5 ways to get your body back after pregnancy

Losing baby weight can be daunting. Here are 5 tips to help make it easier.

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  • It can be discouraging post-baby to learn to live in your new body. But there are some simple things you can do to make shedding some of that baby weight a little more simple. But remember, it took you 9 months to get there, so set realistic goals for yourself.

  • Breastfeed

  • It is important to have a careful diet and not cut too many calories from your diet while you're breastfeeding, but nursing actually helps you lose weight on its own. Your body burns roughly 300-500 calories creating milk. So not only does nursing benefit your baby, it helps you as well.

  • Take naps

  • Because of your new baby's unconventional sleeping and eating schedule you may be struggling to get enough sleep yourself. Lack of sleep will do nothing for your attempts to lose the baby weight. Lack of sleep affects your self-control making you more likely to binge on cookie dough late at night.

  • Also, tiredness can even make you think you're hungry. Levels of leptin, the hormone that signals to your body that you're full, lowers when you don't get enough sleep. This means that sometimes you may mistake tiredness for hunger.

  • Don't diet

  • It can be dangerous for you to try to lose the weight too fast, especially if you're breastfeeding. Don't push your body too hard on the treadmill or starve yourself.

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  • Your body was working pretty hard making a human when you were pregnant. If you go back to your regular healthy diet, eating for hunger and to nourish your body, you should get back to normal.

  • Find a friend

  • Finding a friend who recently had a baby as well can be a great resource. You need someone whose body recently went through the same changes as yours to give you the support that you need. It's great to have someone to rely on, and who's relying on you, to make you accountable about exercising. If nothing else, you have a tandem stroller walking buddy.

  • Go on a media fast

  • This might not help you get your pre-pregnancy body back per se, but it will certainly help you get your pre-pregnancy self-confidence back. You need to remember that your body is great the way it is and doesn't need to live up to socially defined ideals. They set unrealistic expectations for how you should look after giving birth and how quickly you can get there. (But check out this photoshopped version of Kourtney Kardashian post-pregnancy, and you'll see much of it's a lie.)

  • At the end of the day, keep in mind that your body will never be exactly the same, and that is absolutely okay. Your body created a human being, and that's amazing. Not only that, but you are a mother now, and your baby loves you no matter how you look.

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Melinda Fox has a bachelor's degree in English and is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She loves Shakespeare, listening to her favorite songs on repeat and journaling.

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