Losing the baby weight
Losing Baby Weight
The sheer excitement and exhilaration of welcoming a new born baby is a feeling that mums cherish forever. Something we however definitely do not cherish is the pregnancy weight. Losing the baby weight is a challenge to many mums. Dropping those extra kilos takes time, especially when you’re caring for a new baby and getting adjusted to a new schedule. So don’t be hard on yourself. Here are the three best, healthiest ways to lose that baby weight and get back into shape.
Start exercising as soon as you can. Many moons ago, doctors liked to keep women physically restricted after delivery, but this no longer holds true. Short 10 to 20 minute walks once you are home from hospital are very good for you. The same goes for Caesarean section moms who are not on painkillers. More formal workouts can be considered after six weeks, which would give your body enough time to heal after delivery. Exercising will also lower your risk for both postpartum depressions and obesity.
Eat good food, because believe it or not, you are still eating for two… you need energy to care for your baby and yourself. It is interesting to note that what a breastfeeding mum eats can affect the baby’s food preferences (eat carrots and the baby is more likely to enjoy them too). Also results from a study in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity found that when the mum ate healthy food, she became a better role model for her children, who were in turn less picky at mealtimes and showed more interest in eating.
As a new mum, when you are worried or helpless, your body reacts by releasing cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones) into your bloodstream. When in physical danger, these hormones give you the strength to run from enemies (fight or flight response). But if the stress is in response to frequent emotional demands, as is the case with new mums, these hormones build up and cause lethargy, passivity, irritability and weight retention or gain. High levels of cortisol make you crave fatty, sweet, salty, crunchy foods, so if you have a few stress busters in mind, try them out – you might find you have more energy to care for the baby and feel better emotionally after. The most common and generally approved stress busters are exercising, such as walking, yoga, dancing, stretching to name a few; relaxing by taking a hot shower or bath (or a visit to the spa for a massage); personal computer time, where you can catch up on emails, facebook and the like); enjoying some quiet time reading over a cup of tea.
New mums, please remember, even mothers are bound to the standard rules of weight loss: less calories in than out. Remember it took you nine months to gain the weight, and losing it will likely be just as challenging as it was before you began to gain the pregnancy pounds. So no matter how long it takes you to lose the weight, try not to get frustrated. Keep motivated by reminding yourself that you have created a fabulous human being who adores you.