Finally, your cute, lovely, snuggly, and the long-awaited baby has arrived. Now, one of the first thoughts that may be coming to your mind is how to lose those few extra pounds which you gained during your pregnancy and how to revive that old shape in the shortest possible time.
Gaining weight during pregnancy is natural. Data and clinical observations show that there are huge individual differences between women, and many moms do not gain enough weight, while other may gain too much. Usually, if you are slim, you may gain more than an obese woman. Putting on 25-35 pounds is well within the normal range, so you need not worry much about it. However, if you have been overweight before pregnancy, then you should gain less weight.
Losing weight after childbirth is important. If you do not lose weight in a timely manner then you risk becoming overweight in the long term, and it also increases the risk for certain health problems. However, this does not mean that you should hurry about it. In fact, it is important to go slow. You do not need to worry much about it during the first two months when your body adjusts to the new realities; moreover, if you are breastfeeding, you need lots of energy. Dieting too soon may delay your recovery and make you feel tired all the time.
On average, women lose about four and a half kg (5 lbs) during child birth, and there is further weight loss during the first week, as additional fluids are lost. However, to lose weight further, one has to burn fats.
It is also important not to pay too much attention to those glossy journals or magazines and star moms, as their lifestyle and objectives differ from most mothers. For most moms, the formula for weight-loss should have three components: breast feeding, exercise, and a balanced diet.
Yes, we have intentionally mentioned it at first place. Breastfeeding requires the expenditure of lots of energy; on average you lose 300 to 500 calories a day by breastfeeding alone. This energy expenditure could be more if you have twins. In fact, research has shown that in some women breastfeeding alone can be enough to lose those extra pounds. Surely lots depends upon how long you plan to breastfeed the baby, but it should be at least for six months.
Exercise and be active
If you had a normal delivery, and not through C-section, then you should be active from the very first day. Remember that apart from breastfeeding, losing weight in moms does not differ much from other groups. So, our tip is to start walking more often. During the first two months, walking could be the best and safest exercise. After two months, you can start the more intensive program, you can do exercises even with your baby, which is more enjoyable.
Be choosy about your food
A good diet plan is essential for losing weight, but if you are breastfeeding your diet has to be rich in nutrients. You are planning to lose the extra fat, but not starve the baby. Therefore, eat lots of fruits and vegetables for a balanced diet that is low in calories. Do not eliminate fats completely, rather choose the healthy fats, as fats give the feeling of being full. Finally, remember to drink a lot and keep yourself well-hydrated.
About the author:
Dr. Preet Bhinder (M.D.)
Dr. Preet is a family physician; he has been practicing family medicine for last 15 years. He is passionate about women health and well-being. During his years of family practice, he has helped women to overcome their common health problems, whether big or small.