Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

30 Nissan 5764 - April 21, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

Get Your Body Back, Ima
by Dr. Reuven Bruner, Ph.D.

How do you shed the extra pounds gained during pregnancy and keep them off over time? Lack of sleep and the many demands of a newborn can overwhelm a postpartum mother. As stress overcomes you, you may eat recklessly and be unable to find the energy to exercise. You must steal back the time and energy to take care of yourself.

One of the best things you can do for yourself and your family is to find time to exercise, even if it's only 15 to 30 minutes. Do some slow Dr. B. stretches and deep breathing when you awake to jump-start your day. Stretching will increase blood flow through your body and improve delivery of oxygen to your brain and other organs, thereby providing energy to the body and boosting metabolism.

When and How to Begin

How quickly can you start exercising after your baby is born? You may not be able to engage in vigorous activity until about six weeks after delivery, but you can begin walking and doing strengthening exercises for abdominal, lower back and pelvic muscles, the day after a normal birth.

Warm up five minutes with Dr. Bruner's warm-up exercises such as arm swings, hip circles, shoulder rolls etc., then try to exercise at least 3-4 times a week for 30 to 45 minutes. Any type of cardio-vascular exercise such as walking, swimming or biking/elliptical will help you shed the fat.

If you have had a Caesarean section, you can start exercising six weeks postpartum unless you've had complications that limit your activity. If exercise results in increased bleeding, decrease your exercise intensity. Be sure to check with your doctor and an experienced Exercise Physiologist before beginning an exercise program.

Home Exercises

Want to get back into shape, in the comfort of your home surroundings (without leaving Baby)?

* Consider purchasing a treadmill, stair stepper/elliptical or other piece of fitness equipment for home use. These machines allow you to work out on your own schedule and at your own pace. [You can listen to a tape while exercising.]

* Try an exercise video at home with your baby nearby. The baby will probably get a kick out of watching you. Consider putting baby in an infant seat, highchair or playpen while you exercise. Store potentially dangerous equipment out of the baby's reach when not in use.

* Work out with your baby. For example, do simple dance movements, such as lunges and squats, to music, with Baby in a sling or front pack. Tone stomach with gentle abdominal curls. Be sure to bend knees and keep feet flat on floor.

* Take a brisk walk with Baby in stroller. Enjoy the relaxing benefits of direct sunlight. The stimulation that the baby receives from the walk is great for brain development.

* Do strength-training with free weights or exercise rubber bands.

Healthy Eating

Don't sabotage your healthy eating plan with too much snacking/noshing, such as sugary cookies, yeast cakes and fat- laden salty chips. On the other hand, this is not a time to overly restrict your calorie intake. If you're not taking in enough food, you may have excess fatigue and poor milk production for natural feeding.

Nursing mothers usually burn an additional 500 calories per day. The good news is that nursing accelerates weight loss by burning body fat to provide nutrients for the milk.

Are you spending too much time in the kitchen? Stop the cooking bandit from running away with your exercise time.

Plan a day to cook. Then cook in bulk and freeze extra for other days. This will free up your schedule and allow time for other things like exercise, walking and naps. Also, consider having a healthy eat-out meal two or three times a month.

Losing the baby weight after a pregnancy can be a challenge, but you can block the time and energy robbers that can heist your weight loss program. You may end up in better shape than before pregnancy.

Dr. Reuven Bruner can be contacted: POB 1903, Jerusalem, 91314; Tel. 02-652- 7684; 052-865-821; FAX 02-652-7227; email:


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.