From recovering from childbirth and creating and adjusting to a new schedule to taking care of your baby, losing your baby weight is a struggle. However, with proper planning, eating a balanced diet, and exercising, you can return to a healthy weight six to 12 months after childbirth.
Here are four tips to lose baby weight after delivery to help you get rid of your maternity clothes and slip into your old outfits.
Create reasonable weight loss goals
Most new mothers lose around 13 pounds during delivery, including the amniotic fluid, baby’s weight, and the placenta. You will also likely lose more weight in the first few weeks after childbirth as the body sheds the retained fluids. However, whether you are breastfeeding or not, it will take time before the stored fat during pregnancy disappears. For this reason, you should avoid getting caught up with society’s expectations of how much weight you should lose and after how long.
Be realistic when setting your new body goals. Often, childbearing causes permanent changes in your body. You may have a bigger waistline, wider hips, or a soft belly and fail to regain your pre-pregnancy weight and shape. Check out our mommy blog to determine body changes before and after childbirth and how to care for yourself and your baby.
One of the most effective and natural ways to lose baby weight after childbirth is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding uses the diet and stored fat during pregnancy to burn 400 to 500 calories daily when making breast milk. This boosts your chances of returning to your healthy weight without putting effort. Breastfeeding your newborn also stimulates the body to produce oxytocin which reduces the post-pregnancy belly and uterus. Other benefits of breastfeeding include:
- Reduced risk of contracting diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer
- Provide the baby with the essential nutrients they require to grow in their first six months
- Strengthening the baby’s immune system
- Reduced the infant’s chances of suffering from illnesses like type 1 diabetes, asthma, respiratory diseases, gastrointestinal infections, obesity, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and ear infections
Incorporate exercise into your daily routine
Be sure to exercise within a few days post-delivery, especially when you had uncomplicated vaginal childbirth, to lose weight. You do not even have to engage in rigorous physical activities to cut baby weight. Simple exercises such as walking, cycling, jogging, and running can help you burn extra calories.
According to CDC research, exercising can also lower the risk of diabetes and various types of cancer and improve heart health. Other exercise types you could indulge in include head lifts, curl-ups, deep belly breathing, Kegels, and kneeling pelvic tilt. Consult your doctor if you had a cesarean delivery before you start exercising to avoid complications.
Consume a healthy diet
Eating a well-balanced diet is critical to providing the body with the energy and nutrients required to make breast milk. However, you should monitor your calorie intake to foster baby weight loss. The following are more healthy eating tips to help you return to your pre-pregnancy shape:
- Reduce sugary food intake
- Avoid skipping meals
- Consume foods rich in fiber
- Incorporate healthy proteins such as legumes, dairy, eggs, and lean meat in your meals
- Eat healthy snacks between meals
- Avoid refined carbs
- Portion control
Getting back your pre-pregnancy body does not have to be challenging. Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and breastfeed to shed baby weight but remember to be realistic about your weight loss goals.