Don't buy into Hollywood's yummy mummy fallacy
YUMMY mummy. I don't know how new mums feel about that phrase that has been created by the tabloid media for supermums with a trainer, a nutritionist and a nanny.
But, personally, I find something a bit judgmental about it.
Sure, mummies can be "yummy", but what if you have just had a baby and you don't feel particularly delicious?
You're tired, you have all that baby weight to lose and every magazine you pick up is plastered with stories about Hollywood celebrities who were looking super fabulous about 10 seconds after they had given birth.
Personal trainer Janelle Ware, of Synergy, has three children who are aged 11, eight and six and knows all about the pressure on mums to get in shape fast.
"It's crazy," she says. "We're yummy but probably not three days after birth!"
She says that, realistically, how long it takes to get back into shape is probably about six months, although it depends how much weight you have put on and how fit you were before and during your pregnancy.
However, a healthy eating plan and regular exercise are much more important for new mums than an unrealistic lose-weight-fast regime, says Janelle.
In her class, exercises are adapted to every mum and for those who have injuries.
"It is very one on one and we even incorporate the babies and the prams into workouts.
"For example, we may do lunges or squats behind the pram.
"We do walking, running, circuits and boxing too, depending on how everyone is feeling.
"And there's plenty of information for new mums on everything from what to eat while you are breastfeeding to how to strengthen your pelvic floor."
Janelle says some mums can be very nervous about going to an exercise class, or worry about how their baby will behave.
"But I help with the babies and we have a big rug where they can lie.
"Once a month we also have a morning tea after class so everyone can get to know each other."
Janelle says all new mums, or simply women with small children who want to get back in shape, are welcome at her classes.
But she adds that mums who have had a caesarean can't exercise for six weeks after the birth.
Research shows that exercise can help with sleep, energy, mood and, of course, weight control.
You don't have to go hard - just do some regularly.
Combined with healthy eating, you may start to feel more, well, yummy.
But, remember, your health and the speed of your progress is entirely up to you no matter how much pressure mums may be under from the tabloid media.
- Start slowly and seek professional advice from your GP and/or a personal trainer
- Get an exercise buddy, preferably another new mum, or join a class
- Tell your instructor if you have any injuries or if any exercises don't feel right
- Realise that it will take at least six months for you to get back to your pre-pregnancy shape
- Work out at your own pace - don't be pressured into a drastic regime
- Exercise at a gym or class that has a creche or offers help with your baby
- Don't forget to work your pelvic floor and restrengthen the muscles
- Stretching, relaxation and social connection are important too