Getting Back to Shape Post Delivery

A lot of new mothers put themselves under undue stress regarding losing weight immediately after delivery. This is fuelled by social media images of high profile moms getting back into a model perfect shape in no time after child birth!

Dr. Deepika Aggarwal

Click to enlarge

This kind of weight loss in NEITHER HEALTHY NOR REALISTIC!

An average new mother, anywhere in the world, may not have the lifestyle or the resources to get back to shape quickly. Being aware of this fact will help us all live a guilt free, easy life.

Just after delivery is a time to let your body recover at its own pace…catch up on sleep….bond with your baby and somehow manage to get back into a routine!

My advice – Enjoy your motherhood… weight can be taken care of a little later!

Neither crash dieting nor a stringent exercise is the way to go

This is particularly true if one has had a difficult pregnancy or a C-section delivery or is breastfeeding.

The worst thing any mother can do is try too hard to do too much too soon. Instead it is important to set yourself a goal that is healthy. You should plan to return to your pre-pregnancy weight by 6 to 12 months after delivery. Most women will lose half of their baby weight by 6 weeks after childbirth. The rest usually is lost over the following months.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Breastfeeding and getting back to shape post delivery

Dramatic cut in calories to lose weight is not the best way to begin – particularly if you are breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding itself helps burn calories and allows mothers to lose extra weight gained during pregnancy. Also, it provides nourishment to the young one and protects them from falling sick.

When you breast-feed, you use fat cells stored in your body during pregnancy — along with calories from your diet — to fuel your milk production and feed your baby.

During this period, mothers should focus on making healthy food choices. Opt for a variety of whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables and stay hydrated. If you’re trying to lose weight, limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats such as soft drinks, desserts, fried foods etc.

Exercise and Getting back to Shape Post Delivery

Exercise is highly recommended after delivery but it should be done under expert supervision to avoid any undue injuries. It can not only help you get your body back, but also increase energy and may even reduce risks of postpartum depression.

Begin mild work out like walking (alongwith the stroller) as soon as you feel upto it. Another exercise that can be started immediately are the kegels.

This can be followed up with strength training exercise to build the core, in a few months’ time at least 6-8 weeks).

Keep in mind that though you might be eager to lose your baby fat, you must first cater to the condition of your body. I suggest that a new mother should restrain from any activities that put major stress on her joints such as jogging, jumping, or running for first 2-3 months.

REMEMBER, it will take some time before you start losing weight after your delivery. There is no magic wand that can shave off those extra kilos you have put on…And the fact IS that it is there for a reason. While the amount of weight you lose may vary, the most important thing that you should focus on is to return to a healthy weight range, SLOWLY!

Click to enlarge