Almost as soon as the baby is born, most new mothers begin looking for a way to lose weight after pregnancy. It is a difficult time for women, often clouded with rampant emotions, new responsibilities and a changed self image that can feel somewhat defeating. The honest truth about losing weight after pregnancy is that it isn’t going to happen over night. Just like it took 9 months to gain the weight, it will take some time, patience and diligent attention to get rid of it. The upside is that gaining weight is not the end of the world, is totally natural with child bearing and can be an eye opening experience to having realistic expectations of a woman’s ever changing bodies.
It is baffling that at a post natal visit most OBGYN’s feel that there is a need to actually weigh the mother. Certainly there must be some medical explanation, however it almost feels cruel. If you are already concerned about your weight gain it might be a good idea to refuse the scale at your post natal. Many women expect that a week or ten days after having a baby they will be able to fit into their pre-baby clothes and feel disappointed when they don’t. There are some that do; but the vast majority does not. Be patient, relax and try not to focus too much on your size and weight. Expert advice says to go out and buy yourself some comfortable, attractive clothes that fit the body you have at the time so you can at least feel presentable and pretty. You will be losing weight after pregnancy in increments so it is wise to not purchase too many clothes in one size as each week you will likely be shrinking.
Once you feel healed and have some renewed energy take the time to enjoy not being pregnant. Thousands of women feel remorseful after having a baby and secretly wish that they were still carrying their child. After all things are much easier when they baby lives inside our womb. Think back to the aches, pains and nuisances that pregnancy may have brought you and delight in the fact that you once again own your body. You can run wild, bounce on a trampoline, drink a glass of wine, and go skiing, dip in a hot tub and all those other activities that were restricted while you were pregnant. Getting back in touch with the autonomy of your body will no doubt reconnect you to your physical body and make you feel like much more than just a ‘baby carrier.’ This reconnection can renew your sexuality, give you freedom, cause sheer gratitude for what you just accomplished and most importantly motivate you to take control of how you look.
After pregnancy is a time when many women get motivated to be more health conscious. They may join a gym or start a healthy diet program. They may start adding healthy habits like walking or drinking more water into their lives. Birth is a new beginning and the birth of your baby is a new beginning for you as well. One of the best parts about this newfound energy and motivation is that you are bound to see results. Losing weight after pregnancy happens more consistently for most women and each week you will be able to delight in your shrinking physique.
Doctors usually maintain the recommendation of only losing 2-3 pounds per week in order to be more apt to keep the weight off, but most women find that in the first few weeks they can lose anywhere from 5-10 pounds per week. This is largely in part to the loss of fluids and the balancing out of hormonal fluctuations. Regardless of why, relish in these successes. Lots of women feel that nursing their baby helped their body to bounce back more quickly and others feel that nursing had them retaining more water. Either way, nursing is a healthy way to streamline your hormones, uterus and to give your baby the nourishment it needs. When you are nursing it is important to keep taking prenatal vitamins and to ensure that you are eating enough calories and drinking enough fluids to maintain adequate milk production and keep your self healthy. It is not recommended to diet per se however you can ensure that you are eating high fiber, low calorie, healthy foods that provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals you need.
Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you have to stay in the house. There are plenty of options for new mothers to incorporate exercise into their new life. Walking with your baby in a stroller, joining new mothers groups that get you outside and moving, taking a baby and me or yoga class will go miles to get your baby back in shape. If the weather is cold and drab invest in a treadmill or exercise bike that you can use while your baby naps (which will happen a lot). Exercising without pressure or stress to perform will not only help you lose weight, but it will give you more energy, improve your heart, reduce stress and wholly make you feel better. Taking care of your self now is more important than ever!Losing weight after pregnancy can feel like a daunting and depressing task. The key is to understand that no one expects you to look just like you did before you got pregnant. The number on the scale should be used as a guide but not as the only distinguisher to the state of your body. Many changes in shape take place and there is always the chance that a woman will never fit back into her pre-pregnancy clothes. As a mother, it is important to not only be realistic but adjust views on weight and health so that they can be inclusive of the body you have now. Losing the weight will come in its natural course and as long as you are making strides to eat healthy the number on the scale will easily shift. Give your self a year to get back together and along the way relish in the changes you are making not just to your body, but to your life style as well. Losing weight after pregnancy should not be your main focus but you should make every effort to improve your health. Normally, improving our health naturally causes us to lose weight and get in shape! When it’s all said and done, the extra 10 pounds will be well worth the prize!