How To Get Back Into Shape After Birth

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During pregnancy, you can crave all kinds of foods, sometimes in odd combinations. There are other changes too, all because of a significant surge in hormones.

Women can feel pressured to snap back into shape as soon after birth as possible. We see pictures of post-partum celebrities who within days of giving birth seem to have lost every ounce of ‘baby weight’ they gained.

Articles on celebrity diets and tips on post-pregnancy weight loss litter the pages of women’s magazines.

Start when you are pregnant

It is perfectly natural to gain weight during pregnancy. And we all do it differently. Some women seem to blossom and balloon, whilst other pregnant ladies maintain their lithe shape and enjoy a pert bump.

Some of us gain weight right at the start, others gain it in the final trimester… we could go on but the point is this, just as you probably wouldn’t eat a family sized chocolate cake for breakfast when you are not pregnant, throwing caution to the wind and eating what you want when pregnant is not a wise choice.

Maintain the healthy lifestyle you followed pre-pregnancy but enjoy the odd treat or two.

A helping hand from nature

Once the baby is born, you can drop between 11 and 13lbs of weight instantly. Breastfeeding also helps with the calorie control as feeding your baby uses up over 800 calories a day.

Rest and recuperation is essential but once you have the all clear from the midwife, get back to walking or your gym routine, or whatever exercise you did pre-pregnancy – and start gently.

Rest and sleep

Babies don’t have a set sleep pattern, although others may boast that their little one is sleeping through the night. The point is, their sleep cycle changes and as mum, when baby sleeps, you need to be resting or sleeping too.

Odd sleep patterns cause chaos with the metabolism, making shifting baby weight a little tough. Rest and sleep when you can.

Look at Exercise – enlist a personal trainer

A personal trainer used to be the confines of the rich, but these days most gyms allow you to work one to one with a trainer in order to establish an exercise plan that is perfect for you and your body needs. A personal exercise plan can work within your limitations, can address your personal needs, and can help you to lose weight and get in shape in your own time.

Make sure your personal trainer has the best personal trainer certification that will ensure you are getting the correct, safe advice when it comes to exercise plans – you do not want to be putting your body into any harm as you are getting fit and active again.

Nature’s weight loss remedies

Nature, as you would expect, has many helping hands when it comes to helping your body recuperate post-birth. Many of these remedies, however, are not suitable during pregnancy but once baby is here, why not try;

  • A dash of lime or lemon juice in water, sweetened with honey a couple of times a day can help to lose weight, especially if you have water retention
  • Green tea has excellent weight loss properties
  • Munch of negative calorie snacks such as celery, tomatoes and cucumbers

If you are breastfeeding, remember what you eat passes on to baby so don’t go overboard otherwise you will be battling colic!

Join other mums

Having a baby is an exciting, thrilling time but when reality sets in, you need the support and encouragement, as well as company of other mums. Getting out and about, being part of a group is excellent for focusing on other things other than your weight.

Calorie counting is the answer

You can sup as much green tea as you like but, if your calorie intake is way ahead of your calorie expenditure, shifting the extra lbs you have gained is not going to happen.

Calorie counting is boring, no doubt about it but, with all kinds of calorie counting and fitness apps available, it can be slightly more fun and easier to manage.

Changing attitude to food

You’ve enjoyed pregnancy and your little bundle of joy is here – and you need to get back into a healthy eating routine – and this not only means the food and drink you consume, but when you consume it.

During pregnancy, attitude to food does change. In late pregnancy, portion sizes would have been smaller because you felt ‘full’ and cumbersome with a full-term baby. Now that you can eat normally again, portion sizes increase. It is amazing how many not-so-good habits stay with us.

Eat well at breakfast, get back to eating fish three times a week and opt for lean cuts of meat again. Space your meals over the day so that your calorie intake is evenly spread.

In summary

Your post-pregnancy body can feel very different, certainly for the first few weeks or even months after giving birth. You need to give it chance to heal but you also need to be mindful of making changes that will help you get back into shape both physically and mentally so that you can look forward to the challenges of parenthood.

 

A career in childcare with The Co-operative Childcare

On Friday I spent an interesting morning as the guest of The Co-Operative Childcare at their Wellington Road nursery.  The idea was to get a feel for how the nursery operated, and to find out about the role of the nursery manager and practitioners, and just how diverse, interesting and ultimately rewarding this  career path can be. This post is full of information about The Co-operative Childcare, and why a career with children is well worth consideration.

If you are interested in a career working with children, whether it be in teaching, play work or in a nursery setting, you can find more information about the qualifications you may need by contacting UCAS. Ring the ucas phone number to find out about relevant courses and qualifications. If you are looking for childcare or to expand your staff, you could check out My Kiddy Sitter for Nursery Staff London.

Background

Davina Bailey is the nursery manager, and the lady who looked after me during my visit. She started my session by giving me a little bit of background about the Wellington Road Establishment, which was rated as ‘Outstanding’ at its last Ofsted inspection.

There has been a nursery in the current site since 1990, with the current building dating from 2008, when it was rebuilt along the lines of Italian nurseries, with rooms leading off from a central courtyard area. It became part of the Mid Counties Co-operative childcare offering in 2012 and is now full to capacity virtually all year around.

Picture © Daniel Graves Photography. 2013. SHOWS:

The staff in the setting are very well trained, with 50% of the team qualified to degree level or above. Others are currently in training and it is clear that staff are committed to further self-improvement and development.

The Unit has children from 0-5 years and works hard on promoting and developing readiness for school, for both the children and the parents.  The staff work hard to engage parental involvement, and relationships are superb between staff and parents, with a Customer loyalty index survey conducted by an outside agency recently giving a 95% positive rating.

Picture © Daniel Graves Photography. 2013. SHOWS:

Day to Day

It is obvious from spending some time in the nursery talking with Davina that each day is very different. Different children come to the setting on different days and can be there for one day per week, or five days per week. The range of children goes from babes in arms who require everything from feeding to nurturing and nursing, to children who are independent and able to make their own decisions on activities and their environment (which they do through a pre-school council.)

The environment is bright and stimulating, with a fabulous woodland classroom area that the children adore, and other areas which showed how children’s ideas had been utilised – i.e.  a construction area where children had asked for cement, and there were now resources where they could create their own. The outdoor space was a child’s dream, with lots of  intersting areas including a mini pond, mini beast homes and role play areas.

Picture © Daniel Graves Photography. 2013. SHOWS:

The nursery operates an open door policy, and while I was there parents dropped in, one spending some time with their child who is due to transfer from the baby room to the 2/3s room. It is clear that everyone is committed to making these sorts of transitions stress free for the children and parents.

So why choose a career in childcare?

We know that practitioners have an important role that also brings paperwork and long hours with it, but there really are so many reasons and rewards for choosing a career in childcare. For a start, it is just so rewarding. As Davina explained, you see how children grow and develop as little people, the steps they take and how they progress, and you know that you are responsible for that development, you can see how you’ve moved them forward.

Davina talked about the moments when you suddenly engage a child, create an interest in something that becomes clear through their joy, excitement and the expression on their face.  This can be as exciting for the practitioner as it can for the child.

Some children are in the setting for a long time, Davina explained it is almost like taking them as a seed and then watching them grow, you feel that you send them out into the world ready for anything.

There are also some great career prospects to consider. As a part of the Co-operative there are other nurseries you can move to, or other careers within a company that also works in food, travel, funerals and energy amongst many other areas. Within childcare itself, there are lots of roles and opportunities to progress, from room managers, deputies and specialist practitioners. Davina also praised the opportunities for training – from Special Educational needs training, to qualifications in forest schooling and specific training for 2 year olds. Clearly childcare is a career where there is never any need to stand still, unless that is just what you want to do.

I had a lovely morning at Wellington Road, with a staff who are warm and welcoming, and children who are clearly very happy and secure in a setting that offers stimulation as well as quality care.

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If you are interested in learning more about a career in childcare with The Co-operative childcare, click here.

A Life Insurance Policy Can Give You Peace Of Mind

The saying happiness is a choice is too cliché but it is nonetheless true in many instances. Our life decisions help pave the way to either happiness or ruin, which means that prudence has to be exercised when making day to day choices. One such decision that we do need to make is how to prepare for the future, and while it may be morbid to think about our passing one day, many say it is a healthy attitude towards the reality of life. Hence, life insurance is becoming increasingly popular among young adults.

While life insurance is basically a preparation for the inevitable, it also provides benefits to people from day to day, including peace of mind.

Here are some of the ways of how life insurance can make people happy.

  1. Provides a Sense of Security for the Future

Security comprises a major part in peace of mind. The feeling of having a safety net, whatever may happen, gives a good feeling. Secure people are generally happy and they tend to appreciate the present more than those who opt to shoot in the dark and rely on luck. Having a life insurance provides such sense of security for people. It is said that many people in their late adulthood who have life insurance are reportedly happier than those who don’t.

  1. Gives Peace of Mind

Nothing compares to peace of mind. In fact, this is the top reason why people work hard and accumulate wealth. However, it seems elusive to some and many are quick to lose it. Buying life insurance gives a certain degree of peace of mind as it allows a person to secure his or her person. Knowing you will be taken cared of well upon your passing helps you feel prepared, and thus feel good about yourself. It also reduces the worries of future financial status and makes one enjoy their day to day life better.

  1. It’s a Way of Caring for Your Family

Family is one of the greatest things that can make you happy, and this happiness grows exponentially as one provides and cares for his loved ones. The same is true with life insurance. Buying yourself a life insurance plan is a portrayal of love to your family because you take the burden off of them when the time of your death comes. Life insurance will cover expenses upon death and this takes off a heavy financial load from your loved one’s shoulders. With it, you can also better enjoy your time with your family because you know everything is taken care of.

Whatever other reasons may be on how life insurance contributes to your feelings of happiness, it is doubtlessly beneficial in the long run. This is why it is always better to buy a plan while it is still early on in life.