Dropping That Baby Weight

Hav­ing a baby can be a very reward­ing, deeply mov­ing expe­ri­ence. But it can also wreak havoc on your body. Most women put on between 22 and 26 lbs. over the course of a preg­nancy. The body under­goes other changes to facil­i­tate birthing a baby, and that can make it a chore to drop those preg­nancy pounds. Won­der­ing what to do to get back your pre-baby shape? Here are a few ideas that may help.

  • Fol­low your doctor’s orders. It’s typ­i­cal for doc­tors to advise that new moms wait until after they have a post­na­tal check-up to get back into any seri­ous phys­i­cal activ­ity. That usu­ally means a wait until about six weeks after giv­ing birth. After that, fol­low you doc­tor order’s, start slow, and don’t overdo it.
  • Diets are out. Fol­low­ing an offi­cial diet after a preg­nancy isn’t a great idea. Depriv­ing your­self of favorite foods while deal­ing with the stress of car­ing for a new­born may lead you to put on weight. Instead, eat a bal­anced diet with a vari­ety of foods. If you need a snack, healthy items like apple slices, car­rot sticks, or wheat crack­ers work really well. Be mind­ful not to drop below 1800 calo­ries a day, espe­cially if you’re breastfeeding.
  • Keep hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water. It pre­vents dehy­dra­tion, fills you up, and may even help speed up metabolism.
  • Get plenty of super­foods. Your body needs max­i­mum nutri­tion post-baby. You can get plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, par­tic­u­larly salmon, sar­dines, and tuna. Milk and yogurt will give you the cal­cium to strengthen your bones. Lean meats, beans and nuts are great places to get protein.
  • Get up and move. Okay, so maybe you can’t go full bore, yet. But aer­o­bic exer­cise and strength train­ing are still rec­om­mended. Get­ting your heart pump­ing will help dis­pel depres­sion, it helps you sleep, and it can ease the effects of stress. If you can’t get through a full 30 minute ses­sion, try break­ing it into 10 minute chunks and work up from there.
  • Slum­ber. You need your sleep if you want to lose your baby weight. Stud­ies have shown that new moms who get five hours of sleep or less a night have a ten­dency to put weight back on. This may be because when you’re tired, your body releases stress hor­mones that pro­mote weight gain.

There are plenty of low risk activ­i­ties that can help you drop some baby weight. Walk­ing, cycling, swim­ming, and Kegel exer­cises all pro­mote fit­ness for new mom­mies while not risk­ing injury.