushy Mothers (motto: 'Push, Don't Rush'!)

It's worth bearing in mind, too, that a post-baby belly is far harder to shift than any other sort - hardly surprising when you think of how far the skin and muscle was stretched during the nine months of your pregnancy. In fact, you're very likely to find that, however hard you try, your baby belly never quite shapes up the way you'd like it to - and more than likely, your breasts will never be the same again, either! 'Our bodies often change shape permanently after giving birth,' says Judy DiFiore. 'Sometimes you just have to accept that and remind yourself that, in the grand scheme of things, it's a small price to pay for the wonderful bundle you have!'

Why should we be gentle with our bodies after birth?

There are a number of very good reasons why you need to be gentle on your body after having a baby. These include:

  • The lingering effects of relaxin: During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is released which softens up the body's ligaments and muscles, in preparation for birth. The flipside of this clever bit of physiology is that it leaves us vulnerable to injury and, although it ceases once your baby's born, the effects can hang around in the body for up to five months afterwards.

  • Weakened abdominal muscles: All mums will suffer from these to one extent or another and, in a large majority, a condition called diastasis recti can occur naturally, when the pressure of the growing baby stretches the connective tissues between the two bands of the main tummy muscle (the rectus abdominus). It usually takes about four to six weeks for these muscles to realign - but even longer to strengthen to its original state. For this reason, Judy warns against sit-ups, crunches and other intense abdominal workouts in the four to six months after birth. If you do want to include them in your workout, at least make sure you do them properly: always pull your tummy in first, and avoid letting it bunch up as you curl and support your head with one hand to prevent neck strain. The movement should be slow and controlled, not fast and jerky - and you don't have to come up a long way off the floor for them to be effective.

  • Sheer exhaustion: Pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and the demands of caring for a newborn baby make the first year of motherhood a tiring time. Moderate, regular exercise can help boost your energy levels....but equally, overdoing it will just set you back. Go easy on yourself - if you've had a bad night, or you're just too tired, leave your exercise routine for another day.

Back in shape after birth

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back into shape after birthYou may well look down at your body in the months after having a baby and wonder if it's ever going to look the same again. However slim you were before, chances are you've now got a serious case of 'jelly belly' - and very likely a general weight gain over your boobs, thighs and bum, too.

This page provides some tips and reassurance on getting used to your body after pregnancy and birth, and details of gentle workouts and exercises you can try out.

What's happened to me?!

It's natural and inevitable that carrying a baby for nine months and then giving birth will have changed your body dramatically. Your abdominal muscles were stretched to the limit to accommodate your growing bump, and the extra weight elsewhere is what nature laid down in preparation for breastfeeding (combined - quite possibly - with the effects of comfort eating during pregnancy!) Also fairly inevitable is a downward turn in the chest department: as the breasts swell during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the ligaments and tissues are stretched, with saggier boobs (it's known medically as breast ptosis) the result.

So, if you're keen to get back into shape after birth, how and when should you do so? Let's face it, dieting is no fun - and definitely not a good idea if you're breastfeeding. Exercise is your best bet, combined with sensible, healthy eating. Apart from helping you shift some unwanted pounds, which will boost your confidence and self-esteem, regular activity improves your general health and fitness and is good for the mind, too, since exercise releases endorphins, the 'feel-good' hormones.

Don't enter the race

All that said, exercise is not something to be rushed into after birth. Getting back into shape is something to start when you feel ready - be it six weeks or six months down the line. And even then it should be a slow, gradual process, not the unhealthy race run by all those celebrity 'yummy mummies'. Ok so maybe, with a personal trainer, a clever stylist, a 24-hour nanny and an expensive plastic surgeon on the payroll, you too could be wearing a size-eight evening gown to your next film premiere, a mere six weeks after popping out your offspring at the Portland.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, experts agree we should allow ourselves closer to a year to get our bodies back to normal after birth, inside and out. 'It's really important to give yourself a break and not put too much pressure on yourself. It took nine months to make your baby, so give yourself at least that long to get back in shape', says Judy DiFiore, author of The Complete Guide to Postnatal Fitness,  available on Amazon here, and co-founder of the buggy-based fitness franchise, Pushy Mothers (motto: 'Push, Don't Rush'!)

It's worth bearing in mind, too, that a post-baby belly is far harder to shift than any other sort - hardly surprising when you think of how far the skin and muscle was stretched during the nine months of your pregnancy. In fact, you're very likely to find that, however hard you try, your baby belly never quite shapes up the way you'd like it to - and more than likely, your breasts will never be the same again, either! 'Our bodies often change shape permanently after giving birth,' says Judy DiFiore. 'Sometimes you just have to accept that and remind yourself that, in the grand scheme of things, it's a small price to pay for the wonderful bundle you have!'

Why should we be gentle with our bodies after birth?

There are a number of very good reasons why you need to be gentle on your body after having a baby. These include:

  • The lingering effects of relaxin: During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is released which softens up the body's ligaments and muscles, in preparation for birth. The flipside of this clever bit of physiology is that it leaves us vulnerable to injury and, although it ceases once your baby's born, the effects can hang around in the body for up to five months afterwards.

  • Weakened abdominal muscles: All mums will suffer from these to one extent or another and, in a large majority, a condition called diastasis recti can occur naturally, when the pressure of the growing baby stretches the connective tissues between the two bands of the main tummy muscle (the rectus abdominus). It usually takes about four to six weeks for these muscles to realign - but even longer to strengthen to its original state. For this reason, Judy warns against sit-ups, crunches and other intense abdominal workouts in the four to six months after birth. If you do want to include them in your workout, at least make sure you do them properly: always pull your tummy in first, and avoid letting it bunch up as you curl and support your head with one hand to prevent neck strain. The movement should be slow and controlled, not fast and jerky - and you don't have to come up a long way off the floor for them to be effective.

  • Sheer exhaustion: Pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and the demands of caring for a newborn baby make the first year of motherhood a tiring time. Moderate, regular exercise can help boost your energy levels....but equally, overdoing it will just set you back. Go easy on yourself - if you've had a bad night, or you're just too tired, leave your exercise routine for another day.

Safe from the start

Vital as it is to wait a while before you begin exercising in earnest, it's possible to make a very gentle start on regaining some strength in your body right after birth. In fact, there's one bit of the body that all new mums should be exercising regularly: the pelvic floor (the hammock-like layer of muscles that support the bladder, uterus, and bowel). If you were good, you'll have done your pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy. If not, don't let that stop you from starting now - they're all-important in the battle to keep leaky bladders at bay and, as an added bonus, can help to improve satisfaction during sex! Find out how to do pelvic floor exercises here.

You can also make a start on the long, slow process of getting your tummy muscles back in shape by softly pulling them in whenever you get the chance. (If you're not sure how, imagine drawing your tummy in towards your spine.) Hold for a few seconds, breathing all the while, and then release. Do this as many times a day as you can fit in. (It's also a good idea to hold in your tummy in this way when you bend over or lift anything: it will help to support your back and so help to ease or prevent back pain, a common problem after birth.) You could also squeeze in a few pelvic tilts when you find yourself with a free moment: stand with your back to a wall, slide a hand into the gap between your lower back and the wall and use your tummy muscles to tilt your pelvis backwards. Hold for a little while before releasing. You'll know you're doing it right if you can feel your lower back pushing against your hand.

Gentle walking is also ok in the early weeks - you'll probably be getting out and about with your baby in a sling or pram, anyway. But even this can be exerting while you're still recovering, so take care not to go to far or to walk too fast. Slow down or stop if you feel breathless, dizzy, or plain exhausted. Wearing trainers is a good idea, even for a gentle stroll.

Ready to get going?

If you're keen to make a more determined start on getting back in shape as soon as possible, it will usually be OK to do so from around six weeks (ten weeks if you had a C-section). Do get the go-ahead from your GP, first. Even then, it's vital to take great care, as your body is still very much in recovery.

To burn off your baby fat, you need to increase your heart rate and get breathless (as well as a little bit sweaty!) for 20-30 minutes, three or more times a week. However, it's advisable to avoid 'high-impact' activities such as running for a while, because your ligaments and joints are still vulnerable. As a general rule, Judy DiFiore recommends waiting six to nine months before going for a run, or any other high-impact exercise class or sport, unless you were very proficient at it before the birth (in which case you probably don't have to wait that long - but you should still take great care to let your body lead you when you do pick it up again). Who needs to pound the pavement, anyway? There are lots of other, safer forms of exercise you can try, including:

  • Power walking: An ideal way for new mums to exercise as it can be fitted it into a normal day. If you take your baby in the buggy, you won't need a babysitter - and you'll increase the intensity of the workout, too. Take a tip from Judy, who teaches Pushy Mothers buggy workout sessions and keep an eye on your posture while out and about with your baby. 'We tell mums in our classes to walk tall with relaxed shoulders, elbows and wrists,' she reveals. 'Lengthen your stride to give your legs and buttocks a really good workout and keep up a good pace. For higher intensity workouts take a hilly route or push your buggy across rough terrain, but ensure you keep ‘hips to handles' to avoid straining the back. If you've had a c-section, though, don't try this until you're satisfied your wound is healed.'

  • Pilates or yoga: These are great for improving strength and flexibility, but you'll still need to raise your heartbeat with some sort of aerobic exercise a couple of times a week if you want to burn off that belly. (A combination of the two will work a treat). Some moves in pilates are intense and may not be suitable, so do make sure your instructor is qualified and alert them to the fact that you're a new mum when you start.

  • Swimming, or aquarobics: A perfect all-round exercise - it will increase your heart rate but as the water offers you support, has mimimal risk of injury. It's also good for firming up post-baby boobs. Take care to keep your head down if you're doing breaststroke, though - holding it up can put a strain on your neck and lower back.

  • Exercise classes: These vary in their intensity, so stick to one specifically designed for postnatal women, such as Pushy Mothers. (Find out more about what's in your area by checking out your local boards, or visiting the website of The Guild of Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Instructors.  At the very least make sure you go for one that's 'low-impact' - that means anything where you've always got one foot on the floor. If in doubt, ask the instructor first, and make sure they know you're a new mum - often, there'll be lower-impact alternatives to some of the moves that are more suitable for you.

Find out about local exercise classes here

Finally, before you work out, don't forget:

  • To wear a decent pair of trainers (don't forget that your feet can increase in size during pregnancy, so go to a reputable sports shop and get yourself measured and buy a new pair if necessary.)

  • To wear a well-fitting sports bra, or two if you need more support. (If you're breastfeeding, feed your baby beforehand to avoid leakage, and pop in a couple of breastpads, just in case.)

  • To keep yourself well hydrated during and afterwards. Don't be tempted to avoid fluids if you've got leaky bladder issues: keep drinking (but step up the pelvic floor exercises!)

  • To exercise under the watchful eye of a qualified instructor wherever possible. If you attend a class, check out the credentials of whoever's running it. And if you are working out at home, perhaps following a DVD, make sure you've got the moves right: do them wrong and at best they'll be useless to you, at worst, harmful.

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Try yoga There are countless benefits of doing yoga after having a baby; not only has it been shown to make you more focused, it actually may elevate mood more than other forms of exercise. The strength and stretching benefits are also crucial during the postpartum period. One move in particular, the pigeon pose, is great because it stretches the I.T. band which runs down the side of your leg and is a common discomfort during pregnancy and even after. If you aren’t ready to be away from baby yet, try a baby yoga class — it’s a more relaxed approach and a great way to meet other moms.
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