According to the researchers of a forthcoming 2021 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine, postpartum weight loss can have major long-lasting health implications for most women. Postpartum weight management should start immediately following delivery. The female body takes some time to adjust to the absence of the newborn, and therefore weight gain can occur. In women already predisposed to obesity, postpartum weight loss can slow but not stop the progression to greater weight problems. The best way to postpartum weight loss success is combining healthy eating with regular exercise, which will both speed up the postpartum weight loss process. To date, only very few guidelines have been established regarding postpartum weight management.
The American Dietetic Association suggests that women return to their pre-baby weight within six months of delivery and keep it that way until the age of three years. This diet requires that women avoid fast and oily foods, dairy products, fatty foods, red meat, fried foods, seeds and nuts. Many women find this difficult to do, but many more give in and begin a more traditional diet of lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and grains. It is important to remember that healthy postpartum weight loss does not need to involve cutting out all but one type of food.
If you are breastfeeding and you are experiencing postpartum weight loss, you may be suffering from inadequate sleep. Breast milk provides much needed nutrients to the infant and also contains substances that help mothers to sleep. Mothers who are sleep deprived or not getting enough sleep are at an increased risk for weight gain after they have given birth.
A second recommended step for those struggling with postpartum weight loss is to allow yourself a reasonable amount of time to relax and recover. You should plan on taking about a month before your due date and work to eliminate any stress related to your pregnancy, your weight gain, and other related issues. Exercising regularly will help to boost your metabolism and give you the extra energy you need to get through your postpartum period and to prepare for your new life.
Be careful when choosing an exercise program. The best exercise plan for breastfeeding mothers is one that allows you to incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine without the need to cut out exercise all together. You may be tempted to focus on exercise during your postpartum weight loss, but you should also consider including exercise into your normal daily routine. Regular walking around your neighborhood, jogging in the park, or swimming in a pool can all help you stay physically fit. You may also want to incorporate exercise into your child’s day care so that both your baby and child are active and ready to learn.
When you are working to get your postpartum weight loss started, it is important to remember that the most successful strategies are ones that do not neglect your body’s nutritional needs. Remember to supplement your diet with healthy food choices. You may not be able to eat everything in the store that has been advertised to be good for you, but you can make good nutrition choices and still give your body the nutrients it needs. Eating a protein shake made from yogurt with fresh fruit or milk may contain all of the necessary nutrients you need to get your body back into shape. Working with your doctor and a nutritionist can help you create a customized nutrition plan that works for you.