For most women, having a baby is worth having the extra 25 plus pounds on your body. But that doesn’t mean that you necessarily want all those additional pounds on your body.
Weight loss after pregnancy is definitely a goal, but don’t rush into it. After labor and delivery, your baby needs time to heal and recover. As a rule of thumb, healthcare providers recommend that it’s best to wait until your postpartum check-up before starting to actively lose your pregnancy weight.
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, women can begin an exercise program as soon as they feel up to it, but it’s recommended that they speak to their doctor beforehand. Exercising after pregnancy can enhance your physical well-being and even help with your postpartum mood swings.
For a healthy postpartum weight loss, it’s important for you to realize that you will never regain your former pre-pregnancy body. Pregnancy often causes permanent changes to your body, including a bigger waistline, hips that are slightly wider than before, and a softer belly. Keep this in mind, so you can adjust your weight loss goal to be realistic.
Set Realistic Goals for Postpartum Weight Loss
As you are working on losing all those extra pregnancy pounds, keep in mind that it will take you awhile to lose all your pregnancy pounds. For many women, it often takes six months or more before they return to their pre-pregnancy weight.
Healthy Diet and Regular Exercise is Key
When you are ready to begin your weight loss journey, you should keep in mind that there’s no magic pill that will help you quickly lose those pregnancy pounds. Weight loss after pregnancy is hard work, and it takes a healthy, balanced diet that is combined with regular workouts to help you shed those unwanted pounds.
Don’t Lose Weight Too Fast
If you are breastfeeding, you require at least 1,800 calories daily to provide a good, healthy milk supply for your baby. For this reason, it’s important that you do not go on a very strict diet. When a breastfeeding mother loses weight too quickly, this can release unhealthy toxins into her body, which can be passed into her milk supply and affect her nursing baby. In addition, losing weight too fast can also decrease your milk supply.
Losing up to 1.5 pounds each week is considered safe, and it will not negatively affect your milk supply. To achieve this with dietary changes, you just need to decrease your daily caloric intake by 500 calories. You can also burn off these 500 calories through exercise.
Dietary Changes for Postpartum Weight Loss
After you have a baby, you must reevaluate your eating habits. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is still important, especially for mothers who are nursing their infants. Making wise dietary decisions can also help achieve a healthy weight loss after your baby arrives.
When planning your meals, surround yourself with healthy sources of food, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats and protein. Keep all junk food out of the house. You want to resist any temptation that you can. To maximize your chance of successful weight loss, you should also eat smaller portions. Make sure that you eat only when you are hungry. Don’t eat because you are stressed or worried. This is detrimental to a healthy weight loss after pregnancy.
DP Nguyen is a women’s health writer who writes for Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy, and Babies – a mom blog that focuses on educating expectant and new parents about women’s health, pregnancy, babies.