About 70% of women battle with weight gain during pregnancy. Some women add up to 40 pounds during the nine months of pregnancy. It’s a natural process and your body really needs that weight for energy in the labor room and even for breastfeeding. The pregnancy weight consists of: The baby; amniotic fluid; placenta; breast tissue; blood; uterus enlargement; extra fat stores. So don’t beat yourself up, you are beautiful, I mean, very beautiful and it is very possible for you to shed the weight after childbirth. Yes! You can go back to your weight before you became pregnant. These tips can help you lose weight after pregnancy.
- Do not diet
You might want to rush into a diet immediately after childbirth but you really should not. Your body needs time and good nutrition to recover and going on a strict diet like low-calorie is going to fight against your body’s recovery proccess because the diet and similar diets lack a lot of essential nutrients that you and your baby need.
- Eat ‘very’ healthy
The importance of eating healthy after childbirth cannot be overemphasized. After childbirth is a very good time to up your healthy eating game, not just because of loads of nutrients your body will enjoy, but also for weight loss. Do not exclude any food group from your diet. Be sure to make fruits and vegetables your best friends. Eat foods that are rich in fiber, high-quality proteins, unsaturated fats and healthy carbs for energy. Eating healthy will definitely boost your metabolism and it will get rid of belly fat after childbirth.
Breastfeeding is a very good and safe way to lose weight. It is recommended that you breastfeed your baby during the first six months of life (or longer). It is very important as it lowers the risk of sickness and disease in your baby, boosts your baby’s immune system, reduces your own risk for diseases and of course, supports postpartum weight loss. Breastfeeding makes it easier for you to lose weight because you use extra calories to feed your baby. It expends 500 calories per day, which equates to 3,500 calories per week and 4 pounds in one month!
Women who breastfeed exclusively for more than three months tend to lose more weight than those who do not. Those who continue to breastfeed beyond four to six months may even continue to lose weight.
- Drink lots of water
As a nursing mother you need to always stay hydrated. You don’t have to be scared of being bloated because the body will use the water that it needs and send out the one it doesn’t need. Good amounts of water everyday can help to detoxify your body, which is a plus for weight loss. It can also reduce your appetite for so much food and improve your metabolism. Try to drink 8 – 10 glasses of water every day. You would enjoy the benefits, I assure you.
- Move around
The stress of nursing a baby can be overwhelming sometimes but is advisable that you do some movements at least within the house or compound when your body heals properly. You need about six weeks for recovery or eight weeks if you had a caesarian section. You can even take strolls with your baby in his or her stroller. You can also dance with your baby, ride a bicycle. Just do those things you would normally enjoy as they can help burn calories.
- Engage in resistance training
Weight lifting is a good resistance training. It can help you lose weight and retain muscle mass even after childbirth.
Good thing is that some gyms make physical and online provisions for mothers and babies, as it might be difficult for you to find the time. You can even do simple ones at home, like carrying your baby higher and lowering to your chest at regular intervals. Your baby will enjoy the fun after all. Exercises though, should be accompanied with good nutrition for better results.
- Get enough sleep
I know this a major challenge. It’s a tough one to get adequate sleep as a nursing mother but you must do everything you can to get sufficient sleep if you want to lose weight. If you need to get help, please do. Short amounts of sleep can even lead to weight retention, but when you get enough sleep, your body regenerates itself as you sleep, making it easier for you to lose weight.
- Monitor your eating patterns
I know this too can be challenging and you can even forget to eat sometimes. It is better to have breakfast early enough (not more than thirty minutes after you wake), so the nutrients can work more effectively. Try not to have dinner past 7:30 pm, so that your food is given enough time to digest properly. If there is need to take something else later, consider a fruit and vegetable smoothie, or even better, water.
- Give yourself healthy snack rewards
There would definitely be times when you’d just want to reward yourself for all the hard work you are doing. It’s a lot actually. When those times come, go for healthier choices rather than those processed foods that would do you no good.
- Wear your compression garment
This is a tightfitting gown that women wear after delivery. It is not so common but if you are able to get one, then you should use it. It helps a lot with weight loss, especially when you are making profitable lifestyle choices.
- Avoid alcohol
Alcohol has its benefits but after childbirth is not a good time to take alcohol. Alcohol can give you belly fats and provide extra calories that your body just doesn’t need. If you are breastfeeding, it is important that you avoid alcohol as traces can enter your breast milk, which is not good for your baby.
- Minimize stress
It is important that you try as much as possible to reduce unnecessary stress after your pregnancy. Instead of unnecessary stress, give your body rest. High stress levels can increase cortisol, which increases your appetite for processed foods, promotes weight gain and even affects where you put on the weight. Stress can also cause high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, fatigue and even heart disease. You don’t want any of these. Don’t be scared to ask family and friends for help if you feel overwhelmed.
- Join a support group
Joining a weight loss-based group is a way of encouraging yourself to do your best. There is a different feeling you get when you see that you are not alone in your journey. Working alongside group members can really improve your results.
- Communicate with your doctor
This is highly important because you most definitely would need guidance from your doctor. It is advisable to ask your doctor questions before taking some steps after childbirth. Your doctor would give the best advice that would greatly benefit you and your baby.
- Enjoy motherhood
I want you to try to enjoy every bit of motherhood. See yourself as a strong woman that deserves the best. Understand and remember that you are beautiful and your body just did something really great and appreciate yourself for it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself time to recover and don’t stop applauding yourself for all the efforts you are making.
You are awesome!