Having a baby and giving birth are both wonderful life passages that women can experience. However, along with carrying a baby inside for some 40 plus weeks comes the not-so-nice feeling of pregnancy weight loss. The desire and challenge to lose those baby fat can be trying while coping to raise a newborn.
As part of being pregnant, a woman puts on weight as the fetus grows and her body readies itself for childbirth. Unfortunately, this extra weight doesn't vanish with the delivery of her baby. Like in any weight loss pursuit, there needs to be a conscious effort to lose baby fat.
Physically and emotionally, the mother can be at odds with taking care of her baby's needs and her own. Hormonal changes after giving birth can affect how she feels. Plus the stress that arises from baby's demands and sometimes even family pressure (like differing views in bringing up children, for example) can often take the toll on pregnancy weight loss.
Fortunately, there are methods to lose weight which are not difficult to focus on while tending to the baby. In this article, we look at a couple of simple ways that can help with pregnancy weight loss.
Breastfeed Your Baby
Whenever possible, breastfeeding a baby is always preferred as it provides the baby with natural immunity (from the colostrum in mother's milk) in addition to essential vitamins and nutrients. The good news is that breastfeeding can actually help in weight loss.
To produce breast milk for the baby, the average mother utilizes between 500 to 800 calories a day -- this is a great way to burn calories without doing much physical activity. After all, going to the gym is probably difficult in the first year after baby is born as the mother deals with many different responsibilities.
Breastfeeding is definitely a good start on losing baby fat. It augments well any additional steps that a mother may want to take to lose weight, e.g. making the effort to eat well and doing regular exercises.
Stay Relaxed and Realistic
There is a natural tendency to want to lose weight fast, baby fats or not. However, women should be mindful not to sabotage their pregnancy weight loss plan by doing irrational things such as emotional eating caused by anxiety over losing weight slowly.
After all, that extra weight was put on over some 9 months; so it might take a while to lose it all. When this relaxed view is taken, a planned approach to weight loss can then happen within realistic expectations. This avoids the frustration associated with not seeing fast results.
As a benchmark, medical experts suggest a loss of 2 pounds a week is reasonable. Assuming a woman gained 30 pounds during pregnancy and shed 14 after childbirth, she's got another 16 pounds to lose. So a rough gauge for that to happen is 8 weeks. Setting an expectation of roughly 3-4 months is probably fair and objective.
Take It Easy
It is understandable that a mother would want to look the way she did before she got pregnant, and she can't wait to restore her figure. But it is important to accept that weight loss takes time and a realistic approach is always better. Staying relaxed helps the woman set fair goals and take everything in her stride.