Top Four Tips for Post partum weight loss
Normally, I don't advocate "weightloss" advice, because it really isn't my priority. However I do know many women that struggle with losing weight after having babies, whether that is because of lifestyle changes or weight gain during pregnancy.
Prevention before Cure
The best way to lose "baby weight" is to not gain excessive amounts of weight through pregnancy. Women can expect to gain an average of 8-twenty kilo's over a 37-42week gestation.
This can be broken down into:
- Breasts: 0.5 to 1.5 kg
- Uterus: 1 kg
- Placenta: 0.7 kg
- Amniotic fluid: 1 kg
- Increased blood volume: 1 to 2 kgs
- Increased fluid volume: 1 to 1.5 kg
- Actual fat stores: 2.7 to 3.6 kg
Every pregnancy and woman is unique and this is just a guide, however slow weight gain throughout pregnancy is a key factor in dropping excess weight after birth and preventing birth complications, haemorrhoids, and constipation.
Sustainability over Quick Fix
It is important to remember that your child will only be this little once. If we become obsessed with our post partum bodies, we can easily lose sight of the miracle that has just occurred and miss some beautiful moments just BEING a mumma. The best approach is one that delivers slow, sustainable results that your body can adjust to, that your milk supply can handle and that your baby can thrive on. The quality of your breast milk is dependent upon your maternal diet, if we eat in a restrictive manor, we can become under nourished, as can our babies.
Eating a wholesome, wholefood diet rich in colour and variety can ensure healthy weight loss and nutrient dense meals.
Make it easy
Stay hydrated, get your organic fresh produce delivered, plan your weekly meals once you have your groceries and in advance, and recruit help when you can. A new mother needs absolute pampering in the fourth trimester, or the forty days after birth. If family can help by making a few meals each week, or you can afford a meal delivery service like mygoodnessorganics.com.au/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI052Z1tGS1wIVTFe9Ch0u8Q6_EAAYASAAEgJq_fD_BwE then do not be afraid to say a gigantic YES! My friends made me the biggest pot of pumpkin soup AND paid for my meals delivered for one week after Reef's birth, this was extremely helpful with two other children to care for.
Be mindful that when you are breastfeeding it is normal to feel super thirsty and hungry, your body requires an extra 300cals daily (more than during pregnancy) to produce breast milk.
Nutrition and Movement
When I wake up, I drink a glass of warm lemon water which starts my metabolism and helps to cleanse my body, this is also a great reminder to drink your first glass of water. As a plant based mumma, each of my meals include a source of organic fruit and or vegetables. For breakfast, oats with coconut milk, cinnamon and seasonal fresh berries (frozen outside of season) and a little maple syrup for sweetness helps to stabalise blood sugar levels and provide slow releasing energy. My other main meals both include at least one cup of spinach/kale and I eat an avocado and a handful of nuts each day for essential fats.
Every morning and night I spend 2-5minutes diaphragm breathing. Especially early in the post partum period this helps tone the uterus and reconnect your pelvic floor to the breath. This is a major player in healing abdominal separation and pelvic function. It is also non negotiable for me to fit in some form of movement each and every day. In the first six weeks post birth, I recommend walking, gentle restorative yoga and transverse abdominis (TA) activation. From there I was able to create a strength and conditioning program for new mothers which enabled me to get back into CrossFit within 8weeks.
If you have major abdominal separation or are unable to activate your pelvic floor then I strongly recommend consulting a Women's Health Physiotherapist before participating in any strength or conditioning.
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