Now that the baby is here, you have a lot to think about and very little free time to get things done. But if among your long TO-DO list is getting rid of the extra pregnancy pounds, here are a number of things you can do to help speed the process along.
1 – Get up and move
You don’t need to run a marathon or sign up for advanced spin classes but if you’re able to fit in a daily walk around the block, do so. It is well worth the effort. Getting small to moderate amounts of exercise on a daily basis will go a long way towards helping you lose some of the extra pregnancy weight.
Many new moms make the mistake of rushing into exercise immediately after giving birth but try to resist the temptation. Instead, wait at least 6-8 weeks before attempting to do any exercise and speak to your doctor to make sure it’s safe to do so–especially if you’ve had a C-section.
Once you’ve been given the green light, start off with light exercises which includes things like walking, swimming or yoga. After a few weeks you can build up to more rigorous activities like running or cycling but always be aware of your limits and if in doubt be sure to double check with your OBGYN.
2 -Don’t diet. Focus on good nutrition instead.
Good nutrition is just as important in the months after you deliver as it was while you were pregnant. If you’re breastfeeding, you’re still your baby’s primary source of nutrition so make sure that you stick to a healthy diet of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and veggies. Eating a variety of foods will keep your baby healthy and help you lose the weight. Stocking the house with healthy snacks will stop you from feeling hungry and give you energy throughout the day. Apple slices, sliced tomatoes with feta, yoghurt, and granola are all good ideas for snacking .
3 – Breastfeeding
A little known fact is that breastfeeding may actually help you lose weight . Although there are lots of great reasons to breastfeed your baby, it’s still nice to know that doing so can help you lose a few pounds along the way.
4 – Get some sleep
Being sleep deprived can make it harder for you to lose the baby weight . In one study, new moms who slept five hours or less a night were more likely to hold onto their extra pregnancy weight than women who slept seven hours. When you’re tired, your body releases cortisol and other stress hormones that can promote weight gain .
Getting as much sleep as possible generally helps you feel more energetic, less tired and you’re a lot more likely to get some physical activity done if you don’t feel fatigued all the time.
A rule of thumb most new moms try to follow is to sleep when your baby sleeps. Taking naps whenever you can may be very helpful- at least until your baby starts sleeping through the night.
5 – Get together with new moms
Connecting with other moms for regular exercise is a great way to help tackle your weight loss. Take your baby to the park for group walks, sign up for mother and baby aquatic classes or join other activities that involve new moms who have the same goal as you -staying healthy and getting some exercise. Sometimes we all just need a little bit of motivation to get moving and it’s also a good opportunity to meet some new people, make some friends and provide encouragement to one another.
6 – Time
Most women gain about 20 pounds over the course of their pregnancy and for a lot of new moms it can take anywhere from 6-9 months to lose the majority of that weight. However, give yourself time and be patient. Even if you’re not able to lose all of your pre-pregnancy weight be sure to stick to some of the points above and you’ll get there in no time.
Gradual weight loss over several months is the safest way to lose weight, especially if you are breastfeeding. When asked how long women should take to lose their pregnancy weight, a dietician once said: “It took nine months to get there. It should take at least that long to get back to your normal weight.” The take home message here is to be patient with yourself.
1-4) WebMD. 8 Tips for Losing Weight After Pregnancy. Stephanie Watson