It is a concern for any health conscious woman that she formulates a plan for postpartum weight loss to try and get back, more or less her pre-pregnancy figure which had been altered so vastly by her pregnancy.
This is important for good physical and mental health and also to help with specific pregnancy related ailments.
Any woman interested in postpartum weight loss can set herself the following goals:
1. Keep expectations reasonable – If you gained a lot of weight in pregnancy it will obviously take longer to come off. So set a target for weight loss based on the amount of weight gained in pregnancy. If you gained a lot of weight it may take up to a year to get back into your close fitting jeans from before.
However if you gained only the required amount of weight you can aim to get into those jeans by the time your baby is 6 months old. Ideally, the aim of postpartum weight loss should be to lose less than a pound a week.
2.Start when you feel up to exercising – This could be just a few days after a vaginal delivery or about 6 weeks after a C section. To begin with, your aim should be just to get active rather than to actually lose weight.
3.Don’t overdo it – Not only do you want to give your body time to heal you also don’t want to risk an injury because of the loose ligaments and muscles that are still in the process of getting back to normal.
4.Breastfeed – This will help with postpartum weight loss because you are expending hundreds of calories a day simply by nourishing your baby.
Breastfeeding also helps shrink the uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size, which will help the abdomen become flatter sooner.
5.Determine to eat healthy – A healthy diet is a part of any weight loss program. However dieting and calorie restriction is not a good idea when breastfeeding.
Instead, choose to eat nutrient dense, low calorie foods that are low in fat, salt and sugar.
6.Stick to the plan – It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the new responsibilities that a new baby brings, but try and stick to your postpartum weight loss goals including healthy eating consisting of lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and fish.
7.Find the time – Prioritize exercising and being active each day. If you cannot find the time to exercise any other way, get into the habit of going for a walk with baby in a stroller. Get a good quality stroller; preferably one that you can use even while jogging.
8.Pick an activity that you enjoy – The weight loss will be easier if you’re doing something that you like. If you enjoy swimming, clear it with your doctor and do so by all means.
Pick any activity that you enjoy because you are more likely to continue doing it and reach your postpartum weight loss goals. Just be sure that there is no medical reason why you shouldn’t being doing anything in particular.