Pregnancy changes a woman in many ways. Aside from experiencing the emotional challenges of growing a tiny person in her womb for 9 months, she will undergo physical changes in her body that may last for a while, sometimes forever. And while she sees these as but small sacrifices of motherhood, she will do anything to get her body back in shape.
What can a woman do to lose weight after pregnancy?
1. Eat Right during Pregnancy
Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can pig out for 9 months. Don’t take the phrase ‘eating for two’ way too far. According to experts, pregnant women should gain just about 15 to 35 pounds (or 6 to 15 kilograms) in the course of her pregnancy. She should also avoid too much fatty foods and sweets and get healthy alternatives for her cravings like fruits and vegetables.
Studies have found that mothers who eat too much during pregnancy increase the risk of low IQ, eating disorders and psychosis in children. It’s okay to indulge in your cravings but it’s better to exercise caution and listen to your body and know when it’s too much.
2. Give Your Body Time to Recuperate
Is it realistic or healthy to slim down right after pregnancy? The answer a big NO. Experts are strictly against diet programs or heavy exercise during post-pregnancy. Remember that your body is still in healing stage and you don’t want to rush things. You should give your body enough time to recuperate and restore normal processes. The healing stage can take up to 12 weeks or more, during this stage it’s important to avoid cutting calories and going into heavy exercises to lose weight.
Breastfeeding helps you shed some extra pounds that you may have gained during pregnancy. Babies who have been breastfed also tend to be healthier than those who haven’t. Since breastfeeding can make you lose about 300-500 calories a day, it’s quite important to eat extra calories during your breastfeeding period to maintain an appropriate and healthy diet.
However, just because you are breastfeeding doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. The best way to keep your weight in control is to have proper diet every day.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
Babies have strange sleep cycles which make them oblivious to differences between day and night. They will doze off at odd times and become fully awake at the wee hours of the night. Sometimes they will sleep in short intervals ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Because of this, a new mom may find it hard to rest. Not having proper sleep can upset your metabolism, making it twice harder to lose weight.
If you don’t have someone to take turns with you caring for the baby while you sleep, you can sleep at the same time your baby is sleeping. Even if your baby wakes up for short intervals, idle resting is a good way to keep your energy high throughout the day.
5. Do Post-Natal Exercise
Want to get back your toned abs and perfect waist? A good post-natal exercise can help you return to your pre-pregnancy body weight faster. Post-natal exercises are usually simple exercises such as walking, water aerobics (after your bleeding has stopped) and light weight programs. It will also reduce back pain, leg cramps, constipation and improve your sleep. Exercise is also a good activity to improve your mood and cope with the various challenges of motherhood. While mommy makeovers or post-pregnancy surgeries can promise a much faster shaping of your body, a good post-natal exercise can reward you well in the long run.
Examples of Post-Natal Exercises
- Pelvic tilts
- Bridge Exercises
- Pilates and Yoga
- Aerobic exercises such as running, biking, swimming
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