With all the excitement at seeing your new arrival for the first time, you’re also likely to be overjoyed at the chance to get rid of that baby weight from your body! It’s easy for new mums to be impatient to return to their pre-pregnancy figure, but it’s only reasonable that your body will have undergone major changes, and will therefore take time to adjust once again. Celebrity mums who seem to slim down as if by magic are not good role models to follow; losing those pregnancy pounds should be a gradual, healthy process. Here is some advice on how to approach losing your baby weight without losing perspective!
After you’ve given Birth
Along with suggestions for Indian baby names and sharing their own experiences of new motherhood, family and friends may be eager to share tips on how to shed that extra maternity weight. It’s important to remember that this process affects everyone’s body differently, and you don’t need to rush.
In fact, while it’s tempting to kick-start a diet as soon as you stop ‘eating for two’, the truth is that you still need more than the average amount of daily calories when you’re breastfeeding and dramatic weight loss can negatively affect the mother’s milk supply, according to expert gynaecologists. Even bottle-feeding mums shouldn’t diet too soon after giving birth: give your body time to recover from the pregnancy and labour first!
Generally, it’s a good idea to wait until around 6 to 8 weeks after birth before starting a serious exercise programme – about the time of your first check-up with your doctor.Even if you consider losing weight quite early on after having your child, it’s better to establish a breastfeeding routine before you examine your food intake.
For most new mothers, it’s a case of balancing nutrition, rather than skipping meals. Avoid diets that involve substitute drinks or pills as these will not be good for you or your baby.
Instead, make sure you strike a balance and start slowly, by substituting sugary or fatty snacks for things like vegetables, fruit, and whole-grain foods. Hold off on the deep fried patties and baked goods and load up on foods that are high in the vitamins and nutrients you need when you’re a new mother. So eat oily fish like sardines and mackerel, which are good sources of the healthy fat omega-3. Chicken and other lean meats – as well as ‘super-foods’ like beans and pulses – are also good for protein.
Try to keep portion sizes to a recommended amount, and include breakfast in your daily meal plan, even if you didn’t eat in the mornings before; eating first thing can contribute to higher energy levels throughout the day and avoid feelings of tiredness later on.
Start Exercising Slowly
Exercise should be introduced slowly over the course of the next few weeks and months. Start with really gentle exercises that you can do at home while baby’s napping. Look up pelvic, core and cardio exercises that are suitable for post-pregnancy or ask your doctor for some advice.
As the weeks go on, try to build up your exercise in little bursts throughout the day, rather than long sessions, and use whatever you have to hand. So walk up and down the stairs a few times, do laps of your living room, or use the kitchen steps as a workout aid! There are also lots of things you can try whilst out and about with your baby, from doing squats using local park bench or just going for long walks with the pram.
There may be post-natal exercise classes available in your area, which can be helpful if your motivation needs a little boost. The other advantage here is the chance to socialise and share tips with other new mums, as well as support each other through the process of getting fit again. Even if it sometimes feels like an uphill battle, you won’t be alone and with a sensible approach to post-pregnancy diet and exercise, you can get back to a healthy weight within a shorter time frame than you might think.