New mothers, rejoice, for the worst (a.k.a the childbirth) has passed! Or has it? Unfortunately, all the changes that began during your pregnancy do not end right after delivery. You still have to go through a proper postnatal period to heal properly and get your pre-pregnancy figure again. Most importantly, you have all that excess weight that you are more than ready to say goodbye to!
So, is your weight loss journey starting soon? Here’s what you should know; a huge percentage of your weight gain comes from water retention and it will gradually go away on its own. Then again, if that is the case, why are there many mothers who never got back to their pre-pregnancy states, while some of them easily do? The answer is simple: everyone’s body is different. However, there are certain things you could do as a step to lose pregnancy weight, as shared by other new mothers.
Undoubtedly, exercising is a step that is way too familiar for anyone looking to lose weight. You may start exercising once you have passed about 6 weeks after you deliver. This, of course, still depends on how well you are doing by that time. Once you feel like you are able to move more, start with the simpler ones like walking and ones that focus on abdominal contractions without vigorous movements involved. Instead of solely to lose weight, start exercising with the goals to strengthen your muscles and rebuilding your core first.
One particular sign that shows that you need to strengthen your abdominal muscles is when your back aches as soon as you pick your baby up. This indicates that your abdominal muscles are giving you less than adequate support for that activity. Even the simplest form of exercise like Kegels can help you tone related muscles, speed up womb recovery, and thus assists in shrinking it back to pre-pregnancy state. Do not push yourself to reach certain limits. Remember, healing is more crucial than losing weight! Soon enough, you will realise that even carrying your baby around the house is all the exercises you need!
A poll from Baby Center website shows that over 50% of mothers who breastfeed find it helpful in losing weight. Like many others, you may be surprised by how quickly you could lose weight when you choose to breastfeed compared to if you do not breastfeed. The production of breast milk could burn up to approximately 500 extra calories that you get from the foods you eat!
Furthermore, the hormones released when breastfeeding can induce muscle contractions. Hence, your uterus will constantly contract and shrink down throughout the breastfeeding period. As a result, your womb can go back to its pre-pregnancy size and your stomach will slim down as well! That said, you need to keep in mind that you should breastfeed adequately and be wary of not losing too much weight at once, especially because it could reduce the nutrients your baby obtains from your breast milk.
Fitness trainers and nutritionists generally believe that planning and sticking to a healthy diet contributes to 80% of your weight loss, while only 20% comes from physical activities. One of the common diets that might cross your mind is the low-carb diet where you limit your carbohydrates intake. You can try it, but be careful to not overdo it as you still need the strength and energy to recover and take care of your baby. Plus, some mothers have reported a noticeable decrease in their breast milk production when they are on low carb diets. This is certainly a risk you shouldn’t take. Instead, start small like replacing carbs like white rice with brown rice.
Increase your intake of protein as it can boost metabolism and thus help you burn more calories. The key is to follow a balanced diet and you should not be too calculative with calories as you need sufficient energy to restore strength and tend to the baby. At the same time, be careful to not get dehydrated. Limit sugary water, but keep drinking plain water. When you are breastfeeding, your body will easily be dehydrated. Constantly drinking water will keep you full, prevent overeating, and aid in breastfeeding!
When looking up ways to lose weight after birth, postnatal massage is one of the popular solutions you could come across. Many moms prefer to get this massage after birth. In fact, in many cultures, this massage has been incorporated into their culture as a confinement practice, with their own tweaks to the techniques. The gentle pressure applied to the body will stimulate blood flow and release any muscle knots and tension. Aside from relieving your body aches, a postnatal massage can slim you down, tone your body up, and even speed up womb recovery.
In addition, a postnatal massage therapy normally includes breast massage which tackles breast engorgement and improves lactation. As mentioned above, many moms find breastfeeding to have helped them lose weight. You can learn the techniques on your own and have your partner massage you. Even better, get certified massage therapists, preferably from a licensed agency, to perform it on you. That way, all your issues can be addressed properly.
Commonly known as bengkung, binding is the art of wrapping the belly and hips using a long cloth that acts as a support and assists in the recovery process of abdominal muscles. In regards to the previous point, it is also a technique typically incorporated into traditional postnatal massage therapy as the last step. Binding shapes body back and sort of holds up the excess skin in place, but you can see more effective changes when done together with additional treatment like massage. For many mothers, binding helps them get rid of mommy pooch.
If you are planning to try this method, make sure to use breathable fabric to not cause rashes, skin itching, or dehydration. Leave it on for approximately 8 hours and it is better to not exceed half a day. As mentioned before, the massage should be performed on consecutive days, so the same applies to binding. Be sure to regularly wash and keep it clean as it will trap your sweat and dirt you encounter daily and may cause skin condition for you as you are wrapping the cloth tightly on your body.
If you notice, most of what is stated above are meant to ensure good health for you instead of help you lose weight. Why so? The fact of the matter is that being healthy is what will put you at the weight you are supposed to be at. New mothers, plan things according to what your body can take and make better choices for an effective Singapore post natal slimming process.