Aayusha Karki, Owner of Meraki Nepal, Nail Life Art Nepal and Skin Life Nepal, has recently become a mom to a beautiful baby boy Kiaan and just three months after delivery, she is at the top of her postpartum fitness game and is usually seen flaunting her body. Her Insta game shows how she is already back in the game, glowing with that perfect shape.  

Is the path to a jaw-dropping figure easy, post having a baby? Ever wondered how young mums have divested almost every nuance of their pre-pregnancy bodies to look their slender best? Well forget reading all those tomes on the subject, here's some honest-to-goodness advice from the woman who has 'been there, done that'
Pregnancy is not just about welcoming a new addition to your life, but it can be extremely challenging and tough for a woman to go through. From terrifying symptoms that kick in the first trimester, to the postpartum changes which come after giving birth, pregnancy and postpartum changes are things which need crucial support and normalization. Two months after giving birth to her baby boy, Aayusha usually ventures to share a mirror selfie where her amazing postpartum body transformation was clearly visible. So, what is postpartum fitness?
We all know that exercising during pregnancy is very important for the health of the mom and the unborn child, but getting active soon after birth is also extremely important for new moms. Regularly exercising post birth boosts energy levels and helps moms sleep better, relieve stress and help stave off postpartum depression.

Getting there with a positive mindset
After three years of marriage, the couple thought they were ready to welcome a new life. 
“I got married to the love of my life. We were together for almost 10 years before we got married. People seldom do have that pressure and have the notion that life is going to change after pregnancy and how life would not be the same with plenty of sacrifices. But with me, I never thought that way as such and I knew that I would get my shape back and nothing with my work or relationship would change. I went being pregnant with a very positive mindset and I guess that is very important.”

Fitness during pregnancy
Even before Aayusha got pregnant, she used to workout every day. She has always been into fitness. May be that also helped her remain fit even while she was pregnant. 
She says,“During my pregnancy, I didn’t really do any heavy workouts because it was my first pregnancy experience and I didn’t want to take that risk. I used to do pilates, yoga, stretching, walking inside my home and more of such workouts that were compatible with being pregnant. I researched a lot on the type of workouts one should go through while pregnant. I remember watching so many videos on YouTube based on the experience of women. I also asked a few doctors around and was suggested not to go through any heavy workouts. However, there are women who do heavy weights even during pregnancy.”

Admission on having self-doubt and body image insecurities
Aayusha outspokenly talked about how accepting the way she looked was tough on her, and the way insecurities crept in making her very conscious of her postpartum body, and the weight gain.
While we have seen Aayusha glowing and flaunting her body on social media, and aceing tough yoga asanas, the first-time mother said that giving birth to Kiaan has taught her a lot of things, but also made her realize the many stigmas and societal standards of beauty women, including celebs are subjected to. “I am not going to lie; coming from a modeling background and being fit throughout my life, I have been conscious at times. Although I went into pregnancy with a positive mindset of getting back into shape, there were a few moments during my pregnancy where I felt very frightened and had this fear of the body changing for good. There were many uncertainties at many instances, but I stayed positive.”

I took extra precautions about my diet
As with most expecting women, Karki shored up on nutrients you need more of (calcium, iron) and shunned options you need less of (processed foods and sugar). Her pre- and postnatal diet was not just clean eating at its best, but going back to her roots. 
“I did maintain my diet throughout the pregnancy. I didn’t restrict my food. There was a balance of food for the day. If I had a heavy breakfast, I took a light lunch and dinner. But keeping in mind, it is healthy for me and my baby. Of course, I couldn’t restrict the food because my baby was being fed through me. I also took some organic protein powder to maintain the diet 

You don’t need to completely curb cravings
Aayusha says the biggest misunderstanding about pregnancy diets that she’d like to bust is “to eat for two. You just have to eat for yourself and your baby takes your nutrition. This is why it’s important to eat right. That’s not to say you have to completely curb your cravings. I don’t believe in crash dieting nor do I believe in binge eating all day, so I always had a healthy balance of food intake. If I relatively had two healthy meals, I cheated on my third meal. 
At times, my mother-in-law and my husband thought I was not eating properly because I was too conscious about my shape, but I knew what I was eating and feeding my body. I wasn’t eating more rice as most women are told to. People say, one needs to eat for two during this time, but honestly speaking, the baby needs a few 100 extra calories. ”
 “People do say one goes through a lot of cravings during those days but strangely I did not. I feel I did not have that much of cravings. Like they say, women finish tubs of ice-cream and eat more of sour stuff, some like to smell mud, but nothing like that happened in my case. However, in the first trimester, I just couldn’t eat the food that was prepared at home,” reveals Aayusha.
Karki’s first trimester was a haze of nausea. “I just couldn’t look at food,” she recalls, “That smell used to haunt me. I learnt, in the first trimester, as the body is getting ready, the appetite is suppressed. Also, due to the hormonal changes, everyone has a different experience.  In the initial three to four months, my sense of smell was heightened so much. It got so strong; I could actually smell a person’s perfume from my room. Luckily, I didn’t go through nausea or something as such unlike other women. However, I was always so tired.” 
She also commented that whoever is planning to be pregnant or are pregnant, should not restrict themselves, and at the same time, should not go overboard thinking that this is the time. Because you might have a hard time to recover after the delivery. She gained around 7-8 kg, and her baby was 3.2 kg when he was born, which was just perfect. 
There’s this saying that one mustn’t share the news of pregnancy with anyone for the first three months as there’s this myth of miscarriages during that time. She mentioned how after she shared the news later on, everyone was very excited with the news at her home. “I started getting too much attention and care regarding my food choices. Also, it was Covid back then, and I didn’t go out much. Because of the lockdown too, I had this opportunity not to share the news with most people. I might seem to be like a person who shares everything on social media, but I am actually someone who doesn’t like to share good things, until it’s done. I’ve always been like this. In fact, I haven’t yet shown my baby’s face on social media either. With the external world, none of them knew, even till the second trimester. In fact, most of them knew only after I delivered.”
Talking about the name of her baby, she says, “Kiaan is a Sanskrit word which means Lord Vishnu. He was born on a Thursday which is again considered the day of Lord Vishnu. The name of the baby was decided by Udeep. I was going very cliché with the combination of both of our names.”

The experience
Pregnancy made me feel beautiful. It was a very different experience as I was loved and cared by so many people. Of course, I did have insecurities along as I saw myself growing from a skinny girl with abs to someone with a baby bump and turning big every day. But I did accept it as the phase of life and went with the flow. It taught me patience and self-care. It taught me to be ready and to expect and not expect something at the same time. Waiting for someone for nine months and going through this journey, without knowing what to expect is overwhelming.  There’s always this risk factor involved, and it has taught me to deal with unpredictability. Now that I have the experience, I might also change my workout pattern for my next pregnancy. 
I’ll not say it’s a challenge. In fact, I love spending time with my baby because I know this time is not going to come back. Before heading for the gym in the morning, since I am breastfeeding now, I do have a hard time putting my baby to sleep, but this is fun

For Aayusha, it was C-section delivery. She says, “I wanted a natural delivery. I went into the hospital having labor but I had very long hours of labor. Everything was normal but something happened, the baby wasn’t dropping naturally. The doctors didn’t want to take a chance so they opted for emergency c-section. That moment I felt like a failure. My body failed me. Even after going through 20 hours of difficult labor, I felt I couldn’t take it through to the last. I was hospitalized for five days. The scar is going to remain for the rest of my life and the recovery process is going to be so hard. Now, if I ever plan to have a baby again, I have to go through c-section only.” She adds, “I feel it was good, because it was good for my baby and I didn’t want to put my baby at risk. I felt like a failure very briefly but I realized what a woman’s body can do is amazing. I took it as my destiny.

On accepting the postpartum changes
Accepting postpartum changes can be tough for most women. Postpartum depression is also one of the major concerns in most cases. Postpartum blues would make you feel so lonely and due to the extreme hormonal changes, one is bound to feel very pressurized. You are confused and have no idea about how to take care of the little human. You are completely new at this chapter and it’s just not like a pet you are taking care of. 
Aayusha knew all of this and had this fear of postpartum blues. She mentioned how she was already prepared for it and was ready to take care of herself but luckily didn’t go through anything as such. Or the chances where she did go through postpartum blues, but since she was prepared positively and got involved with the recovery of her C-section that she just didn’t feel it. 
Just after a month, she started getting her abs line back. It might feel unrealistic to many but for her, it was like she wanted to prove to herself. She wanted to set an example of how even after being a mother, one can do everything; get back to work, workout, socialize and be with the baby at the same time. She added, “Me being me, I am very passionate about my goals and desires in life and I wanted to get back to my life along with giving the best to my child.”
Karki stayed active with prenatal yoga and a 15–20-minute walk post meals. “My only advice to other women going through a similar journey is: Enjoy your pregnancy, but don’t give into every craving. Be healthy with your body, your diet, your mind. And you don’t need a fancy gym, equipment or plan for that.

We asked Aayusha to share some of her current diet & workout plans:

Since I'm breastfeeding, I can't do crash dieting, hence on a high protein diet.
I don't believe in eating rice four times a day as most new moms are supposed to do and are made to do during postpartum. 
I make healthier choices like trying to keep my sugar intake low and substituting sugar with other sweeteners. Same goes for oil. My meals are prepped in cold pressed coconut oil.
For breakfast, I eat overnight oats and two whole eggs which has a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fiber  
For lunch, I have brown rice and our typical Nepali thali. If I crave for in between snacks I make a smoothie 
For dinner, I have Tofu and mix salad with some sort of meat. On weekends, I go all out with whatever I want to eat but healthy eating has become a habit. 

I work out five days a week 
Mostly weight training and mobility workout.

(You need to discuss with your health practitioner and get a green signal for weight lifting. Listen to your, body that's the most important thing. It's very important to maintain your sanity during this most demanding phase of your life)