Being able to get pregnant and produce a baby is what many women around the world dream of, and when the baby finally arrives, they’re thrilled to be starting a new chapter in their life with their own little creation. Pregnancy can be a big challenge for many soon-to-be mothers, but another challenge remains, losing weight once the baby has arrived!
Many doctors recommend pregnant women that they should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during their pregnancy. Many women make the mistake of thinking that once they have had the baby, weight loss should happen naturally. Initially, you might lose a bit of weight, but if you are desperate to get back to how you looked before you were pregnant, there are a few things you need to do to reach your goal. The good thing is that if you have been able to avoid being overweight, losing the baby weight can take only a few months.
So if you are wondering what needs to be done to shed the pounds after pregnancy, read on.
Some people will find this weird, but going on an official diet could disrupt your post-pregnancy weight loss goals. If you start to feel deprived of your favourite foods, especially when you already stressed out about having to look after a new-born baby, it might cause you to put weight on. Instead of dieting, eat a well-balanced variety of foods and prepare meals following healthy weight loss recipes. Munch on different healthy snacks to keep you from feeling hungry and give you energy throughout the day. Apple slices, carrot sticks, nuts and wholewheat crackers are all good as a quick hunger-prevention snack.
Now that you have another human being to look after besides yourself, finding the time to get enough exercise can be tricky. But it is not impossible. As soon as you feel you are ready to start exercising again, start off gently by including:
- pelvic floor exercises
Make sure you wait six weeks or so, or at least until you feel that you’ve fully recovered from the birth, before doing harder exercise. Walk an extra mile when walking with your baby in the pushchair, pick up the pace, or even try a pram-based exercise class. You may have a buggy-fit class or similar activity running in a park near you. Group classes are a great way to make friends with other mums. Making new friends, and getting some exercise will definitely raise your spirits.
This tip will surprise some people. Yes, you will be losing calories while you’re just sitting there feeding your baby. You can burn 600 to 800 calories a day with this activity.
Some studies even show that breastfeeding can help you return to your pre-baby weight faster. Other lucky moms have found that they ended up weighing less than they did before pregnancy because of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has many benefits for the mother and child. It may make weight loss more difficult in the first three months postpartum, though after those three months, breastfeeding may help you lose weight.
Drink loads of water
Drinking lots of H20 consistently during the day stops you from getting dehydrated. It also helps to fill you up so that you don’t eat as much during your meals, and some nutritionists have found that it may also count towards speeding up your metabolism.
Whether you need the recommended eight glasses a day isn’t certain, so many people have started to recommend looking at the colour of your urine and keeping note of how often you need to go to the bathroom as a guide.
If you’re drinking enough fluids, your urine should be relatively clear, and you should be going to the bathroom about every three to four hours.
Get some sleep
It should not surprise you at all that both the pattern and duration of a mother’s sleep changes when the new baby comes homes. As sleep decreases, cortisol levels increase, which results in the mother’s inability to metabolise calories efficiently. Unfortunately, this is inevitable and an honest expectancy of new motherhood. To keep cortisol at bay, make sure you diminish cortisol spikes from other possible sources, for example, caffeine, stress and overexertion in the gym too soon after giving birth.
All in all, it can be tough to shed the pounds after having a baby. With your stress levels increasing and your time catching some Z’s decreasing, it can be hard to try and eat healthily and exercise on top of all of that. If you make sure to slowly make some changes to your lifestyle and stick to the plan no matter how stressed you get, you will be able to lose weight.
Luke, originally from East London, studies English Literature and English Language at the University of Leicester. He is now a content writer and blogger and enjoys writing on various topics.