Post pregnancy weight loss
You’ve just become the mom of a happy and healthy baby and you are really eager to lose all the weight you’ve gained during pregnancy. If in the day before birth you could barely see your feet because of your tummy, in the day after you might want to rediscover your old body. Unfortunately it took you nine months to put on the extra weight, so you have to give yourself a little more time to lose it back.
It’s true that a significant weight loss occurs immediately after giving birth. You can count 7- to 8-pounds for the baby, approximately 1 pound for placenta, 2 or 3 pounds of blood and amniotic fluid. All this amount of weight leaves naturally the body of a new mom immediately after birth, so you will be, on average, at least 12 pounds lighter. During the period following the birth, you’ll lose some other 4 or 6 pounds, because your body will eliminate the water retained in the cells during pregnancy. The extra blood from your pregnant body will contribute to the weight loss after the birth, too.
The grand total after birth and the first 1-2 week after birth counts almost 18-20 pounds, but for most of the mommies there’s still some fat left on the tummy, hips and thighs.
If you’ll breastfeed your baby, some of this fat will be gone in this process. Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories a day, which means 1 lb. a week. Mothers who breastfeed more frequently lose weight faster than mothers who nurse less often and mothers who nurse for shorter periods of time tend to lose weight more slowly than mothers who nurse longer.
For all the other extra weight still left, you’ll have to change your eating habits. When you were pregnant, you might have adjusted your eating habits to support your baby’s growth and development. If you afforded to release your cravings, during pregnancy, now it is time to cut them back. Try to eat as healthy as possible and avoid temptations.
As long as you will be breastfeeding your baby, do not try any extreme diets. In general, your diet is important for your own health and energy levels, rather than affecting your breast milk and your baby. If you’ll starve yourself while breastfeeding, your body will use fat stores laid down while you were pregnant and partly compensate for the extra demand on nutrients, but your energy levels will get very low and you will not be able to take care of your child. So the best advice is to do everything with moderation.
To be the best mom for your baby and the hottest mom for the others, eat healthy. You should focus your diet on foods high in fiber (fruits, vegetables and whole grains), because they can provide you with many important nutrients while helping you feel full longer. Do not exaggerate with some fruits or vegetables, such as cherries, citrus fruits, beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower etc, to be able to avoid your baby’s colic.
Eat smaller, more-frequent meals, only when you are hungry. Don’t skip meals, but surround yourself with healthy foods. If junk food poses too much temptation, keep it out of the house and if you feel like eating when it is not time to eat just yet, find something else to distract yourself from your cravings.
Your daily routine should include physical activities.
As soon as your doctor tells you that you are able to exercise, start exercising! Physical activities will help you lose the extra pounds quicker and will boost your energy levels, improving your psychological state. Since your tummy carried almost the entire weight while pregnant, your exercises should target the abdominal muscles. Focus on them, but do not exclude any other forms of practice, such as walking, stationary cycling or swimming. The best option is walking with your baby.
Remember to be patient. Give yourself six months or even longer to return to your pre-pregnancy weight, whether you’re breast-feeding or not. Learn to accept the changes in your body, because even if you will manage to get back to the size you had before pregnancy, you might discover that your weight might be distributed differently from how it was before pregnancy. These are just details; the real important things are your baby’s and your own health.