Pregnancy is arguably one of the most amazing experiences a woman can have. The idea of creating and sustaining a new life is exciting and exhilarating although also daunting. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant until the delivery, your main priority is your baby. Protecting and providing for your baby has been your sole focus during the nine months of your pregnancy.
However, pregnancy takes its toll on the mother’s body. Once the delivery is complete, the new mother will already have lost about 10 lbs (4.5kg) of weight from the baby, the placenta and the amniotic fluid. In the first week after the delivery additional fluids that have built up in the body during pregnancy will also drain causing additional weight loss.
It may sound as if losing your pregnancy weight is easy given the two aforementioned factors. However, the residual fat that has accumulated in the body during pregnancy may not be so easy to get rid of. New mothers can expect it to take up to a year to lose the weight gained during pregnancy and get their bodies back to normal.
New mothers have so many demands made on their time. Between feeding, bathing and changing their babies, they must fulfill all the responsibilities they had before giving birth. Many new mothers are also faced with the reality of returning to work. Consequently, new mothers tend to neglect themselves which leads to weight loss struggles. Here are 15 tips for losing postpartum weight.
1. Breast is best
Breastfeeding is one of the most widely used weight loss methods used by new mothers. In addition to its weight-busting properties, it is also regarded as being best for the baby. Breastfeeding builds an intimate bond between the mother and baby. It also provides a balanced diet for the infant and breastmilk has immune-boosting properties which will help the baby fight off opportunistic infections and gain weight.
A mother’s metabolism will change during the time of her pregnancy as everything she eats is also nourishing her baby. Studies indicate that by breastfeeding a mother can get her metabolic pattern back to what it was before the pregnancy. Breastfeeding is regarded as being an activity that can burn calories. In burning calories, the body can decrease the amount of stored fat. This in turn leads to weight loss.
Some lucky breastfeeding mothers report being able to get to their pre-pregnancy weight (or even below it) simply by breastfeeding even though they have been eating more than usual. It is normal to eat more than usual during breastfeeding although overeating should be avoided. Mothers need to be careful that when they stop breastfeeding they change their eating patterns otherwise soon all the weight they lost will pile back on.
There are mothers who report little if no weight loss during breastfeeding. Additionally, the reality is that breastfeeding is not possible for all women. So is the fact that breastfeeding is not the be-all and end-all for postpartum weight loss. New mothers are advised not to rely on breastfeeding exclusively as a weight loss mechanism. They should use it as part of a multi-disciplined approach to weight loss.