Any woman at any age wants to remain slim and beautiful. Some women struggle throughout their lives to lose weight. But there is a period in the life of almost every woman when putting on weight is unavoidable – pregnancy. And if during it the weight can only be gained and nothing can be done about it, then right after childbirth the question of postpartum weight loss becomes especially urgent.
The basic rule of postpartum weight loss
To lose weight after childbirth and return to prenatal body shape, you must try not to gain excess weight above the physiologically acceptable norm.
Let’s have a look at this rule and discuss the weight gain during pregnancy. In the case of a singleton pregnancy, the adequate weight gain comprises 22-26 lb:
- A newborn baby – 6-8 lb;
- The amniotic fluid – 2-4 pt, or 2-4 lb;
- The placenta is about 2-3 lb;
- Increased blood volume during pregnancy – 3-4 pt, or 3-4 lb;
- Enlarged uterus and mammary glands – about 3 lb.
Now it is clear that after childbirth the extra pounds disappear without a trace. But what should a woman do if she has gained weight above the norm?
6 ways to lose weight after giving birth
Breastfeed the baby
Do not believe those people who claim that while you are breastfeeding you cannot lose weight. It has been proven that breastfeeding, especially in the first months after childbirth, is a great help in combating excess kilograms gained during pregnancy. In order to produce milk, the body needs to spend about 500 kcal per day. It receives needed calories from stored fat or from consumed food. It is excessive and inadequate nutrition in the period of breastfeeding that prevents a young mother from losing weight. In addition, the amount of breast milk doesn’t depend on the amount of dairy products a woman consumes. It depends only on the hormone prolactin. But the quality of milk is directly related to the nutrition. Therefore, the healthier the food is the better.
Balance your diet
Of course, you do not need to go on a special diet. Just follow these simple rules:
- Eat often but in small portions (4-5 times a day). Even having a fussy baby allows you to have a regular snack;
- Drink more liquid, especially pure water. Try to exclude sweet sodas and juices;
- The daily diet must contain proteins (fish, low-fat meat, poultry), low-fat dairy products, vegetables;
- Exclude sweets, smoked meat, and pickles. This measure protects the baby from possible allergies;
- The last meal should take place 2-4 hours before bedtime.
Choose an active lifestyle
Of course, a lot of women will claim that their daily routine leaves no free time for other activities. But we are talking about something else. One of the best physical exercises after childbirth is walking. Walking with a baby stroller will help you lose a couple of pounds. Helpful gymnastics for a young mother will be carrying a baby in a kangaroo wrap or a sling. This physical exercise helps to strengthen the spinal and abdominal muscles due to the constantly increasing weight of the baby. At the end of the postpartum recovery period (after 6-8 weeks), you may go to the gym. Getting back in shape means hard work.
Avoid comfort eating – enjoy the joy of motherhood!
Exhaustion, malnutrition, tearfulness, sleep deprivation, irritability, dissatisfaction with your appearance – these are typical symptoms in the first months after childbirth. It is the most difficult period in the life of every new mother. The majority of women eat comfort food (like sweets) but the effect of such a “therapy” is short lasting. Fight depression with the help of sports instead. And, of course, the support of your family is very important. If the first months after childbirth seem so depressing and endless, keep in mind the main thing: now you are a mother, be proud of it! Some time later you will realize that all worries have been in vain and your life is beautiful!
It has been scientifically proven that during sex the hormones of “happiness” are produced and many calories are burned. Do not disappoint your partner because of fatigue or a headache. You should not be afraid that sex after childbirth becomes different. You also should not worry that the vagina becomes larger and wider and your spouse will pay attention to it. The muscles just need time to contract to their usual size. To speed it up, you can start doing Kegel exercises. However, they can be done only 4-6 weeks after the birth of the child.
Have patience and don’t be lazy!
Exercising regularly, eating healthily, and being optimistic will help you to lose weight. Of course, this process is long and painful but it is worth the results that await you ahead!
What if your weight remains the same?
Sometimes it happens that a woman does everything right but she doesn’t manage to lose weight after giving birth. Why? The fact is that subcutaneous fat is the “fuel” for estrogen – a hormone that helps to accumulate fat. The more fat tissue there is the more estrogen is produced which means that each calorie eaten is deposited as fat. Moreover, during the lactation period, there is a physiological increase in estrogen levels which significantly complicates the postpartum weight loss process.
The most reasonable way to deal with the abovementioned situation is to see a doctor, examine your hormonal background, and choose the right tactics for losing weight.