After 18 hours of labor you have birthed a new bundle of joy. Congrats! Why not ship the little tyke off to the nursery so you can get in a workout? While your placenta is being delivered and your grade 3 episiotomy is stitched up, grab those five-pound hand weights you packed in your overnight bag and do three sets of hammer curls, shoulder presses, and triceps extensions. Be sure to engage your abdominal muscles, which were completed separated by nine months of pressure on your growing uterus.
As you are being wheeled to your shared postpartum room, take this time to channel your inner yogi and begin a series of yoga poses. While lying on the gurney start with the reclining goddess pose, move to forward bend, and then flow into a supine twist. Set your intention to get your pre-baby body back ASAP. Once you arrive in your room, be sure to pull back the divided curtain and invite your hospital roommate to join you for the legs-up-the-wall pose, happy baby, and pigeon pose. Just be careful not to split your sutures.
This is no time to catch up on your rest. You have a whole night free from laundry, cooking, and cleaning. Yes, you have been up for twenty hours straight, but take this opportunity to focus on getting leaner and fitter. Start by marching in place, side-to-side step touches, arm circles, and gentle jogging around the hospital room. Throw in some jumping jacks and power squat jumps for a little variety. Move into push-ups, reverse crunches, and planks. Your cool down can consist of nursing your newborn.
While you are meeting with the lactation consultant, studying up on hemorrhoid care, and learning what a sitz bath is, why not focus on improving your flexibility? Flexibility is an important part of looking and feeling good post-pregnancy. Lunges, hamstring stretches, and butterfly stretches will help to relieve the muscle tension caused during your epidural-free labor (because you hadn’t yet met your deductible and the anesthesiologist was out-of-network).
To lose that excess belly fat, it’s essential to focus on eating fresh, organic, clean food. If having a staff of nutritionists, dieticians, and personal chefs isn’t in your budget, DIY a diet plan. Pinterest is full of ideas! While you are being discharged, make a grocery list and stop at the store on your way home from the hospital. Plan to portion out a week’s worth of breakfasts consisting of a ½ cup of almond milk mixed with one scoop of carb-free protein shake mix, and one blueberry. For lunchtime, dig into 3 oz. of grilled chicken and ¼ of an avocado. Yum! Splurge at dinner and enjoy 6 oz. of fish and six pieces of steamed asparagus. For dessert, try savoring three delectable egg whites. Delish! Expect to become borderline anemic. Make sure to pick up some iron supplements at the store so you can continue to nurse your newborn and not pass out.
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