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The Basics
To start, Natasha explains that after her
delivery, a woman can start exercising
two weeks later. “Two weeks is good
enough time for her body to rest
and recover and in fact most cases
a woman is up on her feet just a day
after delivery day,” she says. However
for women who have undergone a
C-section, Natasha reminds us that for
this procedure, the body’s abdominal
muscle has been cut through and
damaged. “As a result, the recovery
for this woman is slow, gradual and
takes about three months for the
muscle fibers to form and rejoin,” she
says therefore a low intensity workout
program of a minimum of three
months after the C-section is the best
option for this new mom.
Nutrition
Nutrition should strongly be
considered by the new mother and
Natasha suggests, “Of course, she
would have to be strict with regards
to nutrition, in order to compensate
for the lost blood and nutrients as
well as in the case of breast feeding.”
Breastfeeding is an important aspect
to motherhood and through this; the
newborn baby is fed and delivered
the essential nutrients. “Breast milk
contains the maximum amount of
nutrition including fat that a woman
can provide for her baby,” she explains
and in fact, besides all of the goodness
that breastfeeding provides the baby,
Natasha points out that breast feeding
is the key to post pregnancy weight
loss and works as an advantage to the
lactating mother. “A well balanced diet
is very important for a mother who is
breastfeeding her baby and especially
from that point of post pregnancy
and delivery,” she tells. And while the
notion of eating for two should not be
based on its literal meaning, Natasha
urges that post-delivery, a woman
should consider all essential nutrients
in her diet as she is delivering the same
through breast feeding to the baby.
Through her own diet and nutrition,
Natasha recommends that the new
mother has to ensure baby gets its
adequate nutrition for good health and
that the body that is free from infection
and disease.
Making Time
Undoubtedly being a mother is the
most rewarding job there is albeit
very exhausting for new mothers,
with the multiple feedings, multiple
diaper changes, bathing and irregular
sleep patterns. Natasha adds that
motherhood actually calls for great
responsibility and affection by
any woman. “Right from the time
of the delivery, the mother has to
respond and attend to the baby as
she knows best for her child; from
breast feeding to putting the baby the
baby to sleep, a mother has to make
time and that leaves no time for a
workout for herself,” she says, and
it’s not uncommon to see many new
mothers looking tired, haggard and
understandably out of shape.
The Most Difficult
Even a decade after having children,
many women still have a leftover
telltale pouch of flab that sits on
their stomach. And without a doubt,
Natasha says that the hardest area
to tone down after delivery is the
abdominal area or where the fetus was
initially formed. “Due to excessive
expansion of the layers of skin tissue
as well as muscles of the layers of skin
tissue, the lowest part of the abdomen
gets stretched and leaves loose muscle
tissue and cellulite,” she says.
Sue from Sharjah had her first baby just two
months back by an emergency C-section. Yet
still, she says she looks frumpy and even a few
months pregnant. She narrates, “I knew I would
not look like my old self immediately after the
baby but my stomach is so flabby and loose.
I can barely zip up my jeans. In fact I would
rather just resort to my maternity clothes to
hide the fat…It’s so depressing; when can I
work on getting my old body back?” Anyone
that has recently had a baby can relate to
Sue. As despite the fact that most women lose
at least five kilos or more immediately after
delivering their baby, unfortunately most
still look almost as pregnant as when they
waddled in to deliver. And while most of us
don’t expect our postpartum body to suddenly
transform back into your pregnancy state, we
never expected we would still be begrudgingly
wearing elastic waisted pants and loose
flowing maternity tops either. So how do you
best work in diet and exercise after pregnancy?
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Apr/May 2014