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I Still Look Pregnant Your body after the birth (part 2) - A balanced diet & Postpartum exercise Getting into shape

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

Getting enough rest Helping your body to recover

Whether you had a vaginal or cesarean birth, you are likely to feel exhausted in the first few weeks. It's important that you don't take on too much and give yourself time to recover.

  • Rather than try and catch up on chores while your baby sleeps, take a nap to catch up on sleep lost through interrupted nights.

  • Avoid heavy lifting as much as possible.

  • It's fine to take things at your own pace while you get used to life with your new baby.

  • Don't feel you have to entertain visitors—ask them to make you a cup of tea!

Coping with constipation Helping your bowels work after the birth

It's common for the bowel to be fairly sluggish after giving birth as your abdominal muscles have been stretched during pregnancy and so exert less pressure, which slows down the movement through the bowels.

You may also feel uncomfortable after the birth and be anxious that opening your bowels, and possibly straining, could damage stitches if you had any. However, this is extremely unlikely. The best way to avoid constipation is to drink plenty of fluids each day, preferably water (also important if you are breast-feeding), and to eat lots of fiber-rich foods, such as fresh and dried fruits, cereals, and other whole-grain foods. Once you have recovered from the birth, gentle exercise that tones the abdominal muscles may also help your bowels become more efficient (see Postpartum exercise).

A balanced diet

It's easy to neglect your diet once your baby arrives, since you find that you are too tired to prepare proper meals and perhaps think it less important to watch what you eat, now that your baby is outside the uterus. However, eating a healthy diet now is as crucial as ever. If you are breast-feeding, you need to eat a nutritious balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids to ensure a good milk production. Eating well also gives you the energy to deal with interrupted sleep and the demands of your new baby. Make sure your diet contains plenty of protein and carbohydrates, as well as foods rich in calcium, such as eggs and dairy, and iron-rich foods, such as green leafy vegetables. Avoid sugary and salty foods and snack instead on fresh fruit.

Nutritious meals:

You may find it easier to eat little and often to keep your energy levels up. Opt for light, easy-to-prepare meals, such as salads or whole-wheat bread sandwiches.

After an episiotomy How to ease the discomfort of stitches

If you had an episiotomy, you may find that your perineum is quite uncomfortable after the birth, as the surrounding skin can swell, causing the stitches to become tighter, and sitting down becomes increasingly difficult. Here are some ways to relieve this discomfort.

  • Sit on a rubber ring to take the pressure off your stitches and enable you to relax.

  • Apply a cooling gel pack to the area, or ask your midwife or doctor to recommend an anesthetic cream or spray.

  • Try squatting over the toilet seat when you urinate since this helps prevent acidic urine from running over your stitches. Pour warm water over then dry the area after using the toilet.

  • A warm bath or shower can be soothing. After washing, dry the area carefully by patting the area gently with a towel.

NOTE

Take heart—you will lose your baby weight, although not overnight. Why not try power walking with other new moms?

NOTE

Carve out some “me” time each day: a warm soak, or a lie down. Taking care of yourself helps you give your best to your baby

Postpartum exercise Getting into shape

You can exercise as soon as you want to after your baby's birth. The amount you do and how strenuous the exercise will depend on the type of birth you had and how much you exercised before you had your baby. Other considerations are whether you are breast-feeding and the amount of discomfort you feel. Always listen to your body since you will become uncomfortable if you do too much. Your body has just undergone an enormous change throughout the course of pregnancy and childbirth, particularly if you had a cesarean section. There are also high levels of hormones still in your body, which can make you more supple and prone to injury. If you are breast-feeding, you may just want to do gentle exercising until feeding is established. It's a good idea to wear a supportive bra while exercising, and exercise following a feeding rather than before one, which may make it more comfortable for you. Always warm up, wear the correct footwear, and drink plenty of fluids while you are exercising. Stop and seek medical advice if you feel unwell or experience any severe pain or your bleeding increases. Although getting back to your pre-pregnancy shape is important for your well-being, be patient with yourself; it will take time.

Q: Which exercises can I do?
A: Kegel (pelvic floor) exercises can start right after the birth . These important exercises help prevent you from leaking urine when you laugh, cough, or sneeze. The exercises involve drawing up and holding the pelvic floor muscles, tightening around the back and front passages, and then letting go. Make sure that you are tightening the pelvic floor (not your buttocks, thighs, or stomach muscles). Keep breathing and relax your other muscles. Kegel exercises can also be done lying on your side or back with the knees bent and slightly apart.

Other gentle exercises, like lying on your back with your knees bent and doing pelvic tilts (pulling your belly-button in and upward toward your spine), are recommended in the first few days after the birth. Your abdominal muscles may have separated in pregnancy, so doing these gentle exercises will help them reunite. The exercises shown here will help strengthen abdominal muscles (avoid after a cesarean and follow the exercise advice given by your doctor). Build up exercises gradually, starting with one cycle and then repeating this as many times as you feel comfortable. Always breathe normally. Walking and swimming are excellent ways to build up your fitness levels once you have stopped bleeding.

Q: What should I avoid in the first six weeks?
A: Full impact and resistance exercising should only be done after six weeks postpartum, to prevent any strain on the pelvic floor area. Ask your fitness instructor for advice and gradually increase your exercise. Always let your instructor know that you have just had a baby, so exercises can be tailored to your needs. If you had a cesarean, your doctor might have information describing the type of exercises you can do safely and before you do abdominal exercises, such as sit-ups, check with your doctor; these are usually safe to do around 6–8 weeks after the birth. You can gently introduce single leg-lifts while lying on your back with knees bent once you feel ready, probably after about a month.
Relaxation pose:

Lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your head supported by a cushion is extremely relaxing for your lower back.

Exercises for 0–6 weeks
Abdominal exercise:

Lie on your back with a cushion supporting your head; bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Draw your knees up to your chest, holding them with your hands. Breathe deeply into your abdomen.

Advanced abdominal exercise:

If you are able, lift your legs up toward the ceiling. You can keep the knees slightly bent, or straighten them if possible. Focus on your breathing and pull up your pelvic floor muscles in time with your breaths.

Exercises for 6–16 weeks
Sitting twist:

Sit upright; bend your left knee, your foot flat on the floor. Place your left hand behind you, then exhale and turn your torso. Repeat the other side.

Easy forward bend:

Sit with your legs straight in front of you. Raise your arms, then exhale and reach forward, extending from the hips.

Twisting forward bend:

Cross your legs with the right knee resting on the left knee. Lift your arms, palms joined, and stretch forward, your back straight.

Myths and misconceptions Is it true that…

Q: Crying is good for your baby's lungs?
A: Don't listen to this well-meant but misguided advice—if your baby is crying there is usually a good reason. As any mother knows, a baby's cry can mean, “Feed me,” “I'm lonely,” “I'm over-tired,” “I'm in pain.” “I'm wet and need changing,” or even “I've been over stimulated, leave me alone.” Crying is your baby's way of communicating something to you, and it is natural and healthy to respond to it.
Q: You can become addicted to pills for postpartum depression?
A: Don't worry about getting addicted. Postpartum depression is serious and distressing, but it is treatable. Antidepressants (usually prescribed alongside other talking therapies) are not considered to be addictive, and you will have the chance to discuss any concerns with your doctor. However, you are recommended to take them for about six months and not to stop taking them abruptly.
Q: Babies can be spoiled if held too much?
A: Unlikely. During your baby's first few months, holding him makes him feel loved and secure. While some babies don't seem to need much close physical contact, others want to be held all the time. If your baby needs a lot of holding, you can try a baby carrier or sling, which allows you to keep him close to you while leaving your hands free for other tasks. But when your baby is quiet and calm, let him entertain himself or fall asleep on his own.
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