“Getting rid of excess weight after pregnancy takes a lot of effort and time, but it’s still worth the sacrifice. To achieve this, place more focus on eating healthy foods while staying fit with your daily physical activities”.
During pregnancy, everything around you smells and looks all maternity. From the scent to the extra weight gain. Well, that’s one of the roads to motherhood I guess. But after childbirth, it’s important to attain that “peng” shape once more. There’s a 100% probability of achieving this you know.
In this blog today, we’ll take you through the smart ways in which you can approach weight after pregnancy and live a healthy life. With these tips, you’ll be able to get rid of that maternity gown filled with fats without endangering your life in any way. But before that, let’s have a look at what baby weight is and what causes the excess weight gain after delivery.
What is Baby Weight?
Baby weight is said to be an excess weight gain during pregnancy. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women in a healthy weight range carrying a single baby gain between 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. This figure isn’t the same for expectant mothers who are overweight, underweight or carrying more than one baby.
In addition, research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology even shows that weight gain during pregnancy consists of:
- The baby
- The placenta
- The amniotic fluid
- Breast tissue
- Enlargement of the uterus
- Extra fat stores
Almost half of all expectant mothers gain more weight than the normal amount of weight gain during pregnancy.
What are the Consequences of Storing Up Excess Weight after Pregnancy?
After pregnancy, you don’t need the excess fat that comes with gestation. Some of the consequences of harbouring this fat after pregnancy include:
- You’ll have a high risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
- An increased risk of obesity
- Greater health issues for women with gestational diabetes.
How Can I Get Rid of Baby Weight?
Gaining weight is a lot easier than shedding them off. Guess that’s what most people think. Well, if you’re concerned about getting rid of that baby weight that lingers after pregnancy, here are some tips for achieving this.
6 Tips to Reducing Overweight and Obesity After Delivery
Breastfeeding is the most important duties of a mother. Even WHO, CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend breastfeeding as it benefits both the mother and child. The main benefits of breastfeeding your baby during the first 6 months after delivery include:
- Provides nutrition for the baby: According to WHO, breast milk is packed with all essential nutrients needed by the baby for survival during the first 6 months of life.
- Breast milk also helps in supporting the baby’s immune system as it’s packed with essential antibodies that fight viruses and harmful bacteria.
- When compared with other infants, it was noticed that breastfed infants had a lower risk of obesity, asthma, type 1 diabetes, ear infections, sudden infant death syndrome, and respiratory disease amongst others.
- Breastfeeding also benefits the mother as it lowers her risk of diseases. She’ll have a lower risk of high blood pressure as well as type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Now, talking about the link between breastfeeding and weight loss, research postulates that breastfeeding supports postpartum weight loss. During your first three months of breastfeeding, there may be no signs of weight loss as you may even experience some weight gain. This is because of an increased calorie needs of the body and a lack of physical activities during this period.
Exercise has various benefits to your overall health as well as fostering weight loss. CDC reveals that exercise boosts good health of the heart, as well as reduces the risks and effects of diabetes and other forms of cancer. Exercise alone won’t get the job done, you’ll need good nutrition too. To prove this, an experiment was carried out and the results showed that people who had good nutrition with exercise lost about 3.7 pounds more than those that just ate without exercise.
Simple cardio like walking, running, jogging and cycling helps to get rid of calories and has other health benefits. Starting exercise after delivery depends on the mode of delivery. If there were complications during childbirth, let’s say you delivered through CS, your pelvic, stomach and groin need much time to heal. Just contact your healthcare professional on the perfect timing to start exercising. When you get the approval, indulge in an activity you enjoy. Something you can keep on doing even when you attain a healthy weight.
Avoid alcohol consumption
Alcohol gives extra calories to the body which leads to much fat being stored around the organs known as belly fat. There isn’t any safe level of alcohol for infants. Breastfeeding mothers are advised not to drink alcohol at all. When you want to celebrate your child’s birth or any other occasion, it’s recommended you opt for a drink that’s low in sugar and bubbly like the unsweetened flavoured sparkling water.
Eat Foods High In Fiber
To get rid of that extra weight, guess it’s time to make an addition of healthy grains and veggies to your shopping list. This might sound complicated because since it’s the weight you want to lose, why stack up grains and veggies? Well, do you know that soluble fibre foods can make you feel fuller for a longer time? It does this by slowing down the rate of digestion while reducing hunger hormone levels. By providing this feel, you tend to reduce the rate at which you consume unnecessary foods, thereby reducing your level of calorie intake.
Stay Away from Refined Carbs and Added Sugar
With all the sweetness and temptation it brings, it may interest you to know that sugar and refined carbs are very high in calories and lack essential nutrients. It’s more like directly consuming more calories into the system.
Research even relates the high intake of added sugar and refined carbs to a high risk of obesity, diabetes, cognitive decline, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. If you plan on getting rid of the excess baby weight after pregnancy, this is one thing you should always consider.
When shopping at the grocery store, try to read the labels of the products you want to buy. Try to avoid products with sugar as the top ingredient. You can however reduce your level of sugar intake by avoiding processed foods and opting for whole foods like legumes, fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, fish, nuts and yoghurt. In all these, make sure you stay hydrated at all times.
Get Proper Sleep
As a mother who just delivered, your baby will need you around at all times, if they can have you for the whole 24hrs, they don’t mind. But proper sleep is also important as it benefits not just your brain, but also helps in weight loss. Lack of sleep affects your weight negatively as it is the main factor leading to retaining more weight after delivery.
Though this might be a tough one as a new mother, you can however incorporate various strategies like asking for help from family members, and also staying off caffeinated drinks. Remember that your baby needs you to stay healthy so you can take proper care of him. So, go get that quality sleep you’ve been lacking for days.
Accumulating some extra weight after pregnancy is natural, so there’s no need to be sad about it. Your body did an amazing job for 9 months. But you can’t just accept the new weight and do nothing about it. You need to get back to a healthy weight range for the sake of your health and future pregnancies. Staying healthy gives you more time to spend with your baby, watching them grow and achieve greater things. So, to get rid of some pounds after pregnancy, you’ll need to opt for a healthy diet while constantly breastfeeding your baby. Don’t forget to stay active physically through exercises too.