So you’ve just come home from the hospital with your little bundle of joy and on your way to the nursery you catch a glimpse of yourself in the full length mirror in the hallway. In the midst of all the excitement of having a newborn to care for, perhaps you find yourself wondering, “Will my body ever be the same again?”
Maybe you brush the thought aside and hope for the best, believing that things will get back to normal in their own good time. After all, do you really need weight loss motivation after pregnancy when you already have so much to think about? Or maybe you’re filled with despair as you think your normal shape has vanished forever… Either way, this article will outline some points for you to consider and take hope when it comes to shedding the extra pounds you gained during pregnancy.
Have realistic expectations
If you sit down and think about it for a moment, you will realise that your body (not to mention your soul and spirit too) has been through a major “event” which is in fact nothing short of a miracle. Although pregnancies and births happen all around us all the time, that doesn’t make it any less special, and when it happens to you, you will know how life-changing it is to become a parent. You may just find that your expectations of getting back to life as usual have flown right out of the window.
Now that you have a brand new person in your life, you will have to get used to a brand new normal too. It took nine months of steady weight gain until baby was born, so don’t expect to lose all that weight in one week. The average baby weighs between five and ten pounds (2.25 to 4.5 kgs). Together with the amniotic fluid and placenta it is possible to lose about 12 pounds (5.44 kgs) during the delivery. The remaining weight gain usually comes from the enlarged uterus, breast tissue, blood supply and fat stores. So whatever you do, give your body the time it needs to adjust and don’t set impossible or unrealistic weight loss expectations for yourself.
Make yourself a priority
They say when you have a baby it’s as if your heart is now living outside your body. Suddenly this little person comes into your world and it is very easy to become totally and utterly absorbed in caring for your baby twenty-four seven that you completely push your own needs aside. This is where finding a balance is vitally important if you want to last for the long haul. Make yourself a priority so that you have what it takes to care for your child’s needs. Just as they say in the aircraft, when the oxygen masks descend, make sure you put your own one on first, and then your child’s.
Take some time out every day, even if it is just ten minutes, to get some fresh air, take a walk around the block, clear your head and get your circulation going. Prepare healthy meals for yourself and get the rest that you need.
Go slowly but surely
Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to regain your goal weight. Slowly but surely is a good way to go and it is also more likely that you will keep the weight off when you lose it gradually. The last thing you need when you are adjusting to parenthood is a crash diet and a strict regimen. Work on one thing at a time, and try to eat a healthy balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and protein. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, and try to stay away from too much caffeine and carbonated drinks, especially if you are breastfeeding.
Know the benefits of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is the most natural and healthy way to get your baby off to a good start and it can also help you to get your weight down. During breastfeeding hormones are released which result in your uterus shrinking back to its normal pre-pregnancy size. You body can even burn up to about 500 calories per day just with breastfeeding. You may find that you need more nourishment while breastfeeding and then after weaning your appetite will naturally decrease. It is important to listen to the rhythm of your own body as you flow with the new routine of women’s health in all aspects of motherhood, especially breastfeeding.
Use exercise as a bonding time
Exercising can be a valuable bonding time not only for you and your child, but as a family with your spouse too. Your marriage fitness routine may include brisk walks with the stroller, or fun workouts at home. If you want to burn a few calories while watching TV, what about getting a step machine? Once baby gets a bit bigger, your exercises may extend to running, cycling or going to the gym. If you have stairs at home, your day may include some good opportunities for exercise as you run up and down the stairs. Connecting with other moms is also a great way to get some exercise together and it can help to keep each other motivated while your children can enjoy the company too.
Be a good example for your child
At the end of the day you may find that your greatest weight loss motivation may in fact be simply in order to set a good example for your child. Every parent wants their child to be able to look up to them and follow their lead in every area including body weight and fitness. You want to be able to play and do activities with your kids without getting out of breath.
And most importantly you want to be around for a good long time to take care of your precious family in the best possible way. So keep persevering, however long it takes. You will reach your weight loss goals sooner or later and then all your efforts to live a healthy and active lifestyle will be more than worthwhile.