Now That You’ve Had the Baby: Weight Loss Tips
So you’ve gone through your much anticipated labor. You did great! Your precious little bundle is finally here. The swelling in your nose or your ankles is going down. You’re starting to get used to being a new mom, but now you want to get back to your pre-pregnancy state. Now you need to know where to even start, “What types of food should I eat?” What are some of the pitfalls you may fall into while trying to lose those extra pounds?
If you don’t know where to begin, these tips can help you with your goals and have you on the track towards “normal” in no time.
If you’re not getting enough calories, your body can go in to self-conservation mode. This is essentially when your body decides to retain weight as a protective measure to avoid starvation. It’s basically your bodies way of going in to hibernation when there’s a sudden decrease in calorie intake. It is recommended by the CDC that breastfeeding mothers consume an additional 450 to 500 calories on top of their pre-pregnancy calorie intake. So it is very important to be mindful and consume your daily recommended nutrients through your diet. Your baby will get the nutrients it needs from you if you are still breastfeeding. So this is a time you need to focus on “nutrient dense” foods to satisfy your body and not just reducing your calorie intake in order to lose weight.
Yes, it’s true what you heard. There are many studies that have proven the positive effects of breastfeeding for your infant and also on post-pregnancy weight loss. Although breastfeeding is an effective way to kickstart losing grams after childbirth, it is not an option for many postpartum mothers and that’s okay. If you were looking for a
blog entry that will shame someone for not breastfeeding or “guilt-trip” you in to following any way of life, you have come to the wrong place. With that being said, if you do breastfeed, you will have a leg up on your weight loss journey so don’t give up on that too soon. It is recommended by the CDC that breastfeeding be continued until at least 12 months of age. My advice would be to continue breastfeeding if you are already on that track and if you’re not, focus more on these next few tips that I have laid out for you.
What to Eat
Some mothers will opt to continuing their prenatal vitamins post-pregnancy to get vitamins needed post-pregnancy which is great, but it is also important to find nutrients in your diet too. Try to eat well rounded meals to ensure that you are benefiting the most from what you eat. Here are a few choice vitamins to pinpoint when choosing what to eat on your journey towards weight-loss.
Omega 3- 6-9’s
Omega 3- 6-9’s are great for well-rounded heart benefits. Omega’s can also be supplemented but having a natural form of Omega’s is more preferable. These can be found in eggs, avocado, certain nuts and fish. If mercury is a concern for you when trying to get in your Omega’s try eating fish containing lower levels of m
ercury such as salmon, shrimp cod, and sardines post pregnancy.
B + C Vitamins
Another well rounded food item you will want to consume is leafy green vegetables. Leafy greens such as spinach, bok choy, and cabbage are good sources of potassium, vitamin C and many B vitamins. Cooking these super-foods can make certain nutrients more bioavailable so don’t be afraid to steam or boil your vegetables.
You can find a good source of vitamin D in oily fish like salmon fortified foods such as milk and breakfast cereals but you should also talk to your doctor about increasing your vitamin D intake with a supplement. Especially if you are exclusively breastfeeding to ensure that your baby is receiving enough of the vitamin. Vitamin D is essential for bone health but it also converts to a hormone, and regulating hormones is essential for moms after childbirth.
P.S. If you have another child at home, try to have food designated just for them that you know you won’t be tempted to snack on. Be sure not to deprive them as well.
When it comes to exercising after pregnancy the key phrase is to “take your time”. Your only initial goal should be keeping up with your normal daily household activity. Once you have your home in order then it will be time to move on to exercising. Start out with walking first and when you feel comfortable, move on to more strenuous activities in correlation with your doctors recommendations, but be sure that you do not over do it with exercising especially if you’re in pain. The stress from pain so some mothers, especially those who had a cesarean birth, or an episiotomy may need more rest than others.
Some weight will come off naturally post-pregnancy, so consider contacting your OBGYN before you start your exercise plan if your lack of weight loss is concerning you.
We’ve all seen the photos of celebrities snapping back just weeks after giving birth to their newborn baby. Just remember its important to note that everybody is different and not everyone has the same life. This is a time to focus on you so that you can be the best you for your baby. Remember, consuming well rounded foods will take some of the worry off of making sure that you get all of the nutrients that you need. Avoid stress as much as possible and be sure to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy this time with your baby. They are only little once.
Virginia Thomas, RN
Founder of Tailored Health & Wellness
& Tailored Hydration
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thanks.