Losing post-partum weight is one of the most difficult things to do after childbirth. While some have it relatively easier, for others, it remains a constant struggle.
I was always caught in this web of struggle. After having my baby through a C-section, I was advised to take in more fluids to restore my system back to its original state. Since my breastmilk wasn’t flowing for a few weeks, it gave me ample time to control what I eat.
The moment my breastmilk began to flow, the story changed. I began to eat excessively, because I was always hungry and emotionally drained. I wasn’t used to the whole breastfeeding thing, and I had bad eating habits.
Days and weeks of inactivity magnified the issue, and I soon began to get worn out and tired from hearing all those “hey, you’re so much bigger” or “you’ve become fat” comments.
Here are a few tips I would like to share, hopefully this works.
1. Good diet and exercise – You’ve probably heard this a million times. While it is true, there are a few steps you can take to make dieting and exercising easier for you. The first is to clear out unhealthy stuff either already stocked in the fridge or to avoid buying them completely. That way you are less tempted to eat all those junk food, because you don’t see it. With exercise, I found that getting a good gym wear and gym partner made all the difference. It helped to get me motivated on days I wasn’t up for the task. The downside of exercise though, is when you stop. When I stopped going to the gym and moving around due to this whole Corona virus pandemic, I gained twice as much as I weighed. The key here is consistency.
2. Don’t skip breakfast– If you are breastfeeding, you require more calories than normal. Eating breakfast rich in protein and all the required nutrients in the morning can help you to produce sufficient milk for the baby and leave you feeling less hungry throughout the day. You can regulate how much you eat by taking in smaller meals throughout the day.
3. Get enough rest– Lack of sleep makes you retain more weight after pregnancy. Sleep deprivation builds up body fat in your system and causes you to feel more restless during the day. This may have adverse effects on you like overeating, and this will lead to bloating and excessive weight gain. Even though breastfeeding and being up till late attending to the baby can make it difficult to get time to sleep, it is important to make up for that lost time in order to maintain your wellbeing.
4. Drink lots of water– There probably isn’t much fat in your system, just loose skin that have built up due to inactivity. Research has it that drinking water helped overweight women to lose extra pounds, since it reduced their appetite and calorie intake. It is even more important for breastfeeding mothers to stay hydrated in order to replace fluids lost through milk production.
5. Ask for help– Being depressed and overwhelmed with a lot of work can take away your ability to even eat healthy or exercise well. In such situations, don’t be afraid to reach out for help from family and friends to allow you to rest or get some exercise. If you need more help, your doctor, dietitian, family nurse or a psychologist can offer you support. Remember, you’ve got this!