Having a baby is indeed one of the happiest moments in a woman’s life. It is oftentimes considered as the epitome of being a woman. But of course, not everything about having a baby makes mothers ecstatic. There are emotional changes from hormone levels, the struggles with food choices and of course, post pregnancy weight.
The biggest problem for women who have just given birth is gaining back their self-esteem, and post pregnancy weight gain does not help. Most of these women, especially those who are returning to work after maternity leave, are on a quest to lose this weight as quickly as possible.
However, accelerated weight loss may not be safe or healthy for you, particularly if you are breastfeeding. The first step to getting your pre-pregnancy body back begins when you give birth and you lose around 12 pounds due to the baby’s weight and other birth losses. The next steps now depend on your healthy diet and exercise program to manage your weight.
Identifying your weight loss program: Eating a healthy diet and coupling it with the right amount of exercise will definitely be the best start. But do not reduce too many calories in your daily intake, especially without the blessing of your healthcare provider. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
Stay away from empty calories like soft drinks and sweets, instead eat more whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk products, and lean protein. Eat smaller portions, and only eat when you are hungry. Make sure you keep yourself well hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day, or possibly more if you are breastfeeding your baby.
Burn off any extra calories through exercise. Finding the right type of exercise and the hours you need depends on your type of delivery. Those who underwent a normal complication free delivery can already go for light exercise like walking shortly after birth.
Those who had a complicated delivery or a C-section must consult the healthcare provider before working out. Take care to follow the healthcare expert’s guidelines. If your body needs rest and time to heal, you will only delay that process by putting it under undue stress.
The best addition to your weight loss program is breastfeeding. It is not only the best way to lose weight, but it also is the best way to nourish your baby until two years of age. Although you need to ingest approximately 500 more calories in your daily diet, breastfeeding burns around 600-800 calories daily.
Set an acceptable deadline: Generally, it takes about six months to get back to your pre-pregnancy shape. The amount of time needed depends on the amount of weight you gained during pregnancy. Experts believe that losing a pound a week is the safest and fastest way to lose the baby weight. Losing more than that is dangerous and could cause health complications.
Be kind to yourself and expect that setbacks may occur. The first months after delivery of a baby will bring many challenges to your lifestyle, body and self-esteem. Keep things in perspective, enjoy your child, and your body will gradually get back to its old shape once again.