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Woman And Infants
Women & Infants
Having a Baby - Your Health After Delivery
Getting Back Into Shape

After your six-week checkup is a good time to start exercising again, but talk with your doctor before you start a formal exercise program. Your body will return to its pre-pregnant state naturally, except for muscle tone. Exercise will help you regain this tone.

You can try Kegel exercises to help tighten the muscles around the vagina. You can begin these shortly after delivery. Tighten the muscles that surround the opening of the vagina and rectum as if you are trying not to urinate. Hold for several seconds and then slowly relax. Repeat five to 10 times, several times a day.

In addition, you can help your body return to normal by using good body mechanics. Sit, stand, and walk with your shoulders straight. Bend at your knees to pick things up. Avoid bending from the waist, which strains and pulls the back muscles.

Eating Well After Your Baby is Born

Your body needs time and a balanced diet to recover from pregnancy and adjust to meeting the needs of your new baby.

Keep these things in mind:

  • If you are breastfeeding, continue to eat a well-balanced diet and drink fluids to keep yourself healthy. A special diet is not needed while breastfeeding. Your body uses energy stored during pregnancy weight-gain to produce milk for your baby.
  • You should drink eight to 10 glasses of fluids (water, juice, milk) every day. Limit caffeine, including soda, tea, coffee and chocolate.
  • Eat foods with protein (meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese) every day. Include fresh fruits, vegetables, bran and bran products to help you have a bowel movement. Include milk products, such as cheeses and yogurt, and bread, cereals, pasta and rice in your daily diet.
  • Finish taking your prenatal iron and vitamin pills. If you are breastfeeding, take them the entire time you are nursing. Your doctor can renew your prenatal vitamin prescription if you run out.
  • To prevent constipation, add fiber (bran, etc.) to your diet and drink extra water and juices. If you have problems going to the bathroom, talk to your doctor or nurse about a laxative or stool softener.
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