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Postpartum Weight Management: Diet

Postpartum care should not involve any crash diets, however quickly you want to shed excess fat. The body needs a good deal of nutrition after you deliver a baby, as it does during pregnancy
  • Published on: 19 Apr 2021
  • 3 min read
Postpartum Weight Management: Diet

If there is a thing that all women who have been through pregnancy know, it's the challenge of losing excess postpartum weight. Post-baby, dealing with weight changes that occur as a result of pregnancy and childbirth can be somewhat of a struggle. Taking care of a newborn is stressful, as is adapting to a new routine. It's a lot to take in. Nonetheless, it's vital to go back to a healthy weight after you deliver your baby. This is especially important if you are considering another pregnancy in the future.

Something called "Baby Weight"

There's no doubt that you've heard of the term "baby weight". Postpartum care involves getting rid of some weight that is gained by women due to pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control or CDC suggest that women who carry a single baby gain approximately twenty-five to thirty-five pounds during nine months of pregnancy. Research from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology claims that weight gained during pregnancy is the result of many factors. These are primarily the fetus, the placenta, amniotic fluid, blood, breast tissue, excess fat stores, and the enlargement of the uterus1.

Extra fat is typically an energy reserve for birth and breastfeeding that follows. Nonetheless, weight gain in excess can lead to the presence of too much fat. Called "baby weight", this is common, and nothing to get concerned about. Almost half of all women gain more than the prescribed amount of weight during nine months of pregnancy, as reported by the CDC. You can expect more weight than your physician has predicted you will gain, but it is important to manage postpartum weight changes. Despite what you read in magazines, it takes time to lose weight. What is relevant to keep in mind is that you need to lose excess fat or you run the risk of being overweight in the future. With this, comes the increased liability of conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Weight Management Post Childbirth

healthy diet

If you accept something as a given, your expectations will remain realistic regarding losing postpartum weight. Keeping goals within realistic limits helps a lot, both mentally and physically. A 2015 study showed that 75 percent of women had gained more weight post a year of giving birth than before pregnancy. Of these, 47 percent had a gain of 10 pounds (4.54 kg) more. Realistically, you can expect to lose around 10 pounds (4.54 kg) over a period of two years post-childbirth. This is an average figure and a lot depends on how much weight you gained during pregnancy. With a good diet and exercise, you'll likely meet healthy weight goals after giving birth.

No Crash Diets

postpartum diet

Postpartum care should not involve any crash diets, however quickly you want to shed excess fat. These diets are low in essential calories and aim to lose pounds rapidly. The body needs a good deal of nutrition after you deliver a baby, as it does during pregnancy. Healing and recovery will only be optimal if you consider this. Additionally, if you are breastfeeding a baby, you should have more calories than you normally do, as is stated by the CDC. After childbirth, you will be sleep-deprived more often than not, and you need energy-producing foods to tackle this period. Assuming that you have a stable weight, you can decrease your intake of calories by 500 a day, 300 by consumption and around 200 through exercise of some sort. Breastfeeding can help you and your baby get nutrients, fight disease as well as lose weight2.

Nutrition that is Needed

Physicians often recommend food that is high in nutrition while you're pregnant and in your postpartum phase too. Grains and vegetables are essential to your physical well-being. Some amount of protein in the form of meat, such as fish and poultry, is required too. Foods high in fiber can maintain a healthy and stable body weight in your nine months of pregnancy. They can do the same as you welcome your new baby into your life. Soluble fiber foods such as soybeans, black beans, Lima beans, avocados, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, broccoli, etc, add good bacteria to your intestines. These foods help you feel fuller for longer and reduce constipation while lowering cholesterol. Eating these can reduce your weight. Nuts, seeds, and lentils are good sources of protein to think of3.

Sources:

1. Healthy Pregnant or Postpartum Women | Physical Activity | CDC

2. Maternal Diet | Breastfeeding | CDC

3. Best High Fiber Snacks For Pregnancy 2020 (whattoexpect.com)

 


Lindsay Hudson

Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Lindsay Hudson

Lindsay is a freelance writer who is mom to a lovely daughter. She loves dressing in matching outfits with her daughter and bringing their 2 dogs out for their daily walk.

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