These days, we are bombarded with images of celebrity moms that have dramatically slimmed down just weeks after giving birth. Even Kate Middleton said she “hardly did anything” to lose weight after her pregnancy. The truth is that a lot of new celebrity mothers go to extreme lengths, often losing weight in ways that are not good for their bodies. Furthermore, they enlist the help of a team of experts to lose their baby weight. In the real world, us moms might not have the help of nannies, personal trainers, and personal chefs to help us in our weight loss goals.
Thankfully, we can follow some simple, healthy advice to trim down after the arrival of our new baby. Healthy eating, exercising, breastfeeding, and getting some well-earned sleep are all beneficial to losing baby weight.
Eat Healthy, Avoid Crash Diets
After you’ve had a baby, your body needs time to recover from the labor and delivery. Our first tip is to not start any crash diets in the first 2 months of giving birth. Crash diets will only make you more tired, affect your recovery, and can even affect your milk supply if you’re nursing. Instead, aim for a healthy, balanced diet that will nourish your body. Try including salmon, leafy greens, low fat dairy products, eggs, fruits, whole grain cereals, lean beef and iron rich legumes in your diet. It can be difficult for new moms, but you should try not to skip meals. Aim to get in the habit of eating breakfast, and avoid junk food. Don’t forget to drink a lot of water, it will keep you hydrated and keep your energy levels up.
Discover Breastfeeding Benefits
If you can, and you want to, breastfeeding can be a healthy way to lose weight after giving birth. Indeed, breastfeeding can have a number of benefits for both baby and mother. One of these benefits is that it helps you to reduce your baby weight. A Danish study showed that breastfeeding mothers were more likely to lose their pregnancy weight six months after giving birth. They also estimate that mothers that breastfeed retain almost 4 and a half pounds less than women that don’t breastfeed.
Get Moving and Exercise
While a healthy diet is very important, another key way to lose weight is to get moving and exercise. It will not only help with weight loss, it will boost your mood, help you to sleep better, and it can help with depression. You don’t even need to hit the gym – brisk walking with your baby in the stroller can be a great way to fit exercise into your daily routine. Many health centers offer classes for new moms, and some even have classes for mom and baby together. You could also try post-natal yoga, either at class or at home with a DVD. Whatever way you choose to do it, exercise will benefit you in many ways, including helping you to lose your baby weight. Remember to get your doctor’s approval and start off slowly, especially if you had a C-section.
Get Some Well Earned Rest
This can be hard for any new mom, but try your best to get enough sleep. If you have a partner, try to share the middle of the night feedings. A breast pump will mean you can bottle your milk, so that your partner can feed the baby while you are getting some well earned rest. Not only will sleep help your recovery and your mood, it has been shown that a lack of sleep can actually make you gain weight. A study by the University of California Berkeley showed that even after a single night of sleep deprivation, people showed a greater desire for unhealthy, high calorie foods. Therefore, getting enough sleep will mean you are more likely to choose healthy, nutritious foods that are good for your body.
As you can see, you don’t need to go to the extreme, unhealthy lengths of some celebrity moms to lose your baby weight. Making sensible diet choices, breastfeeding if possible, exercising, and getting some good rest will all help you to reach your weight goals and lose your post-partum weight. Take things slow at first, and try not to compare yourself to others. We’re all different, and it’s more important to be healthy and happy, for ourselves and for our babies.