6 Strategies That Beat Post-Pregnancy Pudge!

Somehow expectant moms harbor the secret hopes that after a few hours of easy labor they will spring back up on their feet feeling lean, fit and rested. Well, as any veteran mom will tell you, it just ain't so. Not even after maternity leave or your baby's three-month checkup are you going to be back in pre-baby, fighting shape.

We don't say this to scare you or to give you lower expectations for yourself. Many first-time moms set impossibly unrealistic fitness and weight-loss standards for themselves, and when they can't achieve them they feel depressed and discouraged. We want you to have a realistic, healthy physical and mental approach to postpartum fitness. Here is some great advice from those who have been there before you:

10 + 10 + 10 = 30.
Those luxurious 30-minute uninterrupted workouts? A distant memory once junior hits the scene. But you can find 10 minutes. Current research says you'll get the same cardiovascular and calorie burning benefits with three 10-minute workouts spread out throughout the day as you would by doing all your exercise in one shot. If, for instance, you have home equipment such as a jump rope, a step or some weights, keep it out and available for those moments you're able to squeeze in a few jumps or pumps. No home gym? Have the stroller loaded and ready for a quick stroll around the block. It's okay to leave those dirty formula bottles in the sink for a sec to drop and give yourself 20 push-ups.

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