6 tips to stay healthy while pursuing your pre-baby body

If you've just given birth, chances are you're dying to get back into your pre-baby jeans. Many women start to get the body-image blues in the postpartum stages. The best way to cope with these feelings and start your weight-loss journey is to form a responsible, actionable plan. Here are six tips in order to do just that.

1. Acknowledge that your body has changed
The first step in conquering that post-baby weight is acknowledging that it's there. This might sound silly, but many women enter a period of denial after giving birth. You need to not only recognize the change - but accept it. Respect the fact that your body has been through an amazing ordeal. The weight was added in order to ensure a healthy start for your baby. Give yourself "permission" to be overweight for this short period, and tell yourself that it doesn't make you any less sexy. After all, it's true!

2. Consult a doctor about an appropriate plan
One thing you don't want to do is rush headlong into an unrealistic diet or fitness routine. If this happens, you may burn yourself out and give up too quickly or get frustrated with yourself when the results aren't evident right away. Instead, talk to your doctor about your goals and work together to achieve a reasonable weight-loss plan. Your doctor has seen this hundreds of times in the past and will have valuable tips to share on what really works.

3. Don't expect overnight changes
Once you start in on a regular routine, you need to be realistic about the time frame. It took nine months to put on the weight, and there's a good chance it will take a considerable amount of time to get it off again. Each woman will lose at her own pace - what's important is that you stick to a healthy fitness routine.

4. Consider breastfeeding
If you're not doing it already, consider breastfeeding your baby. Breastfeeding can help you bond with your child and pass on antibodies that are essential for his or her health and immunity. A fortunate side effect is that it also helps you burn calories!

5. Adjust your diet
Just like anyone looking to lose weight, postpartum women will need to change their diet. Over the past nine months, you've become accustomed to taking in more calories, and reducing your daily intake may require some adjustment. When looking to lose weight, women should seek to increase the amount of protein they consume and reduce carbs and sugars. Proteins will fill you up and help you burn more fat. Additionally, loading up on fruits and vegetables will help you get your nutrients without adding too many calories.

6. Find a regular workout that works
Exercise will, of course, be a part of getting yourself back into shape after pregnancy. In order to ensure that you develop a routine you can stick with, choose an activity that you enjoy. If you like going for walks, make it a daily event. If you enjoy yoga, sign up for classes. If you like working hard at the gym, enlist the services of a personal trainer. Whatever you do, make sure to start small and continue at a manageable pace. If you do this, you'll be back into your old jeans in no time!

Do you have any advice to help women with their postpartum slim down? Share your tips and experiences in the comments section!