Dont Forget Your Kegels
Youve probably heard that Kegels are a great exercise for moms-to-be, but theyre also very important after birth. Some new moms might experience pelvic floor weakness, and Kegels are the easiest ways to relieve this issue. You can start doing your Kegels immediately after birth, even if at first you might not feel yourself doing them.
Things To Consider About Pregnancy Weight Loss
Comparing Yourself To Celebrity Moms
Ignore celebrity moms who seem to lose their baby weight overnight. They often hire trainers and chefs to help them along. Also, there’s a good chance that some of their weight loss efforts weren’t healthy.
The fix: Focus only on your own body. Don’t put pressure on yourself to look like someone else. It’s about health and what’s right for you, not keeping pace with a starlet whose life is very different than yours.
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What Is The Average Time It Takes To Lose Baby Weight After Pregnancy
Postpartum weight retention is different for everyone and also with each pregnancy.
It took 8-12 months to reach my pre-pregnancy weight after each of my three pregnancies.
And it took several months after that to feel as strong as I did prior to pregnancy.
Keep in mind that reaching your pre-pregnancy weight and fitting into your pre-pregnancy clothes is likely to be two different ball games.
Having the expectation that your clothes will fit once you reach your pre pregnancy weight is likely setting yourself up for failure.
During pregnancy, not only do we put on extra body fat but we lose some muscle mass which causes our body composition to be different and your hips may remain a little wider.
Instead of focusing strictly on the scale, judge your progress based on how your clothes fit rather than what the scale says.
Get Support From Your Partner
Its always more difficult to lose weight if youre doing it alone. Discuss your weight loss goals with your partner, get rid of unhealthy foods and snacks, and include healthier foods in both your diets.
There are also activities that can help you both unwind and exercise together, such as going for walks together – stroller in tow – each day.
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Do House Chores And Move
Sometimes, we can no longer wait for the six weeks when were finally allowed to do some exercise. If you want to get started on shedding those excess pounds but still tired to do so, you can begin by walking around your neighborhood but dont push yourself too hard.
You can slowly increase the distance every day. The important thing here isnt precisely the intensity and effectiveness of the workout.
You just need to take the first step because most mums are extremely exhausted due to lack of sleep or too many things to do.
Maintaining A Healthy Weight After Pregnancy
Pregnancy & Parenting Categories
Weight gain during pregnancy is healthy and normal, but you may feel heavy after the baby’s born.
Here’s some advice on getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight safely.
The best way to get back in shape is to focus on these three areas:
- Healthy diet – Eat a variety of healthy foods. Follow Canadas Food Guide for serving size examples.
- Exercise -Gradually start adding physical activity into your routine. Join a mom and baby fitness class or ask loved ones to help look after your baby while you enjoy some exercise. Physical activity is also an excellent way to relieve stress and feel more energetic.
- Breastfeed – Along with healthy eating and regular activity such as walking, breastfeeding will help you lose weight. Many women experience the most weight loss in the second six months of breastfeeding.
Resources & Links:
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How Much Weight Will You Need To Lose After Giving Birth
During pregnancy, women gain 25 to 35 pounds. Every woman is different, but here’s a general idea of where the weight you gained goes:
- Baby: 7.5 pounds
- Blood: 4 pounds
- Maternal fat stores: 7 pounds
You may not need to lose as much weight as you think. The good news is you’ll lose about 13 pounds as soon as you give birth. This is the combined weight of the baby, the placenta, and the amniotic fluid. Over the course of the next week after delivery, you’ll lose some more weight as you get rid of extra fluids. However, the fat you stored during pregnancy won’t go away on its own. Here are six tips for losing weight after pregnancy.
Care Tips For Pregnant Women
- During pregnancy, it is important and an opportunity to improve your lifestyle:
- Stop smoking
- Suppression of all alcoholic drinks
- Reduction of coffee consumption
- Maintain a reasonable level of physical activity.
- Prevention of infections by increased vigilance:
- Washing hands with soap before touching food, after touching raw food, before eating, after caring for children, after touching your pet, and after touching the ground.
- Eating cooked meat, fish and eggs
- Eating washed fruits and vegetables
- Careful cleaning of the work surface and kitchen tools after each use.
- Regular cleaning of the fridge where food is stored, separating raw and cooked food and checking the expiration dates of products
- Defrosting food in the fridge and not at room temperature
- Use gloves when handling pet litter.
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Eat Smart In A Restaurant
Some studies show that frequent eating out could lead to possible weight gain . It does not mean you should not eat at a restaurant. Instead, follow the same precautions that you would follow at home. Check for the ingredients in a particular dish and avoid foods that are fried, have high sugar or salt, and contain processed ingredients like refined flour. Instead, opt for fresh soups without cornstarch, fresh salads, grilled, baked, and roasted food items.
Tips To Survive Snap Back Posts On Social:
1. If you are someone who is prone to feelings of inadequacy on social media, take a digital detox after the birth of your baby for a couple of weeks to gain perspective. Stockley
2. Surround yourself with real people who you can be honest and real with and with whom you can have conversations about their own experiences and challenges at similar stages. Dr Bugembe
3. See it as a motivator. I believe everyone can get back to a shape and health that theyre proud of, but the emphasis shouldnt be on how quickly they achieve that. Post pregnancy weight loss should be sustainable with a focus on how to maintain a routine during such a new time. Rowena
4. Remember, celebrities in the public eye or influencers with personal brands built around image or wellness will often be able to call on the support of nutritionists, trainers and nannies, or have considerably more financial means or time in their schedule to devote to fitness. This makes it much easier to get back in shape quickly, compared to the average woman. Nekonam
5. Just enjoy your baby. A body that has carried, nurtured and delivered a child has done something amazing and should be celebrated and kept healthy as it recovers. Dr Bugembe
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How To Avoid Excessive Weight Gain During Pregnancy
While you are technically eating for two, it unfortunately doesnt mean you need close to twice the calories just because youre expecting. The key to not gaining too much weight during pregnancy is to keep an eye on both the scale and your diet.
As a rule, instead of just eating more, focus on eating nutritious, satisfying foods that are rich in healthy fats like nuts, legumes, fatty fish and lean meat, along with poultry and dairy. Also choose plenty of filling sources of fiber, like fresh veggies, fruits and whole grains. And try to limit your intake of empty calories found in fried and sugary foods.
Eating the right foods will give you energy and help keep morning sickness at bay. Plus a nutrient-rich diet also fuels the incredible growth your baby is doing, including the development of those tiny bones, brain, skin, eyes and digestive system.
One frequent pregnancy pitfall: juices. They may seem healthier than other sweet drinks like soda, but its easy to lose track of how much youre sipping. A few glasses can add as much as 600 calories a day of mainly sugar.
Its also quite common to crave salt and carbohydrates during the first trimester. Its fine to eat bagels and saltines in moderation if youre feeling nauseated, but regularly giving in can lead to too much weight gain. Try to get back on track with your pregnancy diet when youre feeling better in the second trimester.
When Can I Start Exercising After Birth
If you had a straightforward birth, you can start gentle exercise as soon as you feel up to it. This could include walking, gentle stretches, pelvic floor and tummy exercises.
It’s usually a good idea to wait until after your 6-week postnatal check before you start any high-impact exercise, such as aerobics or running.
If you exercised regularly before giving birth and you feel fit and well, you may be able to start earlier. Talk to your midwife, health visitor or GP.
If you had a more complicated delivery or a caesarean, your recovery time will be longer. Talk to your midwife, health visitor or GP before starting anything strenuous.
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Ask For And Accept Help
Realizing youre responsible for another human being can be scary. Newmoms struggle with anxiety over a number of things, from fear of somethinghappening to the baby to not making enough breastmilk, saysShari Lawson, M.D., medical director of general obstetrics and gynecology at Johns HopkinsBayview Medical Center. Disrupted sleep and being overtired can amplifythese feelings. The best thing you can do is accept help from your partner,family and friends even if theyre not doing things exactly the same wayyou do and then rest and recharge while someone else is caring for yourbaby.
Your Body Functions Differently
Trying to dive head first into your postpartum workout routine without fully understanding how your body has changed is a recipe for disaster.
Most moms are not aware of how pregnancy and childbirth have affected their bodysonly to be left with embarrassing and frustrating side effects such as urinary incontinence, chronic back pain and a lingering belly pooch that wont go away.
However, it is impossible to work toward your postpartum weight loss and fitness goals if you cant exercise without peeing your pants or experience chronic pain in your pelvis or back.
I personally remember being unable to walk or even squat properly for months after I was cleared to exercise. As an athlete, this was incredibly frustrating and I wish I knew then, what I know now.
What you can do
- Resume postpartum exercise the right way- Before jumping into your first workout, please take the time to learn and understand how to navigate exercise and your postpartum body so you dont set yourself back by creating more problems by doing incorrect exercises.
- Focus on healing your core and pelvic floor- If you have a lingering belly pooch that you just cant get rid of, you could have something called Diastasis Recti and many traditional ab exercises can actually make it worse. If getting a flat tummy after having a baby is your goal, then you will need to heal your core and pelvic floor correctly.
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Include Your Baby In Your Workouts
You can include your little one in many types of exercises after giving birth, which will help you bond and will make it easier for you to find the time to exercise. Try taking a walk along with their stroller or consider enrolling in mommy-and-me yoga, swimming, or aerobics classes.
These classes can also be a great place to meet other new moms who are also trying to lose baby fat!
Once your doctor gives you the green light, you can try these exercises after delivery for a flat stomach and overall weight loss:
- Pelvic tilts
If you were active before and during pregnancy, your doctor might recommend waiting a month before doing more intensive workouts, such as crossfit, cycling, running, and high intensity interval training . You can also try modified exercises that include holding your baby for a great post pregnancy ab workout.
Final Words Gaining Minimal Weight While Pregnant
Gaining weight during pregnancy can be done in a very mindful way that is not excessive.
You must take control of your body and the things you are putting into your body.
Remember you want whats best for your baby right?
Now I want to hear from you.
How much weight did you gain during your pregnancy?
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Stave Off The Snack Attacks
Mom: Maureen Cheverly, Maryland
Lost: 50 pounds in 6-7 months
Having nutritious snacks on hand helped prevent the weight I lost while breastfeeding from creeping back after I stopped. You always remember to bring food for the baby, so include something healthy for you, like a mozzarella cheese stick or half a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread. It keeps your energy up and stops you from succumbing to fast-food drive-thru when you realize you haven’t eaten all day.
Mom: Buffy Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
Lost: 30 pounds in 6 months
If I’m not hungry I don’t eat. You don’t need to have lunch just because the clock says 12 p.m. On the flip side, there will also be days when all you want to do is eat — but if you keep only low-fat and nutritious foods at home, then you won’t have to feel too guilty for snacking a bit more than normal.
Youre Eating The Wrong Foods
Sleep deprivation, breastfeeding and the stress of motherhood in general often lead us to making poor food choices.
Poor eating habits also contribute to fatigue which puts you in a vicious cycle of over eating and constant exhaustion.
It is tempting to eat more comfort type foods when you are feeling exhausted and stressed but making healthier food choices not only helps regulate energy levels but it will also help you lose weight.
Highly processed foods such as chips, candy, crackers and sodas only provide empty calories and are easy to overindulge in.
In order to lose weight, your body needs to burn more calories than it consumes. Skipping foods that only provide empty calories will help you reach your weight loss goals much faster.
What You Can Do
- Focus on proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables- These foods will help keep you feeling more satisfied, longer. They also help regulate blood sugar levels which will help improve your energy and mood.
- Meal Prep- Meal planning can feel time consuming and challenging but it is the best thing you can do to keep yourself on track. Having healthy foods on hand when hunger strikes will keep you from reaching for those empty calories. Need some recipe ideas? This book is one of my favorites!
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Breastfeed If You Can
The World Health Organization , the American Academy of Pediatrics , and the CDC all recommend breastfeeding. Breastfeeding your baby during the first 6 months of life has many benefits for both you and your baby:
- Provides nutrition: Breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby needs to grow and thrive in the first 6 months of life, according to the
- of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Additionally, research has shown that breastfeeding can support your postpartum weight loss.
However, in the first 3 months of breastfeeding, you may experience no weight loss or even some weight gain. This is due to increased calorie needs and intake, as well as reduced physical activity during lactation.
Post Pregnancy Weight Gain
Post pregnancy weight gain results from multiple factors. Our appetite increases when we are pregnant, due to the pregnancy hormone HCG entering our bloodstream, from the placenta. The HCG hormone regulates our digestion, metabolism, energy and nutrition distribution during pregnancy. We begin eating for two, but may not show excess weight gain in our bodily appearance as the fat and energy derived from the food we eat is first directed to our baby, and then to us. In fact, women are recommended to weigh a couple pounds extra during their pregnancy, as compared to their pre-pregnancy weight. The weight that we gain stays on with us, even post-childbirth. It is a mistaken assumption that this weight will fall off naturally or through breastfeeding.
On top of that, new mothers have to deal with stress, depression and in some cases, thyroid. Stress experienced by new mothers who now have their child to take care of releases cortisol into their bodies. Cortisol increases appetite and encourages fat storage in the lower abdominal area. Many mothers experience postpartum depression after pregnancy which inclines them to eat their feelings, causing further weight gain.
Sometimes, women experience symptoms of thyroid after undergoing childbirth. An under active thyroid can also worsen post pregnancy weight loss plans.
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Include Cabbage In Your Diet:
Adding the green vegetable cabbage in your diet can help you in decreasing your post-pregnancy belly fat in many ways, it is the best source of dietary fiber which improves nutrient absorption and at the same time maintains the healthy bowel movements. Also, it comes under the low-calorie vegetable which is rich in many essential vitamins such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin