Try a fitness class for new moms to stay motivated to drop pounds in a friendly, understanding environment.

fitness class
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If your hospital or community center offers postpartum exercise classes, consider signing up. These classes are designed for women who have just had babies; the instructors know what moves a new mom should be doing and what moves she should be avoiding. If you take a postpartum exercise class, check that the instructor is qualified. As you exercise, slow down if any of the moves feel too rigorous, even if you feel as if you should be able to do them. A good instructor will explain how various exercises can be modified so that they're less taxing. Now is not the time to push yourself to exhaustion.

What's great about postpartum exercise classes is that you can take your baby with you to class and keep her next to you either in her car seat or on a blanket. If she needs to eat or be comforted or have a new diaper, you can stop and attend to her. Nobody in a postpartum fitness class bats an eye when you pull up your T-shirt and start breastfeeding. These classes are a great place to meet other mothers with babies about the same age as yours. Many new moms build lasting friendships with the women they meet in their postpartum exercise classes.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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