Even if you have followed our 5 tips for improved nutrition during pregnancy and other advice, weight gain during pregnancy is quite natural. It is you body’s mechanism to protect the baby and also ensure both the baby and the mother has sufficient nourishment. Once you’ve delivered, it would be natural for you to want to get back to your former shape or even ideal shape. Here then, are 5 actionable tips put together by our experts on how best to lose weight and get an ideal body shape after pregnancy.
Breastfeed your child
In comparison to your pre-pregnancy status, your body needs an additional 300 calories or so. This additional energy is required to breastfeed your child. So it is best to utilize these additional calories for the purpose it was intended – breastfeeding your child.
Exercise – there’s no running away from it.
A few dos and don’ts though before you begin exercising:
- In case of normal delivery, wait one month before you begin.
- In case of c-section delivery, wait almost two months before you begin exercising.
- Select only low-impact exercising e.g. walking, slow cycling, slow swimming and so on.
- If at any time you feel short of breath or dizzy, stop. Spells of dizziness indicate either you are doing it too fast or you do not have enough energy for the exercise you are doing (we will get to diets in a bit).
Exercise to utilize at least 300 calories per day. This does not refer to the 300 calories required for breastfeeding. It refers to the calories locked within the fat cells you have added during pregnancy.
Post delivery exercise is vital as it also alleviates post-delivery depression. Exercising will in no way interfere with your ability to breastfeed your baby. If possible, join an exercise session for new mothers. A good exercise routine is Kegel Crunches. Kegel crunches are important to help you tighten the muscles of the vagina. Additionally, it will improve circulation to the pelvis muscles.
Hunger pangs are no reason to eat fries and other junk food. Your family physician can guide you on the types of foods you need to focus on so that your health and that of your baby continue to glow.
Eating healthy means focusing on nutrition and also ensuring your daily calorie intake is in the 3,000 calorie region. This is vital so your body has the energy required to develop the milk and breastfeed your child.
Get plenty of fresh air
Most new moms tend to stay at home and concentrate on the new child. No doubt this is important but two months after delivery, you and your child need some fresh air too. Hire or buy a good quality stroller and take your baby with you. Seeing the world around and all the new faces will also keep your child occupied and stimulate the mind. The added advantage of course is that walking with the stroller will also help you utilize 75 to 100 calories.
Adopt USDA MyPlate meal plan
Check out our sample MyPlate menu plan and try it. Avoid celebrity diets like plague – at least for the first six months. A healthy balanced nutrition and exercise usually does the trick. If you are in the mood, check the whole MyPlate section on our blog for further guidelines food groups, proportions, and more.
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