Pregnancy and childbirth are undoubtedly the most rewarding experiences for a woman. However, it often comes with an unwanted side effect – post-partum weight gain. The body’s natural reaction to the need to store additional fat in order to nurture the unborn child and be ready for nursing is weight increase. Although it might be difficult, losing weight is not insurmountable. These are six things to know regarding weight reduction following pregnancy.
Weight Loss Is Gradual
It took nine months to put on the weight, so it’s unrealistic to expect to lose it all in a few weeks. Losing weight gradually is not only safer, but also more sustainable. A healthy rate of weight loss is about 0.5-1kg per week. It’s important to note that losing weight too quickly can have adverse effects on both the mother’s and the baby’s health.
Breastfeeding Can Help With Postpartum Weight Loss
Breastfeeding is not only beneficial for the baby’s health but also for the mother’s weight loss journey. Breastfeeding helps the body burn extra calories, which can aid in postpartum weight loss. A lactating woman can burn an additional 500 calories per day, which is equivalent to a moderate workout.
Moreover, breastfeeding triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size. Oxytocin causes the uterus to contract, which reduces its size and helps it return to its pre-pregnancy shape. It’s important to note that the extent of weight loss depends on various factors, such as the mother’s diet, exercise routine, and genetics. Nonetheless, breastfeeding can provide a significant advantage in the postpartum weight loss journey.
Dieting Is Key, But So Is Getting a Variety of Nutrients
Dieting is an essential aspect of post-pregnancy weight loss, but it’s crucial to maintain a balanced and nutrient-rich diet. Cutting down on calories can lead to weight loss, but it’s equally important to ensure that the body receives all the necessary nutrients to recover from childbirth and support breastfeeding. A well-balanced diet should include a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Additionally, breastfeeding mothers require more nutrients than usual to support milk production and meet their body’s demands. For instance, breastfeeding mothers require more calcium, iron, and protein than non-breastfeeding women. A well-planned and nutrient-rich diet combined with a moderate exercise routine can help achieve post-pregnancy weight loss goals while supporting overall health and well-being.
Exercise Is Important, But So Is Moderation
Exercise is essential for postpartum weight loss, but it’s crucial to start slowly and gradually build up the intensity. Walking, yoga, and low-impact exercises are great ways to start. As your body heals and recovers, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. It’s also important to listen to your body and take rest days when needed.
Lack Of Sleep Can Set You Back
Lack of sleep is common for new moms, but it can hinder your weight loss progress. Sleep deprivation affects your body’s ability to regulate hormones that control appetite, cravings, and metabolism. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body craves high-fat and high-sugar foods, which can lead to weight gain. It’s important to prioritize sleep and take naps when possible.
A Support Network Will Help You Through The Ups and Downs
Losing weight after pregnancy can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. Having a support network can make a significant difference in your weight loss journey. Surround yourself with friends and family who are supportive and understanding. Consider joining a support group or seeking the guidance of a healthcare professional who specializes in postpartum weight loss.