Postpartum Weight Loss: The Do’s and Don’ts

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There’s so much pressure on women to get back to their post-baby body these days. But feeling good about yourself is about much more than losing that postpartum weight.

We all need to take a more holistic approach to health and fitness. This means taking care of your emotional, physical and mental health. This is particularly true for new mums, who are continuing to experience many changes in their lives.

Lot’s of new mums worry about the effects of pregnancy on the stomach area. Once you’ve lost that baby weight and toned up as much as possible you may still be unhappy with your body. Loose, saggy skin after childbirth is common but there are other things you can do to tighten the tummy.

A mini tummy tuck is one technique that helps firm up the abdominal and stomach area. We’ve linked a short video, just in case you’d like to know more about that.

In the meantime, there are also lots of things you can implement into your everyday routine to help you drop those extra kilos, stay healthy and get fit. And some stuff that you absolutely shouldn’t be doing for postpartum weight loss. 

Slow and steady

At around your six-week check-up following the birth of your baby, it’s usually safe to start thinking about losing that extra weight. But this should be a gradual process that takes into account that, as a new mum, you’ll need lots of energy and good nutrition. It’s really important to seek advice from a medical professional who’ll help you develop a healthy weight loss plan. How and when you lose that weight can depend on many things.

  • Were you overweight pre-pregnancy? 
  • Did you gain more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy?
  • What was your diet like before and during pregnancy?
  • How committed are you to losing weight now?

Another option is phentermine.

The fitness regime

Discuss with your medical practitioner when you can add a fitness regimen to your day. You should be able to take gentle walks almost immediately following birth. But intense workouts will need the ok from your doctor.

Typically, it takes the body about six weeks to heal completely. This is when you should be able to ramp up the exercise. But this can vary from person to person, so talk to your doctor before going back to those daily HIIT classes. 

Getting back to the gym is also a great way to get out of the house which can be great for our emotional and mental health too.

But before you start exercising, there are a few things to think about that will determine how and what exercise you should be doing and when.

  • Your activity level before and during pregnancy
  • Your overall health before and during pregnancy
  • The actual childbirth experience and the effects on your body

Promote healthy eating habits

Convenience food. Fast food. Junk food. Whatever you choose to call them, these products are full of empty calories. Which means that these foods add no nutritional value to your diet. 

Never the less, they do form part of your daily calorie intake. Meaning you can’t lose weight if you eat them regularly. And, in fact, you may end up gaining even more weight if you continue to have them as part of your diet.

If you find that temptation often gets the better of you when it comes to your favorite treats or snacks, there are a few things you can do to help you avoid eating junk.

  • Try doing the majority of your food shopping at the local farmers market rather than the supermarket
  • Don’t shop when you’re hungry. You’ll go straight for those fatty, sugary foods
  • Fill the fridge and cupboard with easy, healthy snacks. Things that you can grab before the cravings hit. Such as slice fruits and vegetables or seeds and nuts.

The good sleep

It may sound simplistic and a little unrealistic for new mums. But the benefits of good quality sleep are well established. For new parents in particular, a lack of sleep could mean that it’s even more difficult to lose that baby fat.

  • Take naps during the day but don’t sleep for too long. Long naps can make us feel  even more tired, whereas short naps are the most refreshing
  • If you can, get someone to help with the night feeds and nappy changes so that you can occasionally get a decent night’s sleep
  • Bad sleeping habits affect the hormones connected to hunger, making you more likely to overeat and snack. So keep lots of healthy snacks handy and avoid those high fat, high sugar foods

Breastfeeding rules

Some women lose weight quicker because they’re breastfeeding. But there’s no guarantee and it may not work that way for you. Don’t rely solely on breastfeeding as the solution to your postpartum weight loss goals. 

If you’re breastfeeding, it’s particularly important not to take a weight loss supplement or diet pill at this time. The ingredients in these products can travel to your breast milk and be harmful to the baby. 

Try not to get sucked in by any fad diets while breastfeeding either. Going on a low-calorie diet right now may mean your breast milk lacks important nutrition. And leave you with less energy than you need as a new mom.

  • Breastfeeding is great for mother and baby but shouldn’t be stressful
  • Don’t panic if you don’t breastfeed, you’ll still lose that baby weight if you eat a balanced diet and get that exercise
  • You’ll need some extra calories for breastfeeding but that’s not an excuse to indulge in junk food

The bottom line

Starting a health and fitness program after childbirth shouldn’t be overwhelming or stressful.

New moms often feel tied to household chores as well as the many needs of a brand new, tiny human. And this can make it difficult to even leave the house some days.

If financially possible, you may want to consider getting a cleaner, at least in the early months. Or maybe organize for friends or family to help out occasionally and take the pressure off. This will free up some time for other things like meeting up with friends or even just having some rest.

New mums need to commit to getting back in shape when the time is right for them. But avoid sabotaging yourself by comparing yourself to others. Especially those on social media, whose lives are, most likely, not as perfect as they seem.

Ensure you reach your goals in an appropriate time frame. Seek support, eat right and be kind to yourself.


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