The after delivery diet or the post pregnancy diet is important for many reasons: it will help you get back into shape and lose the weight that was gained during your pregnancy.
It will also give you the vim and vigor you need for all the extra stuff that needs doing now that there is a new baby to look after.
A good and healthy post pregnancy diet is also important for lactation and providing proper nourishment to the new born.
Here are some tips to shed the extra pounds and to regain health and fitness soon after the delivery:
1. Breastfeed – It is a well established fact that women who breastfeed get back their pre-pregnancy weight and shape (or at least close to it) quicker than women who do not.
So make sure you breast feed exclusively for the first six months of baby’s life.
Baby doesn’t need anything else, and this means that you are using up several hundred calories a day without even moving a muscle.
2. Look for nutrient rich, low calorie food – If you’re heard that you need to drink a lot of full fat milk as part of the post pregnancy diet to produce abundant milk and to make sure that baby puts on weight as well, you have heard wrong.
The best thing for baby and mother is for a mother to eat a nutritious balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fatty fish, eggs and low fat dairy products.
The body takes time to heal and recover from pregnancy and childbirth and this is not the time for dieting or severe calorie restriction, even if you’re not breastfeeding.
3. Avoid very spicy and gas causing food in your post pregnancy diet – Not only because it will cause discomfort to the mother, but also because many women find that what they eat reaches the baby through the breast milk and causes colic and other discomfort.
4. Supplement a healthy diet with proper exercise – Even the healthiest post pregnancy diet will not give you optimum results if it isn’t properly supplemented by an effective exercise plan. Making sure that you exercise as well as eat healthy to achieve slow and steady is the best thing to do and it will also ensure that you retain lean muscle while losing fat.
5. Don’t rush it – There is no need to try and lose weight fast. There is already quite a bit of weight that is lost during childbirth. The baby and the placenta coming out, mean that you’ve already made a start on losing the weight. Don’t aim to lose more than a pound a week and ideally, try and reach your pre-pregnancy weight by the time baby is 6 months old.
6. Understand that your body will be different – No matter how healthy your post pregnancy diet, and how hard you try, your body will be a little different from before. If your hips are somewhat wider and the breasts a little less high than before, this is OK. Learn to embrace and love your new mother’s body.