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Lose baby weight and get back into shape2016-01-09T08:01:41+00:00

Lose Baby Weight

Lose baby weight and get back into shape

Some women regain their shape quite quickly after birth while other mothers take several months to feel happy about their bodies and their general fitness. It takes about 6 weeks after birth for your uterus to have returned to its normal size. Losing weight post birth is really dependent on the person, for some it may take longer to “lose baby weight” gained during pregnancy and for you to return to your pre-pregnancy weight. This is perfectly normal. Bump Moves can help with losing baby weight, and which foods to avoid when pregnant, too.

So what are the key things to lose baby weight & get back into shape?

  • Eat well – see our Nutritionists columns on healthy eating
  • Exercise every day (pelvic floor and abdominal exercises) – see our pelvic floor & exercise specialists advice here.
  • Look after your emotional well-being (accept help whenever its offered, visit friends, have as much rest and sleep as you can
  • Breastfeed – breastfeeding burns 600 to 800 calories a day, even if all you do is sit comfortably and feed your baby, you could still lose baby weight.
  • Seek medical advice for any problems such as your pelvic floor or abdominal separation, or any other problems with your health and when embarking on an exercise program to lose baby weight.
  • Get as much sleep as you can

Regular exercise to lose baby weight after your pregnancy can help you to return to your pre-pregnancy weight more easily.  So what is regular exercise and what type of exercise.  Michelle Wright from Mishfit explains what is safe in the first 6 weeks and from  3 months onwards.  Regular exercise helps to alleviate muscle pains, improve or maintain muscle tone, reduce swelling and constipation and improve sleep patterns. Women who exercise regularly often feel better about themselves and can cope more easily with the demands of motherhood, but please note most women’s bodies aren’t ready for serious exercise until six weeks after giving birth.  Start slow.  Do your pelvic floor exercises and start off by walking around the block.  If it feels good and doesn’t cause or exacerbate bleeding, walk a little further the next day.  It is important to listen to your body and how you are feeling.

Breastfeeding alone helps to lose baby weight:   When you’re breastfeeding, you need an extra 500 calories a day, or about 2,700 total. But since breastfeeding burns 600 to 800 calories a day, even if all you do is sit comfortably and feed your baby, you could still lose baby weight.  Some lucky women can drop all their baby fat, and then some, through breastfeeding alone.  You should be wary though as soon as you stop or taper off breastfeeding, or begin supplementing your baby’s diet with solids, your calorie needs will plummet. You could really put on the weight if you don’t adjust your diet downward and/or your exercise routine upward.1100_lose_baby_weight

Watching Calories and fat helps to lose baby weight: Fill your diet with a variety of nutrient-rich meals containing lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of low-fat dairy products.  It’s advisable to not go on a diet so quickly after giving birth, your body needs time to recover, repair and you and the baby need nutrients.  Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day will keep your blood- sugar levels steady and help prevent you from overeating.  You should be eating at least 1,800-2,000 calories a day while breastfeeding, and if you eat less you will not only be shortchanging yourself, you’ll be shortchanging your baby. You can’t produce quality milk if you are not eating enough.

Sleep as much as you can: “Getting plenty of sleep has been shown to help with weight loss because you’re not compelled to binge on high-calorie, high-sugar foods for energy,” says Nutritionist Vicky Gomez.   Strange and interrupted sleep cycles like those forced on you by a newborn, and their breastfeeding needs can upset your metabolism and make it harder for you to lose your pregnancy weight.   Get some rest whenever the baby does, the housework can wait.   That way, you won’t end up with a long-term sleep deficit, and you’ll keep your energy levels and your potentially naughty cravings in check.

Snack frequently – Healthy snacks of course.  Eating too much sugar can send your blood-sugar levels too high.   And when your blood sugar drops, you’re more likely to eat the first thing you can get your hands on. So skip the sugary treats. To avoid temptation, keep only nutritious foods at your fingertips.  The Healthy empire  has calorie controlled 100 CAL snacks.  And stock up on low-fat milk and yogurt for snacks, as studies have shown that calcium from milk and yogurt actually can aid weight loss by blocking a hormone that allows the body to store fat.  Also, eat high-fiber snacks like figs and raisins or whole-wheat crackers with veggies.  They can fill you up and help with digestion and regularity.

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For more nutrition tips – check out our Nutritionist Vicky Gomez’s articles on nutrients during and post pregnancy.

For more pelvic exercise tips please check out Michelle Kenway’s pelvic floor exercise DVD or her book.

For getting back that pre-pregnancy body – please see Michelle Wright’s exercise plans for the first 6 weeks and for the first 6 months.