Weight gain during pregnancy is the usual process. During the 9 months of pregnancy, most women gain around 11.5 to 16 kgs(25-30 pounds). This weight consists of the baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, extra blood, enlarged uterus, breast tissue, and excess fat of the mother-to-be.
Many women gain extra weight, which typically remains in her body even after the delivery. This excess weight is often referred to as the baby-weight. This is very natural, and every woman wishes to lose that extra weight soon after the delivery and go back to her normal weight.
However, medical practitioners highly suggest that after delivery, a woman must plan to lose weight, preferably after 6 months, to benefit herself and the baby.
Importance Of Losing Extra Weight After Delivery
- Losing weight after pregnancy is necessary due to the following reasons.
- Postpartum weight retention might be a significant contributor to obesity. Obesity, in the long term, can increase the risk of other illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension.
- There might even be a greater risk of lifestyle-related health disorders such as heart diseases.
- Overweight places unnecessary pressure on joints, thus increasing the chances of joint issues such as arthritis.
- Some studies suggest that gestational weight gain can increase the risk of postpartum depression.
- Losing weight after pregnancy is necessary, but you need to know when to begin.
What Is The Proper Time To Lose Weight After Pregnancy?
The US NIH (National Institutes of Health) suggests new mothers wait until the baby is at least 60 days old, and breast milk supply is normalized before reducing calories for weight loss. It is fine to take 12 months or even more to return to your pre-pregnancy weight. Therefore, there’s no need to hurry with the weight loss procedure.
Most postpartum women naturally lose half of their pregnancy weight by 6 weeks after delivery. If you plan to add to the weight loss with your actions, consult a physician before beginning any diet regimen or exercise. Weight loss can be unique to every woman and dependant on factors like the baby and the mother’s health.
Practical & Simple Tips For Losing Weight After Pregnancy
Weight-loss after delivery remains a critical issue for many women, and this can be achieved through lots of willpower and a little bit of dedication. Losing baby weight doesn’t mean digging deep into your pockets as there are many practical and simple home solutions for weight loss after delivery. Here are a few proven remedies to bounce back in style:
1. It’s Time To Move
By the time you’ve delivered your baby, you’ll be sleep-deprived and exhausted to a great degree, and workouts will be the last thing on your mind. This is fine since most women cannot work out for up to 6 or even 8 weeks post-delivery, more if you have had a cesarean delivery.
Take little steps by walking for short distances that do not cause bleeding or exhaust you. Increase the distance slowly till you feel confident in taking on a regular exercise routine. Including your baby into this regimen is simple if you get the stroller out and take the baby around the locality for at least half an hour a day.
This routine can help you lose weight even as you sit relaxed in your favorite chair. Lactating mothers can burn up to 600 to 800 calories per day as the body now needs extra calories to breastfeed the baby.
However, the tricky part is when your baby is being weaned off breast milk and is gradually consuming semi-solid or solid foods. When you taper-off breastfeeding, there is a possibility that your weight will increase, so be ready with a backup plan like an exercise routine to compensate for that.
[Also Read: Healthy Lactation Recipes for Breastfeeding Moms]
3. Pick food from various groups
Nutritional adequacy is achieved by incorporating foods from all the 5 food groups (grains, fruits, protein, vegetables, and dairy). This healthy variety supports gaining nourishment, including weight loss.
4. Have a mix of nutrients
Two food items may be similar in terms of calorific value but vastly have different nutrients. Concentrating on one food group to lose weight could cause you to miss out on the nutrients you require from other food groups. So, do not infatuate about calories alone; rather, opt for healthy foods.
5. Take healthy snacks
Research suggests that spreading energy intake into 4 to 5 small meals a day could positively impact health. Therefore, you can consider having healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, hummus, a protein bar, or yogurt.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Getting sufficient sleep has been proven to help losing weight after pregnancy because you’re not compelled to indulge in high-sugar, high-calorie foods for energy. Irregular sleep cycles like those forced on you by a newborn can disturb your metabolism and make it tough for you to lose the baby weight.
Take a nap anytime the baby does, and housework be damned. That way, you won’t end up with a long-term sleep deficit, and you’ll keep your possibly naughty cravings and your energy levels in check.
[Also Read: Why Proper Sleep Is Important]
7. No Alcohol
When it comes to weight loss, it is suggested to keep alcohol at bay. Alcohol typically adds more calories to your body, and extra fat can get piled up . Also, it is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers to consume alcohol to decrease milk production and is believed to be harmful to infants.
However, if you need to have alcohol, then care should be taken that there is an adequate gap between breastfeeding and consumption. Expel some milk before you feed your baby, as some alcohol may go to your baby through breast milk.
In addition to the above, every new mom should plan to organize herself well, which will gradually reap good results for herself and her baby. Keeping track of what you eat, when you eat, and how many calories you have burnt will be a good start. Alternatively, you can save a diary from tracking this.
To get the best out of a health plan, it is equally essential to get good support from your partner or a family member. Also, keep your mom’s circle active, engage with other moms, and explore new ways of keeping yourself fit and healthy and, of course, without compromising your time for the baby.