Reclaiming your body after childbirth can be challenging because this is a time when you are trying to learn a lot of things. Whether it is your first baby or not, every baby is different and a mother has to figure out new things with every child. This is a time as a mother you feel it is time to finally rest after the long 9 months of the pregnancy journey. Between trying to heal your body from childbirth, whether it was virginal delivery or caesarian section (CS), your body will need time to heal, and keeping up with the newborn needs, feeding, and bonding, as a mother it might feel overwhelming. However, you still need to take care of yourself to be able to eventually continue with your life before pregnancy, besides being a mother.
One of the ways of taking care of yourself as a new mom is losing the baby weight and having the body you desire. Baby weight is the weight a pregnant woman gains during pregnancy as a result of the baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, breast tissue, uterus enlargement, and extra fats stored for energy reserved for birth and breastfeeding. During the entire pregnancy journey, most women gain between 10 to 16 Kgs around half of this weight is lost during childbirth. Depending on various factors, half of the remaining weight is lost within the first 6 weeks post-partum and the rest of the weight can be lost during the following 6-12 months when following a proper diet and physical activities. However, this is not always the case; most women find themselves struggling with weight loss after pregnancy even years after childbirth. This article will discuss some realistic weight loss tips after pregnancy to help you shed the baby weight within the first 6 to 12 months.
As earlier mentioned, you should first give your body time to heal before embarking on a weight loss journey after pregnancy. Within the first 6 weeks, you should only focus on eating healthily and resting enough. If you are breastfeeding, make sure to take enough fluids and healthy diets such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein to establish a constant milk flow. Most people make the mistake of eating too much because they think that’s what produces enough milk, taking fluids gives you a steady breast milk flow and also keeps you away from gaining more weight. After the 6 weeks make sure your doctor clears you to start light exercises. However, you can still be physically active within the 6 weeks because exercising and being physically active are very different. You can just walk around the house, take short walks within your block, and do other light chores within the house.
Breastfeeding makes your body burn calories which help in weight loss. This is one of the natural ways of losing weight after childbirth. If you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first 6 months or the period, you are able to maintain a healthy diet you will surprise yourself at how much weight you can lose by just breastfeeding.
Yes, you read that right. If you establish and maintain a healthy eating habits you will lose weight without starving yourself or your baby. Weight loss after childbirth is different from the normal weight loss journey because you are limited in the ways you can use it. To start with, your body will need the food and energy to recover from child birth and to produce breast milk if you are breastfeeding. Some of the healthy eating habits to help you lose weight after childbirth include;
DO NOT take up crash diets, such as Intermittent fasting, one meal a day, Keto, or any other diet that limits the amount of food or types of food you take. These are quick fixes that will eventually see you gain back the weight after you resume your normal diet. Most of these quick fixes lead to loss of muscle instead of weight which might lead to a weaker body. And to be honest your need a strong body to take care of yourself and your baby.
Pregnancy is a life-changing experience that causes permanent changes in your body. Whereas it is possible to go back to your pre-pregnancy body, keep in mind that something might not be entirely the same. For example, you might still have a soft belly even after weight loss, wider hips and the waistline may be a bit larger even in your pre-pregnancy weight. Align your goals to your new body to avoid frustrations, insecurities, and body consciousness. You have nine months to gain the weight and you brought a whole human being or more into the world, so losing the weight should also be gradual.
Once you are mentally and physically ready to start exercising start lightly while still listening to your body. A healthy diet combined with the right exercises will lead to fat loss and muscle gain. You can start with light exercises and physical activities before 6 months and get your body into the groove of it and continue to eat less and move more each day after weaning your baby. Starting lightly and gradually increasing your exercise intensity helps your body adjust to the exercises and therefore avoids injuries and ensures your body is healing from the inside.
In all these tips always remember to not overdo anything, not push your body so much, it had already been pushed by the pregnancy, be kind to yourself and show yourself love; you are doing more than you can imagine and you and your body deserve it. And the biggest of all tips, every body type is a great body, no matter the size, shape, or weight.
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