Top Tips for Getting Your Body Back After Having a Baby

Sep 26, 2020

by Maddy Agar and Stacy Notestine RN, IBCLC


  1. Your baby can be your motivation and NOT your excuse. By taking care of yourself through daily workouts/movement and eating healthy, you are NOT being selfish. You are giving your baby the gift of setting an example of a healthy lifestyle. Many moms have also found that they have more energy and are in a better mood, so they can be the best version of themself during the day! Exercise has numerous physical benefits and emotional benefits. In one study they found exercise to be as effective as an antidepressant medication. Happy mommy! Happy baby!

  2. Have a plan in place! There is a saying “Fail to plan then plan to fail.” Plan ahead and start thinking about where will your baby be while you are exercising? Will he/she be in the swing, and if she gets fussy, will she go on the floor with her toys next to you? Will you finish your workout during a nap or while your partner feeds him a bottle if you have to? Have a plan in place, and a backup plan, but prioritize getting it done! 

  3. Move your body! Pick a workout that is fun and that you love! It’s easier to stick with something when you look forward to it each day. Baby’s love being outside. Get outside and walk everyday with your baby. Or pick a short workout (you can find at-home workouts that are <20 minutes) if you need to. You can get a great work-out done in 20 minutes! Also, picking something that is designed to be completed over a certain period of time (like a 6-week program) will be more motivating than just isolated workouts. 


  1. Find an accountability buddy! Share your goals with your partner, family, and/or friends. It can be nerve-wracking to share your challenges and fitness & nutrition goals with others, but this is the best way for you to be accountable and accomplish your goals.  Ask them to help keep you accountable and on track. Even better - If you can find someone who will do the workouts with you (even if that means virtually, or just on the same timeline).

  2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink water! Go pick out a fun water bottle that you LOVE (with a straw - this definitely helps with drinking more) and have it with you wherever you are! Add fruit if you don’t like just drinking plain water. Water helps increase energy levels, keeps you full, and, if you are breastfeeding, it will keep your milk supply up. You can also stay hydrated with foods like broth, soup, smoothies, fruits and veggies, tea, juice, and popsicles. 

  3. What are you going to wear while working out? New mamas live in yoga pants but it might help motivate you to treat yourself to some new workout clothes. Even adding a sassy new headband can help you to look and feel good about your new fitness goal. It also helps to be organized and lay out your clothes the night before so you know exactly what you are going to wear. 

  4. Find ways to replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones! Ask yourself what are your biggest eating pitfalls? If you love a glass of wine in the evening, try filling a fancy glass with sparkling water and add fruit. If you have a sweet tooth and usually have a cookie after dinner, have some frozen fruit (frozen blueberries and raspberries are the best) or find a yummy dessert tea to drink instead. Find healthy replacements for unhealthy foods & drinks that you love. Think cauliflower rice for white rice, zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles for regular noodles, and sparkling water for wine (these are just a few). This has been the MOST helpful nutrition tip for me for changing my eating habits.

  5. Set up a dedicated workout space that you love and look forward to “going to” everyday. You don’t have to have an extra room for this - You can literally just put some hand weights and a yoga mat in a cute basket in front of your TV in your living room (if you do at-home workouts), and it will feel special. This will help solidify your commitment, keep you accountable, and is honestly just fun!

  6. Meal plan! Look ahead at your week and have meals pre-planned and ready to go. Mamas have a busy lifestyle with a baby so this is super important. If you are not a planner then get online and get some ideas for your week (Pinterest is a great place to start). Plan to make a little extra for easy leftovers for lunch the next day!

  7. Like Nike says, “Just do it!” and remember that done is better than perfect! If you have to hold your baby during your workout, do it! If you have to pause for a moment to put baby down for a nap, do it! Just get it done! Make a commitment and let go of the mom guilt. You are doing a good thing for your baby by taking time for YOU!

  8. Breastfeeding mamas- The 2 most common questions I get asked: is breastfeeding SAFE with exercising and when is the BEST TIME to breastfeed or pump when returning to exercise. It is best to breastfeed or pump before working out for sheer comfort reasons and to prevent clogged ducts. Additionally, a supportive bra is a must! Breastfeeding is SAFE with exercise. During an intense workout our body naturally produces lactic acid. There has been limited research on this topic but the studies  that have been published show that there is no harm in breastfeeding a baby after working out when there are elevated levels of lactic acid. Some babies dislike the taste of the milk and some don’t seem to mind at all. It is also recommended to maintain adequate nutrition and to continue taking your prenatal vitamin while you are breastfeeding. 


If you liked what you read and would like to learn more, I would love for you to join the Baby’s Best Beginning community! 


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With love & gratitude,


*It is always best to check with your healthcare provider about when it is safest to start an exercise and weight loss plan. This educational handout is not meant to substitute professional medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem. Please consult your health care provider if you have questions or concerns.

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