How To Safely Lose That Baby Weight | Revere Health

During pregnancy and leading up to delivery, it’s natural and expected for mothers to gain weight as they provide nutrients for the growing baby. When the baby is delivered, however, it becomes time to lose that weight.

In most cases, if you were a normal weight and gained the general recommended average of between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy, it shouldn’t take longer than a couple months to get back to pre-pregnancy weight. If you were overweight beforehand or put on too much weight, however, it could take longer. Be patient here, and know that with the right tactics and gradual approaches, you can shed that weight in a healthy way. Here are a few big areas to emphasize as you look to drop pounds.

Eating

 

There are several areas to emphasize when it comes to your food consumption, but one tip that may surprise some mothers: Don’t diet. Dieting can actually cause weight gain in some situations post-pregnancy, and some experts recommend simply keeping a good balance of healthy foods. Foods and habits to emphasize include:

  • “Super foods:” Including fish, milk, yogurt, lean meats, chicken, beans and others. These foods are heavy in nutrients you need, and light on calories and fat.
  • Fruits and vegetables: These provide fibers and important vitamins, and will help you feel full for longer.
  • Proteins: Lean meat, pork, poultry, fish, eggs and beans. Look for meats that are low in fat.
  • Whole grains: High in fiber and provide essential vitamins.
  • Low-fat dairy: Get good sources of protein, calcium and vitamins without added fat.
  • Junk food: Whenever possible, pass on it. Choose healthy treats like fruit.
  • Portions: Track how much you’re eating along with what you’re eating. Use online tools to help you plan meals, if needed.
  • Cooking: Use healthy cooking methods like steaming, boiling, baking and broiling, and avoid frying foods.

Breastfeeding

 

Research is still unclear on whether breastfeeding actively helps with weight loss—some has found that exclusively breastfeeding can increase speed of weight loss, but other research finds no difference between this and bottle feeding. One thing no one is questioning, however, is how good breastfeeding is for the baby. In addition, nursing exclusively lets you add an extra 300 calories to your diet.

Exercise

 

A few tips when it comes to exercise:

  • Good exercises: Basic aerobic exercises like walking, hiking, biking and swimming are great ways to stay in shape. Many women take a brisk walk with their baby. Also include strength training to build muscles.
  • Stretching: Always stretch before and after exercising. This will help with flexibility and movement.
  • Doctor approval: Especially if you’ve had a C-section, get approval from your doctor before beginning specific exercises.

Sleep

 

Getting sleep can be tougher with a newborn, but there are tactics you can try. Nap whenever you can during the day, and try to figure out your baby’s sleep schedule so you can sleep at the same times. Go to bed early until your baby starts sleeping through the night. A study showed that mothers who sleep five hours or less per night were more likely to hold onto extra pregnancy weight than moms who slept over seven hours.

Most importantly through all of this, be willing to ask for help from your doctor, who can assist with strategies and an approach to help you lose weight safely and comfortably.

I practice the full range of family medicine including obstetrics, pediatrics, adolescent medicine, adult medicine and some orthopedics. I also perform colposcopy, cryotherapy and vasectomies. Due to the volume of deliveries we do, my practice has evolved to be more centered on women and children’s medicine, although I enjoy all aspects of family medicine. 

Sources:

“8 Tips for Losing Weight After Pregnancy.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/8-tips-for-losing-weight-after-pregnancy#1

“Losing baby weight.” March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/losing-baby-weight.aspx

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.

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