Dieting After Pregnancy
When you have a new baby, you have many concerns. You’ll need to feed your newborn, change diapers, provide comfort, and more. Many women will want to get rid of the weight they gained during pregnancy as well. Much of this extra weight comes from amniotic fluid and water retention, and you should be able to drop this extra weight during the first few months after giving birth. However, losing weight could take longer if you gained more than the 25 to 35 pounds recommended or if you were overweight before you became pregnant. Discover the following helpful tips for dieting after pregnancy.
Get Plenty of Nutrients
If you’re breastfeeding, you should wait to diet until your baby is at least 2 months old. Starting a diet too soon could impact your milk production and make you feel more tired. Instead, drink plenty of water and eat nutritious foods such as fish, fruits, and vegetables. Don’t skip meals; have a snack if you’re hungry. Depriving yourself while dieting will make gaining the weight back again more tempting. Instead of making a temporary change, keep choosing healthy foods for you and your family.
Added stress increases your body’s production of cortisol. This hormone lowers your metabolism and tells your body to store fat. Lack of sleep can also decrease your levels of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full after you eat. People often crave sugary, fatty foods because of these changes. After pregnancy, thyroid levels drop, leading to postpartum depression or additional fatigue in some women.
You can’t take care of your child unless you take care of yourself. Ask your spouse, friends, or relatives to watch the baby so that you can take a nap occasionally. Let others take care of routine tasks such as cooking and cleaning. You can also hire a cleaning service to tidy up once per week while you relax.
Choose the Right Birth Control
Some birth control methods can make losing weight harder and cause other side effects. Pills or intrauterine devices (IUDs) that contain estrogen can increase your risk of blood clots if you take them less than six weeks after pregnancy. They can also make weight loss more difficult and increase the hormone levels in your breast milk.
Fortunately, you can take progestin-only pills after giving birth. While you can experience spotting while on birth control pills, the pills won’t change your breast milk or keep you from losing weight.
Dealing with a new baby is a workout by itself, but you still need to set aside some time for strength training and aerobics. However, you may need to heal after labor, especially if you had a C-section. Don’t push yourself too hard. Remember to ask your doctor before intensifying your workout. Even if you don’t have time for an exercise class, you can take a walk with your baby in a stroller or lift some weights while you watch your child.
Losing weight after pregnancy can sometimes be challenging, but you can get back to a normal size with a little effort. You can also improve your health and increase your energy levels.