Losing That Stubborn Extra Pregnancy Weight
It is not uncommon for a woman to gain between 25 to 35 pounds (11-16 kg.) during her pregnancy and keep that extra weight even after the baby is born. The process of giving birth may result in a woman shedding anywhere from 14 to 20 pounds (6-9 kg.) when the baby and placenta are delivered. Some women will be disappointed to found that the weight loss is not more, which means that most women will have to work off a considerable amount of weight. Some women may even mistakenly assume that this “baby fat” will never go away and resign themselves to accepting their new weight and shape as moms.
If you were one of the unlucky new moms who did not lose much weight after birth, you’ll be glad to hear that there are techniques to help you lose that post-pregnancy weight and regain your pre-pregnancy shape as soon as possible.
However, don’t be too impatient. Understand that it may take you a good nine months to a year to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. If you try to lose weight too fast, you will more likely regain the weight and even put on some more.
How to lose weight safely and effectively
To lose weight safely and effectively, you should combine a low-fat diet with a moderate exercise program as soon after birth as the doctor says it is safe for you to start doing.
Taking a slow and steady approach to lose the pre-pregnancy weight will give your body the time it needs to recover from the stress of childbirth. Going into a rigid diet or exercise program too soon after childbirth may limit your nutritional and caloric needs, especially if you are breastfeeding your newborn. Some medical experts recommend waiting at least six weeks after the birth of your baby before getting into a weight loss or exercise program; and rather than being preoccupied with weight loss that you as a new mom should spend the first few weeks or so after the birth on eating healthy food with enough calories and nutrients to give you the energy and nutrition to take care of yourself and the care of your new baby.
There are some studies that indicate that breastfeeding your baby may actually help your pregnancy weight disappear faster due to the extra calories that your body uses up in the production of the milk. It is also true that your body will tend to hang on to some of your fat stores in order to produce milk as well, so you won’t be able to lose all that weight by breastfeeding alone.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, you should watch what you eat, but don’t go on a crash diet. Eat a regular three meals a day with foods that are high in nutritional value to maintain the proper level of calories each day to allow for adequate milk production. Find out from your doctor what your weight should be for your size and the appropriate caloric intake you need per day to successfully breastfeed.
If you are not breastfeeding but uses bottle-feeding instead, you still need to have a sensible diet of healthy, nutritious foods eaten in moderation. Make sure that you take in at least 1,500 calories per day, spread out over three meals. Don’t skip meals and then binge to make up for the skipped meals.
Diet alone will not help you realize your goal of losing weight after giving birth. You will need to implement a cardio exercise program to supplement the dieting. Before starting any exercise program to try to lose your baby weight, get your doctor’s input first. Don’t do any vigorous or sustained exercise until after your first post-pregnancy check-up with your doctor, otherwise you risk damaging your health
A correctly implemented exercise program helps to speed up the weight reduction and keep the weight off. Exercise can also help alleviate postpartum depression that affect a majority of women. Many communities or hospitals have mommy and baby exercise classes, where you and your baby can exercise together. Having a friend to exercise with you can serve to help motivate you whenever you are tempted to quit. It may seem counter intuitive but exercising can actually boost your energy level. The energy boost is vitally important in fighting the fatigue that comes from caring for a new baby.
The postpartum period can be physically challenging and emotionally draining times for the new mom. But with eating healthy and getting the proper exercise, you can lose the weight you gained during your pregnancy.