The best post-pregnancy steps to get your body back

mother with young daughter

Most new moms around San Diego want to get their pre-baby bodies back. It can be done, but it requires some effort. Diet and exercise are the first steps to get your body back in shape.

Before you start a diet, though, check with your doctor to make sure you’re ready. Going on an extreme diet can be detrimental to your health. If you’re breastfeeding, ask your doctor about a healthy diet to ensure that both you and your baby get what you need.

Don’t skip meals!

While you may be tempted to skip meals to get back your pre-pregnancy curves, resist the urge. Eating healthy foods at regular intervals gives you the energy you need to care for yourself and your little one, and it also keeps your metabolism up. Eat several small meals every day, focusing on healthy fruits, vegetables, and grains. Pack an apple or a pouch of mixed nuts in the diaper bag to stave off hunger on the go; frequent trips to the drive-through won’t help your belly get back in shape.

Be careful not to overdo exercise

Like dieting, get your doctor’s clearance before you start a post-pregnancy exercise program. Exercising too soon can cause pain and discomfort, especially if you had a C-section or complications. However, if you exercised during your pregnancy and had an uncomplicated vaginal birth, you may be able to start a moderate exercise program just days after you deliver.

Exercise doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym. Strap your baby into a sling or stroller and go for a walk around the neighborhood. Follow a moderate exercise routine on DVD in your living room while your baby is napping. If you’d rather exercise in the company of other moms, look for mommy-and-me yoga or aerobics classes—some even incorporate your new baby into the workout. Another option is finding a group of moms who stroll around Murray Lake, Mission Bay, “OB” (Ocean Beach), or even Fashion Valley Mall. The results won’t be instant, but the pounds will eventually melt away, and you’ll start to see your old shape return.

Cosmetic surgery may be an option

Getting back into shape after your pregnancy is easier for some moms than for others. If you’ve had other children, you may find it difficult to lose that stubborn baby “pooch,” as well as the extra pounds you’ve gained. Liposuction or even a “mommy makeover” may be the answer.

Liposuction surgically removes pockets of stubborn fat, giving your belly, hips, or thighs a smoother, flatter appearance. Liposuction can address specific areas of your body from your ankles to your neck.

If you have a modest amount of excess fat gathered on your belly, hips or thighs, a non-surgical CoolSculpting procedure may be enough to reclaim your leaner curves without any downtime. Just remember that neither solution is a weight-loss technique; they refine a body already in good shape.

If your skin has lost its elasticity, neither CoolSculpting nor liposuction may not be right for you. A tummy tuck can remove excess fat and skin in your midsection while tightening the underlying muscles. This surgical procedure leaves a scar below your navel (inside your panty line), but moms appreciate the slimmer figure the procedure gives back to them.

mommy makeover before and after photos

Combination breast and body surgery is possible

Of course, your abdomen isn’t the only thing affected by pregnancy. Your breasts may have lost their shape and mass, and they may hang lower on your chest than they did before. A mommy makeover combines a breast lift with a tummy tuck. A mommy makeover at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre may also include liposuction and breast augmentation, if necessary. These surgeries require some recovery time, but the result is a more confident you—and that’s good for both mom and baby.