Finally, your bundle of joy is in your arms, you created life and that’s nothing short of a miracle. The pleasure and delight of having a newborn baby compensate for all that you have gone through in the past 9 months. At the same time, this also brings to you sleepless nights, sudden change in hormone levels, sense of withdrawal & sense of new responsibility inevitably leaves you exhausted. From the very first day of the arrival of this new life, every mother tries to give her child the best & in this rush, her own fitness n health takes a back seat. Suddenly one day you look yourself in the mirror and desperately try to recognize yourself. You are not fitting into your favorite pair of skinny jeans anymore. The question that crops up in your mind is, how did this happen? What do I do now?
Here is the good news to cheer you up. With a little precautions and diet planning you can easily get back to your old self. You must know that child is the reflection of mother & your state of mind leaves a deep impression on the new born. So what is imperative that you keep yourself fit both ways, physically and mentally. Think of a movie star, model, or a neighbor who are in shape even after having babies. Well, there you have a proof positive that it is possible.With the little healthy know-how, there is no practical reason why you can’t have a great body- even a flat belly.
Let’s understand how this happens.
During pregnancy average weight gain varies between 10- 12kgs (22-27lb) but one can put on more or less weight depending upon various reasons. The total weight gain is made up of 38% baby weight, 22% blood and extra fluid, 20% womb, breasts, bottom and legs, 11% amniotic fluid and 9% placenta. After delivery your bump will be gone but tummy won’t be flat. Life style also plays an important role, given what havoc new motherhood can wreak on your eating and exercising habits. An overworked new mom may gobble any fattening food she comes across and even easy for her to forgo workouts “if any” after those sleepless nights. This fluctuating eating and exercising habits for month’s results in added pounds.
Researchers even say that women who are already over-weight or obese before first pregnancy, generally are more likely to retain or gain weight after pregnancy than average weight women. It is always recommended that women should prepare herself from pre conception period by leading a healthy life because weight gain before , during & after pregnancy not only affects the current pregnancy but may also be the primary contributor to the future development of obesity in woman during midlife and beyond . Excessive gestational weight gain contributes to higher post pregnancy body weight. However higher maternal body size before pregnancy and biological factor are also important. Being heavy before first pregnancy has important implications for long term overweight and obese women are two to six times more likely to exceed the weight gain recommended during pregnancy, then other BMI categories.
Another study of women aged 18-30 years found that women who has smoking habits are twice likely to become overweight.
How to lose postpartum weight and rediscover yourself?
It took nine months to get there, give your body some time to recover and readjust. There is no magic pills to help you lose weight, a healthy diet combined with regular exercise is best way to shed weight. Generally after baby’s birth you shed weight of the placenta, amniotic fluid, contraction of maternal blood volume and other body components largely non-adipose tissue accumulated during gestation.
One question is frequently asked does breast feeding help melt away pregnancy weight? Not necessarily, there is a conflicting evidence, majority of studies say it won’t aid in weight loss for mothers. However, don’t let this news discourage you from nursing, which has many other medically proven benefits for mother and baby. But don’t keep too many expectation that breast feeding can help you lose loads of weight. Don’t make it an excuse to eat too much or eat for two concept. You just need 200- 300 extra calorie to feed a baby if you are not having twins or more.
Evidence suggests that both diet and exercise together and even diet alone can help women to lose weight after childbirth. Nevertheless, it may be preferable to lose weight through a combination of diet and exercise as this improves maternal cardiorespiratory fitness and preserves fat-free mass, while diet alone reduces fat-free mass.
This will improve blood circulation, aid in heeling and enhance psychological wellbeing. Exercise assists with the regaining of muscle strength and tone body after child birth. It reduces back discomfort & boosts energy to cope with demand of new motherhood. Reduces stress and depression. Slowly begin your exercise and progress gradually. Some of the recommended exercises which one can try are basic ball curl-up, forearm plank, squats, stationery lunges, bench dips etc. Practice your postnatal exercises from the first day after birth, you should soon look and feel better If your pregnancy or delivery was complicated consult your gynecologist before getting into exercise regime.
Right diet helps:
Proper nutrition is important especially when you are breast feeding. Making right choices can promote healthy weight loss. Have nutritional high fiber food like vegetables, whole grains etc which will make you feel full longer. High protein food contains a hunger fighting hormone and will fill you up more than carbs. Many sources of protein such as fish, eggs and poultry are rich in iron & vitamin B12 both of which have been shown to increase energy level. Avoid trans-fat, sugar, processed food and aerated drinks which further may contribute to your weight. Eat well balanced meal, aim to eat verity of vegetables, drink plenty of water & keep yourself hydrated, and ensure enough of fiber intake.
Reduced Stress Level:
Meditation & breathing exercises will help you keep your stress levels at bay. Proper rest can enhance your metabolism rate.
Consult your GP for recommended supplements as your body needs to replenish. It will help you regain your strength & improve your immunity.
In the end only I can say “Reinvent, Revive & Reenergize”.
FITTR Nutrition & Fitness Expert