Giving birth changes a woman’s body permanently. All that extra weight, blood loss, sleepless nights, and leaking boobies make childbirth glorious and challenging. You will never return to your old pre-pregnant state. But what if there is a way to be your better self? Let us start with how you can lose that extra mommy weight.
A pregnant woman gains around 25-38 pounds during pregnancy. Your baby will just weight around 6 to 8 lbs. so where did all that extra weight go? Most of that extra baggage is in the form of water, like amniotic fluid and some water retention here and there. After delivery, there will be some remaining 10-25 pounds of that pregnancy weight. Now, this is the tricky part, how are you supposed to lose that extra bulge?
Tip No.1: Breastfeed
Breastfeeding is the fastest route to losing that excess weight. Breastfeeding burns lots of calories as your body scrambles to produce all that milk for your little one. If you are breastfeeding, do not restrict your food intake. Dieting during this time is not necessary since you will likely lose most of those pounds. This is especially true if you are breastfeeding exclusively or pumping, as long as you are not supplementing with formula milk.
Tip No. 2: Keep your nutrition in check
While breastfeeding, you may eat whatever you want in moderation. Eat healthy as your diet is crucial to the quality of your breastmilk. Regarding losing that pregnancy weight, diet can help you much better than any exercise.
The best way to get your optimum nutrition while helping your body to lose those extra pounds is through the following:
- Healthy carbs
Choose complex carbohydrates over processed carbs. Ditch that French fries and go instead with a cup of home-cooked mashed potatoes. Fill yourself with a cup of rice or a slice of wheat bread. It’s alright to indulge in some sips of cocoa or a chunk of organic dark chocolate.
- Lean protein and eggs
Don’t ever deprive yourself of protein during this time. Have some lean chicken breast or steamed fish for dinner. Boil lots of eggs. Use them to make some salad or bread spread. Bring these snacks with you and munch on them while breastfeeding or pumping your milk.
- Bulk up on fiber
I swear by the power of cucumber slices to curb my appetite for nasty processed foods. Lettuce with a dash of vinegar and salt also is as appetizing as that bag of potato chips.
- Cook and experiment
Home-cooked meals have less MSG and fats. Cooking at home can help you to control your calorie intake while filling yourself entirely.
Tip No. 3: Exercise
I know you are too tired to exercise right? It’s a pain to move around, especially if you had recently gone through C-section delivery. It might sound cumbersome, but you need to exercise to hasten your recovery. You can start by:
- Walking with baby
You can leave the baby at home but what if you don’t have a nanny to look over him? Your little one might be sleeping most of the time, but this is not an excuse to leave him at home. A jogging or an all-terrain stroller is your best bet if you want to be physically active with your baby in tow. Do not get too eager, though. You can start your stroll with baby only if you have a stroller that can fully recline and if your little tot is at least one month old.
- Try some yoga at home
Just in case you can’t go out, you can try yoga or light exercises at home. If you can’t fetch your personal instructor, try downloading some instructional videos. Stay away from strenuous cardio exercise. Focus on exercises that help you to hold and tighten those muscles, without making you break in sweat.
Giving birth is a period of delight and challenges. You are forever changed, emotionally and physically. There’s no turning back. Be realistic and keep your expectations in check. Changes take time. Calm down; you are already one fine and brave mom!