The next blogger in my guest post series on the blog is the wonderful Hayley; a 30 year old mama, wife and recovering sleep addict. Living with her husband, baby and the world’s bounciest dog in rural Devon, Hayley blogs over at Devon Mama and can be found attempting to cook, Googling everything and embracing the strange new world that is parenting. Add in a house with ‘a lot of potential’ and a return to her ‘real’ job as a Company Director and it’s organized chaos at the best of times.
You can also find Hayley here:
The Snap-back – Six Steps To Postpartum Weight Loss
The‘snap-back’. It’s a phenomenon we’ve all heard of. You know, that unreasonably fast time that people go from hugely pregnant to fitting into their pre-preggo jeans again? And by people, I mean celebrities. And by celebrities, I mean those non-relatable beings who have a perfectly round, tiny bump, cough out a baby and go back to size zero within the space of a day. Yes, them.
This is for the non-celebs. The ones who gain 40lbs just by looking at food through pregnancy. The ones who stay the same weight even though they’ve just birthed half a stone of baby? The ones who swore they’d go on the treadmill when the baby sleeps but actually sit on Instagram whilst cramming in Hobnobs? I know, it’s not just me. So, cancel the nanny, call off the dietician and step away from the personal trainer… here are a few tips on how we can get back in shape… without the celebrity bank balance.
Walking with friends
It’s pretty boring to walk alone but if you’re able to find a friend to walk with, you’ll be amazed at how far you can go. Strap the baby into a buggy and get pushing. The additional work out of pushing that weight helps to work your calf, bottom and arm muscles and increase the workout for you. If you’re able to find some hills to go up, the more the merrier. The best bit about having a friend with you? It doesn’t FEEL like a workout. You get to put the world to rights, the baby get lulled off to sleep and you’ll boost your serotonin levels (aka. the happy hormone).
Top Tip: Walk in the afternoon as studies show your baby will sleep better after the exposure to fresh air!
Join a baby workout group
Classes like Baby Yoga or Buggyfit are increasing in popularity as companies cotton on to the fact that us mums need a way to combine exercise with a small child in tow. Not only do you get to have a work out but you also get to meet other mums with children of similar ages, helping you to create a support network both for fitness and general sanity! You can find classes either by searching Google, Facebook or asking at your local children’s centre.
Not only does baby carrying have some huge benefits to both mum and baby but you’re also effectively wearing a 7lb+ weight vest throughout the day. Try climbing the stairs (safely!), working in some lunges or just walking with them strapped to you. You need to make sure your baby is strapped to you properly and you’ve got adequate back support to prevent any over-arching or poor posture. Baby carrying is one of the best ways to cope with a colicky or needy baby as it keeps them in an upright position whilst allowing them to be close to you and hear your heartbeat. Combined with the motion of your movement, it’s as close to being in the womb as you can get!
Gas relieving squats
Did you know that a squatting motion can help relieve babies of gas? According to the Daisy Foundation’s Tinies class it does! Hold your baby in front of you with their back to your stomach/chest. Place one arm under their bottom and the other across their chest in what’s known as a ‘safety hold’. Then squat nice and low like you’re about to sit on a chair. The motion helps to relieve gas in babies and helps calm them (yes, really!) whilst giving you a workout at the same time. Just be warned, it can make climbing stairs the next day hard work!
Whilst they’re not shaped like a kettle bell, babies make for pretty good weights to work out with once they can hold their heads up. Incorporate them into a routine that you can maintain at home by holding them out in front and lifting them up and down, using them to do weighted squats or lying down on the floor and holding them whilst you do sit-ups. Try searching YouTube for some inspiration of mum/baby workouts such as this one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4yp2gbLXk4) from the Jen Channel.
Plan your food
Now isn’t the time to start a huge diet – you need all the energy you can get and your body needs the nutrients to repair and maintain itself. But, it’s easy to get into a habit of reaching for junk foods when you’re tired and short on time. Healthy, diet friendly food doesn’t have to take a lot of time though. Meals like stir fries, pasta and jacket potatoes all take minimal effort to pull together whilst providing you with energy. In the winter, slow cooker stews can be a godsend allowing you to prepare the meal when you get the time and stick it in for the day. In the summer, swap the cooker for a bbq – grilled meat and veggie kebab will help keep you away from the pizza and chips.
Try and stock your cupboard and fridge with some grab-able snacks as well such as grapes, nuts (Tesco do a great salt and pepper nut box!), jelly cups or even meringue nests for a sweet hit!
Top tip: Plan your meals in advance to stop the last minute food panic. Oh and chuck in a fun-size chocolate bar or two as a reward for a tough night!
Why not pop over and visit Hayleys’s blog Devon Mama to see what else she is writing about.