After birth, many new mothers worry about the shape of their body and want to get back to the shape that they were in before the birth of their new child. However, there is no quick fix for losing the excess baby weight! Remember the standard rule – nine months on and nine months off. Losing weight too quickly can be dangerous to your health and can actually stop you from enjoying your new child to the fullest.
One of the things that you should not do after childbirth is to go on a diet. It is important to keep up good nutrition for energy and breastfeeding. In fact, doctors advise breastfeeding mothers to eat an extra 300 to 500 calories per day. It is interesting to note that breastfeeding mothers will lose their baby weight faster and more efficiently than those who do not breastfeed. A good diet does not have to be complicated – cutting out junk food and sugar and eating plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins, will ensure that the weight will come off naturally. However, don’t be too strict with yourself. It is perfectly acceptable to have the occasional treat! Also be careful not to overeat due to stress and tiredness or you may find that you have actually put weight on a year or so down the track.
You may find that you have bowel problems after giving birth. Drinking fluids and eat fibre rich foods can help to alleviate this. Good foods include whole grain foods, fruits, lentils, legumes, and vegetables.
While exercise is an essential part of losing the post-baby bulge, it is important that you do not start a new exercise regime without the permission of your doctor. Gentle exercise can generally be started six weeks after the baby’s born. If you have a caesarean, you may be advised to wait for a longer period.
Of course, you may not feel like exercising with a new baby, but simply pushing the baby in the stroller for half an hour a few times a week can go a long way towards weight loss. You could also opt to go for walks holding your baby in a carrier, or to do exercise videos at home. Swimming, yoga, cycling, pilates and the gym are also options but remember that your body is still recovering so it is important not to push yourself too hard.
Many women wish that they could get their flat stomach back after pregnancy and this can be achieved by doing some gentle abdominal toning exercises. Be sure to speak to your doctor before being any exercise that involves the stomach. You may also find that your pelvic floor muscles are somewhat weaker than they were before. Doing pelvic floor exercises can help restore tone to these muscles.