Getting in Shape for Summer after Having a Baby: 5 Steps to Getting your Body Back

Getting in shape for summer after having a baby isn't an easy task. Here are 5 steps to getting your body back and losing weight after having a baby. #naturalearthymamaAs every mama knows, once you get pregnant, your body is no longer your own. By a miracle it stretches and grows and creates a whole ‘nother human being. 

Once your baby is born, you still do not really have your body back. Your newborn will want to nurse, and snuggle and be held almost constantly. Which is great. That is what they are designed to do.

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But if you are like most moms, this constant giving, day in and day out is exhausting. There often comes a time when you wake from the thick haze that is early life with a newborn and you start deciding to do some things for yourself again.

5 Steps to getting your body back after having a baby

So many women find the toll that pregnancy takes on their body devastating. The stretch marks, the saggy skin and the new aches and pains all come with motherhood. 

They are a great reminder of just how strong and courageous we are. Look at that baby of yours – you made that, you grew it, you birthed it, you continue to nurture and grow your baby. You are AMAZING.

But, you are also human. And I totally get the wanting to feel “like yourself” again. 

The honest to goodness truth is that you will probably never be quite the same as you once were. Growing, birthing and raising babies does leave a lasting impact on your body.

1. Accept what you have

Your body is strong, your body is amazing. You have earned your stripes in a way no tiger can say that they have.

Become comfortable with your new body, because chances are you are one of the 90% that don’t just spring back in to your pre-pregnancy jeans right away.

It took 9 months to grow, so please don’t expect your body to bounce back in a matter of weeks.

For the first 6 weeks with a newborn, you should be focused on bonding, feeding, getting to know each other and nourishing your body and letting it rest and recover.

2. Nourish your body

Your body has been through the biggest marathon it will probably ever face, give it grace and give it nourishment.

If you are breastfeeding, this is not the time to go on a calorie restricted diet to lose weight.

Focus on eating high quality, natural foods.

  • Natural and Saturated fats – butter, lard, coconut oil, olive oil
  • Full fat dairy (if you tolerate dairy)
  • Meats – red, chicken, fish
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Some low GI fruits like berries

Avoid these foods as much as you can (we have to be realistic too though)

  • Avoid grains and starches – potato, rice, bread, cereals
  • Sugar, candy, cakes, soda
  • Avoid skim milk, and other ‘lite’ products
  • Industrial oils – canola, soy, rice bran, corn

If you are eating the right foods, you don’t have to worry about calories. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full.

You can join our 12 day get your body back challenge here where I will teach you the methods behind effective postpartum weight loss, and give you a 12 day meal plan for you to follow.

3. Get moving

Exercise, believe it or not, only accounts for about 10-25% of your weight loss. Most weight loss is related to keeping your insulin levels low enough to allow your body to use the stored fat.

However, exercise is so beneficial for so many other things.

When you get started, just go for a gentle walk around a block or two. Take baby in the pushchair or in a carrier, and just walk.

The fresh air, sunshine and movement have been shown to improve your mood and sense of well being.

Stick to more gentle exercises to start with:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Aqua jogging

These are great options that can get your heart rate up, while still allowing you to slowly build your muscle tone back up.

Avoid doing some more aggressive exercise in the first 6 months after birth:

  • Running
  • Crunches/situps
  • Boxing/martial arts
  • Areobics

4. Work on your core

Your core is the sets of key muscles that sit under your abdominals, around your lower back and in and around your pelvis.

These muscles are the ones that you want to focus on re-tightening after having a baby. Pregnancy and labor take its toll on these muscles and you may find you are struggling with one or more of these symptoms:

  • Lower back ache
  • Urinary incontinence (having to cross your legs before coughing or sneezing!)
  • Trouble holding in gas/flatulence
  • Feeling like you have a bowling ball sitting on your pelvic floor
  • A post-baby pooch
  • Diastasis recti

You might find that using a belly brace helps with many of these issues in the first few weeks, and helps to reduce the size of your uterus more quickly.

You can see which belly binders I recommend here.

If you are still struggling with these issues after 6-8 weeks postpartum, the very best thing you can do is start working on your core muscles.

I personally love the MUTU program for this.

The MUTU program is a system that has been created for women postpartum that want to get their bodies back in shape, to treat bladder weakness and strengthen their core.

It is a program that you can work through at home at your own pace while baby is napping, or laying happily beside you, and as you can see by the testimonials, it really does work.

 5. Get support

Like so many things in life, you will succeed better if you have some support and accountability. 

Find a local walking group, ask a best friend or partner to walk with you as well, or to take baby for an hour while you do what you need to do.

There are lots of online forums that you can use to keep yourself accountable, but there is nothing quite like a real person that you know and trust.

You can join our 12 day get your body back challenge here where I will teach you the methods behind effective postpartum weight loss, and give you a 12 day meal plan for you to follow.

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Weight loss while breastfeeding, toning postpartum, Getting in shape for summer after having a baby isn't an easy task. Here are 5 steps to getting your body back and losing weight after having a baby. #naturalearthymama

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Disclaimer: The information on Natural Earthy Mama is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dana and her community. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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