Postpartum Weight Loss

Childbirth is a long, grueling, but incredibly rewarding process of providing a new life to come into the world. There is nothing more fulfilling than conceiving a life, nurturing it over a period of 9 months, and finally giving birth to a new baby. The body of a woman goes through tremendous changes while nurturing a child within her body. In this process, one gains a considerable amount of weight, and after the birth of the baby, one is left with a lot of additional weight. Even though this can be taxing and a bummer, a new mother should not beat herself up for a little additional weight. This is something which is accumulated over the period of nine months. It will be unrealistic to think you can go back to your pre-pregnancy body in a snap. However, stepping closer to your earlier weight can give an additional boost and help you feel more like yourself again.  Let us go through some of the things a new mom should remember on the fitness journey.

Normal weight before pregnancy: If you started with a normal weight and BMI and have gained approximately 11 to 15 kgs during your pregnancy, it is fairly easy for you to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, if you maintain a healthy diet and if you watch what you eat and exercise regularly. However, give your body a break before trying to lose the extra weight.

Overweight before pregnancy: If you have always struggled with weight issues and was either overweight before your pregnancy or have put on more weight than your recommended, it could take much longer for you to lose the weight, even up to a year. If you hold on to the weight for too much, the harder it will get to lose the weight later.

Tips for Postpartum Weight Loss

Go Easy and don’t overdo it:  Your body is slowly recovering from the jolt of childbirth. If you lose weight too soon after childbirth, it can take longer for you to recover. Give yourself time to bounce back from the whirl trip that your body went through. Do not aggravate it further by going on a crash diet or a fad diet which are popular at the moment. It can help lose the extra weight but is not beneficial for your body in the long run.  Also for your weight loss to be sustainable for a long time you should take almost the same amount of time in losing the weight as you took to gain it, almost  9 months.If you are breastfeeding, it is wiser to pause until your baby is at least two months old and the milk supply has normalized before cutting calories.

Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding moms cannot afford to lose a lot of weight too fast as it can reduce the milk production remarkably. Keeping a close eye on your amount of calorie intake is advised. Approximately 300 extra calories are required during the period of lactation than what you did before pregnancy. But the good news is that breastfeeding also helps your body burn calories which help you lose weight and is very crucial in building your baby’s immunity.

Be Realistic: It is not as simple as the celebrity mommy interviewing for television make it sound to get back to the exact pre-pregnancy glory. Pregnancy is a delicate process and can sometimes cause lasting changes in the body. Your body grows more wielding with time and with every childbirth, your belly may be a bit softer, hips wider, and a waistline larger. So refocus on a healthier lifestyle rather than a skinnier body and be realistic about your expectations.

Exercise: A diet is not the only key to the healthy lifestyle and exercise plays an indispensable role in the process as well. A healthy diet blended with regular exercise is the best way to shed the extra kilos. Exercise will help you shed fat instead of muscle; however, one should get the exercises approved by a doctor and go easy on the exercises and not go too extreme. Start by doing something small like

  • Taking the stairs

  • Going for a walk in  a stroller with your baby

  • Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)

  • Stretching

Diet Tips

What we put in our body reflects in it. So being careful about the kind of food we indulge in is critical for weight loss. Let us go through some of the healthy eating tips which will help you lose weight safely.

  • It might be a hectic few weeks before you get used to the new baby and the chores which keep piling up, but make sure you never skip meals.

  • Eat fewer smaller meals rather than three larger meals

  • Eat slowly. Eat faster results in you consuming more food than your body requires, and you are too late in recognizing that you are full.

  • Choose nonfat or low-fat dairy products.

  • Snack on foods with fiber and protein to keep you full for longer, like carrot sticks, apple slices, hard-boiled egg, etc.

  • Drink at least 12 glasses of water daily

  • Restrict sweet and fatty food and replace them with fiber-rich foods like sweet fruits or some dried fruits and nuts.

  • Watch your serving sizes

Losing weight and struggling with body image issues is something which women all around have been struggling with for decades. There is a considerable amount of pressure from the society and the ever self-critical voice in our head which we forever keep fighting against. However, after what a woman's body has to go through during pregnancy, she should be allowed sufficient time to fight those extra kilos, at her own convenience and preferences.