New Mom, New You

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Pregnancy and motherhood can be among the happiest times in a woman’s life. But learning how to balance physical and emotional changes while trying to get back in shape and maintain a healthy post-baby weight can be challenging.

The weeks and months following childbirth can simultaneously be overwhelmingly joyous and stressful. Fighting fatigue and keeping up with a new baby’s needs, along with stresses of running the household, can seem like a never-ending battle. Getting in shape or finding time to go for a walk can seem like just another drain of your already depleted energy reserves, but research shows low-impact exercise can help new moms relax and refocus.
Seek workouts that allow you to take your baby along, like walking or running with a stroller or biking with an infant carrier. You might also consider joining a local gym with a nursery where your child will be cared for while you work out.

Exercising to lose baby weight can help moms shed pounds, manage mental stress and improve self-confidence, but one important thing to realize is getting in shape is as much of a process as nurturing a developing baby. Setting realistic weight-loss goals and taking time to focus on your health should be seen as a necessity. And, even if you’re not ready to go full-force with a new workout routine, easing into exercise through yoga or swimming can be therapeutic and mentally refreshing.

A Little ‘Mom’ Time

Here are a few tips to help new moms achieve a more balanced life:

  • Give yourself the same attention and care as you would a loved one.
  • Learn to accept help with the baby without feeling guilty or inadequate.
  • Enlist the help of a personal trainer with a certification in prenatal and postnatal fitness for a few sessions to get you on the right track.
  • Maintain a balanced diet filled with calcium- and vitamin-rich foods, and routinely count calories and fat grams to help manage your weight.

Did You Know?

> A woman is likely to gain more weight with her first child than she will during subsequent pregnancies.

> Women who breastfeed their babies for three months or longer lose weight faster than mothers who do not breastfeed.

> Pushing a baby stroller can be a great workout for new moms. Depending on your weight, speed at which you walk and the terrain you're traveling, you can burn 150 calories or more by pushing a stroller for one hour.

Schedule doctor visits for your child online at! Day or night, schedule appointments for next day and beyond with pediatricians Alan Brown, M.D., or Bird Gilmartin, M.D., here.

Drs. Brown and Gilmartin are members of the medical staff at Evanston Regional Hospital.