You have just spent the last nine months getting ready for the life-changing birth of your new bundle of joy and we know, you are probably a little bit exhausted after the whole event. The birth of your baby will no doubt have left behind extra baby weight that you need to shed before you can fully crack on with being the great mum that we know you will be! There are many different suggestions, theories, and methods for losing your baby weight. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to this. You simply need to find what works best for you and to help with that process, we’ve listed some top tips for losing your baby weight below.
To help with that process, we’ve spoken with parenting blog ParentsNeed who have interviewed various mothers within their community to find out what works and what doesn’t. In this report we’ve highlighted some of the top tips mentioned for losing your baby weight.
#1 – Maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy
Before you even consider losing your baby weight after giving birth, it is important that you focus on maintaining a good weight throughout your pregnancy.
You have to be sure that you are taking in enough calories and nutrients to keep your baby healthy, but you must also be careful not to put on too much weight. For women who have a normal body mass index (BMI), doctors recommend that you should gain between 25 and 35 pounds, and anything up to 45 pounds if you are expecting to have twins. If you are overweight, then doctors recommend that a safe limit is anything between 15 and 25 pounds, and of course do not use pregnancy as a time to think about dieting or weight-loss!
There are plenty of useful guides available on the right kind of nutrition you should be taking during pregnancy.
It is important to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy so that the baby stays healthy, as well as yourself of course. If you are planning to become pregnant again, it is recommended that you return to your normal weight first. After all, the more you take on during the pregnancy the more you will have to lose after you give birth!
#2 – Think about losing your baby weight early on
It is important to not make losing your baby weight an afterthought. If you do not tackle it early on after having your baby, it can be difficult to shed it further down the line. Some studies suggest if you do not lose it within the first year you never will be able to, although others say you can bounce back after two years.
By the time you come towards the end of your pregnancy, your uterus is roughly 15 times heavier than normal, not including the weight of your little one! It is also at a capacity of up to 500 times greater than before you conceived, so you are definitely going to have a little extra weight to lose post-birth!
#3 – Plan to lose weight gradually
Your immediate focus after birth should not be on dieting, although you can still think about other ways to lose your baby weight if you have the energy, which we will come on to below. For around your first six weeks’ post-birth, your priority should be maintaining a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep!
Typically, it will take around a year to lose your baby weight, this will of course be different to each woman. Many new mothers give their own stories on how long it has taken them but you want to aim to lose around one to two pounds per week ideally.
#4 – Try different weight loss strategies
So, now that we have covered maintaining a healthy weight and what you can expect, it is time for the all-important top tips on losing your baby weight! Below we have listed out several different strategies:
You are probably going to be a little sleep deprived in your first few days after birth, and that’s no problem at all. But once you are back home from the hospital, get yourself moving! We aren’t talking about rigorous workouts that leave you in a sweat; simple walks around the block each day are more than sufficient.
Don’t over push yourself, but try to walk a little further each day. Try and do this right up until your six-week check-up, which is roughly how long the body will take to heal. After your nurse has given you the all-clear, then you can begin to think about 20-30 minutes of cardio around three to five times each week.
Pushing a stroller for 1-2 miles in a 30-minute period is equivalent to burning around 150 calories, so it is more than sufficient as a form of exercise, particularly in the first weeks post-birth.
Make sure you eat smart
One of the more obvious top tips for losing your baby weight is to watch what you eat. It is about eating quality, not quantity. You are still essentially eating for two as you need extra energy to be able to take care of both yourself and your baby. Plus, some studies even suggest that what you eat will affect your baby’s food preferences as well!
Steer clear of refined carbs or sugary foods as these will energise you in the short term, but will leave you crashing later on during the day. In turn you will end up getting hungrier, eat another chocolate bar and then it becomes a vicious cycle!
Good meals for energy
- A bowl of oatmeal with fruit and low-fat milk
- A turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread with tomato and lettuce
- A vegetable salad with olive oil and grilled chicken breast
Good snacks for energy
- A hard-boiled egg cut onto some toasted whole-wheat bread
- Approximately 20 baby carrots with some hummus
- A banana and around five whole-grain crackers
Take plenty of naps
We all like an excuse to nap every now and again and you have no better excuse than after a long pregnancy! Napping is not only great for making sure you catch up on sleep during your pregnancy, but it also stops you binging on high-calorie and high-sugar foods for energy.
Forget the housework and consider taking a nap anytime that your baby does. Don’t sacrifice your sleep for exercise either as it is important to keep your energy levels up; there is no reason that you cannot strike the perfect balance between napping and exercise.
Another top tip for losing your baby weight is to breastfeed. If you are breastfeeding your baby then you need roughly an extra 500 calories per day, but you burn between 600 and 800 calories by undertaking that activity, simply by sitting there! Bear in mind that as you begin to move away from breastfeeding, your calorie needs will also drop down dramatically, so be sure to adjust your diet in line with this.
Think about relaxation and meditation
When you are stressed, stress hormones are released into the body to give us a kick of adrenaline. But over time, this can cause us to feel tired and leave our weight staying the same, or sometimes even cause us to pile on the pounds! It is important to keep your stress levels down post-birth for not only the sake of your baby weight loss, but also for your mental health and the health of your baby!
Exercise and regular naps and sleep is a great way to keep stress levels down, but also consider meditation apps like Headspace. These are designed for making meditation accessible from anywhere in short bursts, but still giving you the full de-stressing benefits.
Lose weight safely
Losing your baby weight is a gradual process, so do not attempt to tackle it all in one week! Make sure that you have your breakfast in the morning, eat regular amounts of fruit and vegetables each day and include plenty of fibre-rich foods in your diet such as oats or beans.
Other top parentings tips
We hope that the above tips have provided a useful guide for how to lose your baby weight! Find the best exercise that suits you and you’ll be back to your own perfect body weight in no time at all.