There are many health benefits in returning to a healthy weight after delivery, especially for moms who intend to have more children shortly.
Like many new moms, the beautiful moments of snuggling your little one may come with a roller coaster of emotions about the changes in your own body. However, it is important to note that such changes as weight gain, skin discoloration, protruded belly, and stretch marks are evidence of the great job you did in bringing forth a new human.
Many women tend to retain 1-2 kg of their pregnancy weight after delivery. While that may not be much, having more children may lead to more weight gain that could add up to pose some threat to your health and general wellness.
According to experts, the right approach to staying in your healthy weight after delivery are:
- Maintain healthy weight gain in pregnancy.
- Breastfeeding your little one(s).
- Adopt proper diet.
- Engage in adequate physical activities.
Maintain Healthy weight Gain In Pregnancy
It is important to start your pregnancy journey at a healthy weight for your age and height. This is determined with the BMI calculator. Moms who started at a healthy weight with one baby, are expected to gain about 25-35 pounds in their pregnancy according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC.
More often than not, a lot of women assume they have to eat for two while pregnant, thereby eating more than required and gaining more weight. Gaining less weight than recommended is also unhealthy, as it poses the risk of complications for you and your baby, just as unhealthy weight gain.
Statistics show that about 48% 0f pregnant women gain more weight than recommended in the course of their pregnancy, hence the need to shed some pounds after delivery.
Weight gain happens when you eat more calories than you need for your daily activities. For you to lose weight, a calory deficit needs to be created by either eating less or spending more calories.
Breastfeeding your little one(s) is one sure way to increase your calory expenditure and help you burn some fat. The required calory intake for breastfeeding moms is about 2,300-2,500 per day. Eating less than this will force your body to use some stored energy, ultimately leading to weight loss.
This boils down to the same calory deficit. Eating foods that are rich in nutrients, with moderate calories should be your goal. Your meals should be rich in fruits and vegetables while minimizing junk and dense carbohydrate foods.
Foods to choose from includes;
- Lean meat
- Whole wheat meal
- Healthy snacks
- Water and other zero calory drinks.
Engaging in physical activities is another way to burn calories and lose weight. However, you will need to get certified by your doctor, before engaging in any vigorous exercise after childbirth. It is recommended to ease into light exercise first. Get to understand how much you can take, to avoid any harm or injury to your recuperating body.
Some moderate exercises you can engage in include:
- Brisk walking
- Easy jogging
- Swimming and
- House chores. These should last for at least 30 minutes a day, or 5 hours a week, to pass for moderate exercises.
Gradually, you can take up more strenuous exercises such as;
- Rope skipping
- Jumping jacks
- French crunches
- Mountain climber
- Sit ups
- Weight lifting.
Here are some tips that help with weight loss
- Eat more of soluble fibre to help you stay full.
- Take enough water to stay hydrated
- Get enough sleep
- Ask for help when you need one, taking care of a new baby can be overwhelming.
- Keep healthy snacks handy.
- Always prepare your meals before you get very hungry. That way, you would not have to eat just any available thing.
Healthy weight loss does not happen overnight. Remember your weight gain happened over nine good months, be patient with your body and trust the process. You will get there in no time.