Created on: January 22, 2013 Last Updated: January 23, 2013
Having a baby can wreak havoc on the body. Skin, muscles and tendons get stretched beyond normal limits. For nine months your body goes through a myriad of changes, some more noticeable than others. One of the most notable of all of the changes is the pulling of the muscles and tendons in the stomach. Attempting to regain pre-baby body and shape can be daunting. It isn't like you can head straight to the gym to begin a strenuous workout. It takes several months for the body to completely heal after giving birth. A new mother should never try to push past normal limits when trying to get toned.
Breast feeding is one of the best ways to coax the body back into shape. The act of nursing causes the mother's uterus and other organs to contract. This allows them to slowly begin the process of assuming their prior shape and location within the body. The longer a mother nurses, the stronger the contractions become, slowly strengthening and toning muscles.
Doctors often tell mothers not to lift anything heavier than the weight of their newborn child. With that being said, a new mother can use the weight of the baby to exercise in controlled settings. Holding the infant on their lap and performing leg lifts from a sitting position can tone pelvic, stomach and leg muscles. Walking while carrying their baby will help them to burn excessive calories and tone muscles in the abdomen and back. As the infant's weight increases, the mother's muscles will gradually gain strength and tone.
Crunches where the mother bends and raises their knees bringing them slowly up towards their hips and slowly lowering them are less stressful on abdominal muscles than conventional crunches. Raising one knee at a time and slowly lowering them back down will can also help them tone their stomach and lower back.
Thigh presses and hand weights are two tools new mothers can use to help bring their body back to pre-baby shape. Most doctors frown on exercises that involve the abdominal and back muscles in the first two months after childbirth. Intense exercising performed to soon after birth can damage the uterus and keep the body from healing. It can also increase the risk of bleeding and scarring.
Walking with ankle and hand weights can also help tone muscles and improve circulation. New mothers can take the first steps in regaining their pre-baby body by performing simple tasks that involve carrying the baby and walking on a regular basis. It won't take long to recover the waistline that was lost before the baby made its presence known.
Learn more about this author, Wendy S. Melton.
Click here to send this author comments or questions.
Below are the top articles rated and ranked by Helium members on:
How to tone the post-baby belly
Cast your vote!
Click for your side.