Happy Momma: Tips for Postpartum Weight Loss
Motherhood is about love and sacrifice. At last, you get a chance to meet the little person who’s growing inside of you for the past 9 months. It is a celebration of life.
Now, after the motherhood transformation, getting back your pre-baby body is highly possible and doable. But where do you start? The information found on this topics can be highly overwhelming. Simply googling “How to lose weight after giving birth” offers over 3,000,000 results.
The truth is, after giving birth you will lose close to 10 pounds instantly, and few more pounds the first week after giving birth. While The first few pounds may shed quickly, it will take time to get back your “pre-pregnancy body”. Keep in mind, it took you 9 months to put the weight on! It is important to set realistic goals and not be too hard on yourself.
There are things that you should consider when taking your first steps towards your goal. One of these thing would be the appropriate time to start losing weight. If you had a C-section, you’ll need more time to recover because this is a major surgery. Like with other surgeries, you will need plenty of rest. You will need to take care of any wounds and follow proper nutrition guidelines as well. Typically, it will take close to 6 weeks to fully recover from having a C-section.
Setting realistic standards and goals for yourself is key when starting any new routine. Keep weight loss expectations at a healthy goal, and be nice to yourself. Nobody’s perfect, and this is a process. Making small changes will slowly have a big impact on your energy levels and the way you feel about yourself. A realistic, healthy weight loss goal to start with may be planning to lose 1-1.5 pounds in a week.
Let’s get it on:
Exercise and Move your Booty!
New mothers will find it especially difficult to find the energy to move and exercise after giving birth, especially while getting used to the new *always changing* sleep schedule! But hey, you can do it! You can start by going on gentle walks around the neighborhood and doing your pelvic floor exercises. And for mothers recovering from a C-section, strenuous exercise is to be avoided for at least 6 weeks, so really take this time to slowly ease yourself into an active routine. No need to rush this!
Wait for your postnatal check-up before really jumping into an exercise routine. Before then, stick to walking and doing kegel exercises. Regular exercise, even if not strenuous, will also help to improve your quality of sleep.
While breastfeeding should not be affected by this amount of activity, a good tip for breastfeeding mothers would be to eat starchy veggies about 30 minutes prior to beginning any strenuous activity, such as running. This will help ensure you do not see a decrease in the amount of milk you are producing.
2. Healthy Diet
Do not rush to drop your calorie intake drastically. You need a sufficient amount of calories daily to aid in your recovery.If you are breastfeeding, you will be needing 500 more calories per day. Focus on receiving your nutrition needed from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meat.
Oatmeal is a great breakfast idea for new mommies that are dieting and breastfeeding. Salmon is another great food for breastfeeding moms. The DHA in salmon is said to help fight postpartum depression. Keep in mind, breastfeeding mothers are recommended a limit of no more than 12 ounces a week because the risk of mercury exposure to your baby. Lean beef is great for boosting your energy, because of its iron-rich nutrients. Of course, drink plenty of water. Breastfeeding moms are at risk of dehydration. So, stay hydrated!
Caffeine should be limited. 2-3 cups of caffeinated coffee a day is the suggested limit for a breastfeeding mom. Another option is to switch to decaf coffee. Caffeine enters your milk and can cause irritability (and poor sleeping habits) for babies.
3. Don’t Skip Meals
As part of your healthier diet, it is important not to skip your meals. Eat smaller portion sizes 5-6 times daily rather than eating 3 large meals.
4. Nap Time
When your baby is sleeping, take a nap! Get plenty of naps to increase your metabolism. An irregular sleeping pattern will likely upset your metabolism. So, even if you are exercising and making healthier eating choices, if you don’t have enough sleep, it will have a “domino effect”, and you will have little to no energy throughout your day.
5. Breast Feeding
During the breastfeeding period, it is important to lose weight slowly. If weight loss occurs too quickly, it will have an affect on the production of your milk. The safest number for losing weight is pound and a half (670 grams) a week. Breastfeeding is good way to lose weight, so if you will be patient, it will happen naturally.
6. Most Importantly: Boost Yourself UP
Everyone loses weight at a different rate. Check your mindset, and be patient with yourself. Now that you are a mother, consider that you are taking care of your body for your family. You can also ask your friends and family if they want to join your exercise program. Don’t forget to reward yourself every time you reach your goal.