Pregnancy and childbirth are among the most treasured moments of a woman’s life. But after giving birth, most women get so busy with the baby that they forget to notice the changes in their body size and looks. There are many, who start crash dieting, once they realize that there is no significant decrease in their body weight or appearance, even after childbirth. This is not at all advisable, unless you are guided by expert dietitians and nutritionists. It is always better to be patient and achieve your goal, through healthy methods. It may take some time, but don’t lose heart, you can make it happen with determination and willpower.
Some women are lucky, as they lose weight naturally, within two to three months of childbirth. But this does not happen to everyone, who may find it difficult to lose weight after pregnancy. So once you make up your mind to lose weight and achieve the pre-pregnancy body weight, then you must make consistent efforts to reach the goal.
Breastfeeding and Weight Loss After Pregnancy
The relation between breastfeeding and postpartum weight loss is one of the much-debated topics. However, breastfeeding is said to cause weight loss after childbirth. This has been proved by various studies. It is said that breastfeeding burns calories (around 500 calories a day) and may lead to weight loss. You can continue breastfeeding the baby, as long as you deem fit. Studies show that breastfeeding for six months and more is beneficial for losing pregnancy weight. But, this does not mean that breastfeeding alone will be sufficient for losing weight.
You must reduce your calorie intake and exercise regularly. Breastfeeding is also good for shrinking of the uterus, after childbirth. If you are really keen on postpartum weight loss, then get enough sleep. Deprivation of sleep is one of the causes for women retaining their pregnancy weight. Another golden rule is to reduce stress, which can cause release of hormones like cortisol that can result in weight gain.
Exercise for Postpartum Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight after giving birth, exercise is a must. However, you cannot start exercising soon after childbirth. You must wait for some time to regain your health. After that, start with simple exercises and gradually incorporate the strenuous ones. It is said that those who have had normal vaginal delivery may start with simple exercises, after two to three weeks of childbirth, whereas those who have undergone C-section must wait for at least three months for the same. This is only a general view and you must seek the opinion of your doctor, before starting exercising. If you can, contact a postpartum exercise specialist, who can guide you in this matter. Otherwise try gentle yoga poses, kegel exercises, pelvic tilts, leg slides and walking, as and when your doctor permits. Apart from helping you in losing weight after pregnancy, exercising is also beneficial for warding of postpartum depression and for relieving stress.
Diet Changes After Pregnancy
Diet control is one of the ways to lose weight. However, crash dieting right after childbirth is not at all advisable. You must have nutritious food after giving birth, for faster healing and recovery. Controlling the diet during this time may adversely affect the milk supply in nursing mothers. Another negative effect is the release of toxins (from the stored fat), into the bloodstream. So, wait at least for a couple of months, before you start controlling your calorie intake, so as to lose weight after pregnancy. It will be better to seek the advice of your doctor, before doing so. You may adopt a diet which is high in nutrition, but low in fat and calories. It is said that nursing mothers need a minimum of 2000 calories per day. Never skip meals, especially breakfast. You may eat frequent smaller meals rather than three heavy ones. Include milk, yogurt, lean meat, fish, lots of fruits, whole grains and vegetables in your diet and start simple exercises. A fiber-rich diet is good to make you feel ‘full’ and thus hinder the cravings for fatty food. Drink at least eight to ten glasses of fluids, daily. Avoid foods high in sugar content and junk food. Keep in mind that losing more than 1.5 pounds a week is considered unhealthy.
If you are a nursing mother, in search of the best ways to lose weight after pregnancy, then you have to understand that there is no single method, which can help you in this task. You have to incorporate many factors, like diet control, exercise and lifestyle changes for losing weight after pregnancy. But don’t overdo things, as that will affect you negatively. While crash diets are not good for the health of nursing moms and babies, strenuous exercises can also produce ill-effects. So it is always better to consult a dietitian and qualified trainer for a perfect diet and an exercise program.