Everybody, men and women alike, would like mommy to get back to her good looking shape as soon as possible after giving birth. But is that realistic? And what are the steps to take to lose all the extra pounds? It is good to know what to expect, because otherwise you might grow very disappointed and frustrated. No, you won’t be back in your pre-natal shape when you step out of the hospital. The good news is that you can get back there in 6 to 8 months. Just be realistic, patient and perseverant.
First of all, consider that it took nine months to put on those pounds and it is unrealistic to expect to get rid of them overnight. You should give yourself just at least about the same time for the process to be reversed. Don’t pack clothes that you wore before being pregnant to wear when coming home from the hospital. Even after giving birth, there are still lots of extra fluids in your body and it will take about 2 or 3 weeks to eliminate them. Then, consider that it takes about 4 weeks for the uterus to contract back to its normal size.
There are three basic ways that will help you lose the extra pounds:
- Healthy diet
Let’s briefly discuss about each one.
BREASTFEEDING is not only very healthy for the baby, but will also help the mother lose weight, since producing the milk requires about 500 calories every day. That can help reduce some of the fat that was gained during pregnancy. Actually one of the reasons your body put on weight during pregnancy was to store the energy it takes to breastfeed the baby. Therefore, losing calories through breastfeeding completes a natural program.
The other two methods –healthy diet and exercise are the basic weight loss methods in any situation. There are still a few specific details that should be applied in this particular case:
- Don’t diet for the first three months after birth. Start by just eating a well-balanced diet and moving your body.
- Wait 6 weeks after a vaginal birth and 8 weeks after a c-section before you start exercising.
- Low-impact exercises are recommended, such as walking or swimming.
- Focus on nutrition, not on weight-loss diets.
- Eat several, small, healthy meals a day.
- Be patient and perseverant.
- Ask your doctor before changing your diet or starting any new exercise program. Ruth Taylor