Your bundle of joy has arrived and it’s the most wonderful and exhilarating feeling to be a new mom or to have another baby. Indeed, motherhood is probably the most joyous experience that I have experienced in my life. The love and elation I felt when I was handed my baby was a one of a kind unconditional love that is hard to explain to anyone who has never experienced it.
However, motherhood also comes with some challenges. With my first baby, it was especially challenging because I was unexperienced about many things like what to feed my baby or what do when she cries. No amount of baby books can prepare you for dealing with a newborn. One thing I was sure about was that I was going to breastfeed. During my pregnancy, I spoke to multiple moms about the benefits of breastfeeding for the baby and myself. I also read that some studies suggest that breast-feeding helps you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster. For me that wasn’t the case because I was eating more to produce more milk for my baby.
I never dieted while I was breastfeeding. I tried to snack often on healthy foods like fruits and vegetables while eating three meals a day and the weight started coming off. I also took my baby on long walks which I think helped with the weight loss. I had gained about 40 pounds during my pregnancy. I lost 20 pounds the first two months after she was born, which mostly was water loss and the baby’s weight. It took a total of year and half to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.
Let’s face it, only celebrities can lose all their pregnancy pounds while their baby is still in the womb! Why would you even put that stress on yourself? Moms need to eat in order to have enough energy to take care of their babies.
From my experience, some healthy ways to shed your pregnancy pounds are:
- Don’t diet: Load up on superfoods! Fresh fruits and vegetables are superfoods. Milk and yogurt are also super foods because they’re high in the calcium you need to keep your bones strong. And don’t forget the protein. Lean meat, chicken, and beans are low in fat and high in protein and fiber. They’re good for you, and they’ll keep you feeling full l Eat a well-balanced diet of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean meats and whole grains. Being hungry isn’t going to facilitate weight loss.
- Exercise: Lugging around a baby and strollers all day can be an exercise itself. Most moms are too busy to hit the gym, but you really don’t need a gym to lose weight! Taking a brisk walk with your baby in the stroller is enough to get your heart pumping and muscles working. With a new baby, carving out 30 minutes in a row might be impossible, so start by breaking up the time into 10-minute increments. Then try to work your way up to 20- or 30-minute sessions a day.
- Get some sleep: Being sleep-deprived will make it harder for you to shed your baby weight. Your body releases cortisol or other stress hormones when you are tired that may promote weight gain. Try to take naps with your baby – at least until your baby starts sleeping through the night.
Losing weight after giving birth is not easy. Don’t rush to lose weight. Focus on being healthy through food and exercise and the weight will naturally come off. What healthy weight lost ideas have you tried?