Having a baby is always exciting but soon after you’ve given birth you’ll come to realize the various ways your body has changed.

The changes their bodies undergo during and after pregnancy can become the source of depression for many women. Pregnancy leaves them with sagging breasts and bulges in all the wrong places.

Here are tips for all those women who wish to get back in shape post-pregnancy:

  • Exercise before and during pregnancy

If you and your partner are in the process of planning for a baby, then you should prepare your body in advance. Having toned muscles prior to pregnancy will make it easier for your body to return to its original shape once your baby is born. Exercising regularly before you get pregnant will ensure you have a smooth pregnancy. You’ll develop more stamina and endurance which will come in handy during pregnancy and for childbirth too.

Exercising regularly and staying physically fit can even help those that are struggling with infertility due to polycystic ovarian syndrome. Heavier women tend to have a harder time conceiving, they can benefit from exercising daily to lose the weight necessary for them to conceive.

Contrary to popular belief which suggests women need to rest as much as possible when they are pregnant; some amount of exercise is necessary for expecting mothers. Pregnant women need to be exercising to keep themselves and their babies fit. These can consist of everything from swimming, water aerobics, prenatal yoga, Pilates to weight training; just make sure not to overexert yourself. Whatever type of exercise you choose to do, focus on strengthening your core because these are the muscle that will be undergoing the most stress in the coming months.

  • Breastfeed

Breastfeeding is a much-discussed topic post-pregnancy. There’s a misconception about automatically losing weight if you are breastfeeding.

You definitely burn calories when you’re breastfeeding, around 850 calories but breastfeeding can also make women hungrier and many of them indulge in carbohydrates to quell their hunger.

It is possible to lose weight through breastfeeding but don’t expect it to happen when you aren’t watching your diet. Limit your intake of sugary and fatty foods that will result in more belly fat.

  • Exercise post-pregnancy

You shouldn’t exercise until 6 weeks after childbirth but do start after that. The longer you keep the baby weight on, the longer it takes to lose it. Unless the doctors have advised otherwise, you should be able to begin low-impact exercise after 6 weeks.

Begin by walking around the block for an hour or so just to get your heart-rate up and to loosen up some of your major muscles.

You need to focus on strengthening your back along with your abdominal muscles. Your back will be exerted both during and after pregnancy which is why it’s important to do exercises that help it regain its strength.

Find an exercise regime that concentrates on you building your core. Use an exercise ball to dolphin planks, pelvic tilts along with other exercises that will help you tighten your core.

  • Waist-training

There are many misconceptions about using waist-trainers to lose belly fat post pregnancy but it has proven to work for many women, including some A-list celebrities with the hottest bodies. Waist trainers tighten your core and help you melt excess fat off your belly through thermal activity.

Make sure the waist trainer is not restricting your breathing, if it is then get yourself a bigger size – a smaller size will do more damage than good.

  • Snack healthily

Because you are breastfeeding and are generally physically exhausted, your body will require food to fuel itself. Instead of grabbing odd snacks from the pantry that offer zero nutritional value, go for healthier snacks such as a bowl of fruits or oatmeal. Such snacks are loaded with all the necessary vitamins and minerals that will aid you in your recovery post-pregnancy while preventing you from putting on excess calories.

  • Eating several small meals

As it is with most weight-loss plans you need to be putting more meals when you’re trying to lose weight – the same applies post-pregnancy. Have smaller, healthy meals at regular intervals. Do not let your body get to the point of starvation, it’s not good for you or your baby. This way you don’t reach the point of starvation and so you aren’t likely to overeat.

It is better if the meals are planned in advance, you are less likely to go off course this way. In order to save yourself sometime later, cut up some fruits and vegetable, place them in the freezer.

Brooke Whistance is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. She has been living in Los Angeles, California with her family including, her parents and two siblings. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry and currently associated as a blogger with Hourglass Express, providers of quality waist trainers and weight loss products. You can always follow her at @IamBrooke94.”