It is perhaps every new mother’s wish that she could shed all pregnancy weight after childbirth and return to old self. According to one article published in U.S. National Library of Medicine, most women will lose half of their baby weight by six weeks after childbirth.
For mothers who want more children, it is even more important to lose pregnancy weight before next pregnancy as there are many possible complications associated with being an overweight pregnant woman.
Be realistic and take your time
Your body will need time to recover from childbirth. Your confinement lady, doctor, or your family members probably will not allow you to start a diet during your confinement period. If you start the diet too soon, your body will take a longer time to recover from the birth delivery.
If you breastfeed your baby, you should wait until your milk supply has established before you start on a diet. Furthermore, you should not lose weight too fast as that may decrease the breast milk supply.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking enough water will help fill up your tummy and acts as an appetite suppressant so that you will not eat as much.
Drinking water helps boost your metabolism flush out the waste inside your body. Also, drinking more water helps your body stop retaining water, leading you to drop those extra pounds of water weight.
For mothers who breastfeed, drinking sufficient water can help to ensure a good supply of breast milk.
As a rule of thumb, you may need to drink 6 to 8 cups of water each day (each cup should have about 250ml of water). If you have drunk enough fluids, your urine should be relatively clear, and you should be going to the bathroom about every three to four hours.
Get some sleep
Being a new mum, it is very had to get seven or eight straight hours of sleep as the baby may just cry for mummy once every two or three hours. But you should try to get enough sleep and avoid being sleep deprived.
In one study, new moms who slept five hours or less a night were more likely to hold onto their extra pregnancy weight than women who slept seven hours.
When you are exhausted, your body releases cortisol and other stress hormones which promote weight gain. Furthermore, when you are tired or stressful, you will be less likely to do exercises and less likely to choose healthy food. All these could slow down your weight loss process.
Try to get some sleep when your baby sleeps and assign housework to other members or your helpers.
Smaller portion and more frequent meals
First, do not ever skip meals to lose weight.
Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day instead of 3 larger meals.
Eating six small meals instead of three big ones will also mean you do not stay hungry in between. The longer you wait between meals, the hungrier you get, and then you are more likely to overeat, you are also more likely to choose food that is not healthy.
Go for superfoods
Being a new mother, your body needs maximum nutrition to help you to recover from childbirth and maximize the nutrition content of your breast milk if you are breastfeeding. That is why it is vital for you to choose food that is rich in the nutrients, but light in calories and fat.
Fish like salmon is one of these superfoods because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acid that helps your newborn develop a healthy brain and nervous system.
Other foods that are good for you include lean meat, chicken, beans, milk, and yogurt.
First, check with your doctor to know when you can get back to exercising. New mothers usually need to wait at least six to eight weeks before starting or restarting an exercise regimen.
It is good to start with easy and basic exercises such as jogging so that you do not feel too tired or do not hurt yourself in the process. Other activities you could try include walking with your baby in the stroller, swimming, aerobics, and yoga.
Baby weight training
You do not need to go to a gym to speed up your metabolism; you can use your baby to help you lose weight.
Hold the baby to your chest and do a few lunges each.
Alternatively, you can lie on your back, holding the baby above your chest, and slowly press her up toward the ceiling several times.
Does Breastfeeding help you lose weight?
When you breastfeed, you will need extra 500 calories a day. But this does not mean you are going to gain weight because breastfeeding help to burn 600 to 800 calories a day.
Although no substantial evidence has shown that breastfeeding can help a nursing mother lose weight, many nursing mothers attribute their weight loss after pregnancy to breastfeeding.
If you do breastfeed, do not use breastfeeding as an excuse to eat whatever you want. Instead, you should use it as a reason to eat wisely.
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