Health & Wellness Child Developement
10 tips for postnatal fitness
Growing a little being inside your body is no easy feat, as all mothers would agree. Your body undergoes a massive physical transformation and a lot of hormonal changes. As you slowly settle into the new role of a mother, one of the things on your mind may be the desire to shed the extra pounds that have accumulated during pregnancy.
Here are a few tips to lose the postpartum weight:
Breastfeed: Breastfeeding is one of the tried and tested ways of reducing postpartum weight. Researchers have concluded that women who breastfeed exclusively for six months are more likely to lose weight. Generally, the more a woman breastfeeds, the greater an effect it will have on her weight loss.
Avoid dieting: A lot of mothers think that dieting will help them lose weight. However, diets should be given a miss. Diets generally work around deprivation, and while your body is experiencing the withdrawal of pregnancy symptoms, it does not need any more stress. Have a healthy and balanced diet full of omega -3 fatty acids, calcium, protein and fibre. Cut down on foods which are high on sugar and fats. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day maintains steady blood sugar levels and puts a stop on overeating. Calories distributed throughout the day are metabolised efficiently and less likely to be stored as fat, helping you shed the unwanted weight.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Yes, a cup of coffee can refresh you when you are exhausted and sleep deprived. But it also slows down the weight loss process. In addition, go easy on carbonated drinks and alcohol even if you have stopped breastfeeding.
Practice deep belly breathing: This helps in relaxing your muscles and strengthens and tones the abs before you are able to do more rigorous physical exercise. Sit upright and breathe deeply. Tighten the abdominal muscles as you inhale and relax while exhaling. Gradually increase the amount of time in between each breath so you are able to contract and hold your abs for longer.
Exercise: If you are past six weeks and have your doctor's permission, you can start to exercise. Walking is the simplest way to begin a fitness regime, helping you to regain stamina and physical strength. Once you get stronger, make exercise a regular habit. A word of caution: avoid exercises that put a big strain on your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, such as crunches, planks, and yoga poses that stretch your abs until you heal. Diastasis recti, a common condition where the space between your abdominal muscles has widened during pregnancy, can be made worse with those exercises. Focus on easy, basic and simple exercises that do not stress out your body, and consult your doctor with what you can and cannot do.
Stay hydrated: Drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water (or about 2 litres) daily helps to flush out toxins from the body. It also prevents dehydration and improves metabolism. Avoid sugary sodas and juices and stick to water instead.
Get Regular sleep: We all know that with an infant around, it is difficult to get regular hours of sleep. However, not getting enough sleep severely affects the metabolism and slows down the process of weight loss. When one is sleep deprived, the body releases a stress hormone cortisol which promotes weight gain. Try getting the naps when the baby sleeps or take turns with your partner for baby-sitting so that you get regular sleep.
Lower your stress levels: Stress adversely affects the weight loss process. Being a new mother comes with a lot of responsibilities and challenges, so it is natural to feel overwhelmed and stressed. To ease the load, consider childcare, or get your parents or parents in law to baby sit so you can get some time off.
Get assistance: If you still haven't lost weight despite healthy eating and exercise, it might be necessary to speak to your doctor. She might look for certain conditions like diabetes, insulin resistance and hypothyroidism. Once you have the remedy for such conditions, then the weight loss process can also be on track.
Give yourself time: Every woman's body is different. Some celebrities may have appeared on the cover of magazines mere months after giving birth. Avoid comparison. You have put on the excess weight over a period of nine months, so give yourself some time to lose it. Do not feel depressed if it is taking longer than you anticipated. Keep up the spirit and continue to take care of your baby and yourself.
Mums, it is not easy to shed the pregnancy weight. Patience and perseverance can help you do so. Make smart choices, get help to take care of your child so you have time for your health, and pick up healthy habits all these small changes can help you to regain your pre-pregnancy body.
Loved this article?
Still got questions?
We're here to help! Book a FREE consultation with our Experts
Join 1 Million+ families who
love KinderPass 🎉
Get a personalized daily curriculum of over 1200 skill building activities
Book live consultations with child experts
Track growth, development milestones and identify red flags
Subscribe to our newsletter
Receive weekly advice and guidance on child development in your inbox