Given my annoyance at Gwyneth Paltrow’s comments regarding her struggle with weight loss after the birth of her second child, I thought it would be useful to post five easy natural tips for shedding those pregnancy pounds. These are realistic, simple things you can do that will both benefit your baby and help you lose the extra weight your body needed during pregnancy.
Breast is best for your baby, but did you also know that it helps you lose weight? In fact, you burn 600 calories a day just by breastfeeding your baby. In an article titled “Breastfeeding reduces maternal lower body fat“, Kramer writes:
Mothers who breastfed exclusively or partially had significantly larger reductions in hip circumference and were less above their prepregnancy weights at 1 month postpartum than mothers who fed formula exclusively.
2. Eat Healthy: Do Not Diet!
It always amazes me when women complain about their weight but still eat processed and fast food. Haven’t they seen Super Size Me? Eating out, even at better restaurants, always involves richer food with higher calories. If you cook at home using whole foods that have been organically-grown, not only will you be making high quality breast milk for your babe, but you will also lose those pregnancy pounds.
It’s also really important to be patient. It took nine months to gain that extra weight; it can take nine or more months to lose it. Dieting is not advisable while you are breastfeeding, due to the demands it puts on your body. You need to consume at least 1800-2000 calories for lactation.
You don’t need to starve yourself to lose those baby pounds, and it is not just extra weight that has changed your body. Your hips have spread, and it takes time for them to shrink back to their normal width. Dieting won’t help your bones move any faster than mother nature’s plan.
3. Exercise: Walk a Mile a Day
Before beginning any exercise regime, it is important to wait at least two weeks after labor to give your body time to heal. I think the easiest way to exercise with a new baby is to walk. Whether you wear your baby or use a stroller, infants love the motion of walking. For me, the magic number was at least a mile a day, which I found simple to find the time for and include in my daily routine. I also practiced yoga, but walking was the easiest and most enjoyable for both baby and mom. It’s also good for Dad, especially if he gained sympathy pounds.
4. Drink Water and Pregnancy Tea
You need a lot of fluids while lactating, but drinking water also has the effect of curbing hunger. When your stomach is full, whether from food or water, you don’t feel like you need to eat constantly. Most people don’t drink enough water, and thus I think they eat too much.
It is also advised that you continue to drink pregnancy tea while breastfeeding. It is full of vitamins you need while lactating and will keep you hydrated.
5. Wait to Have Another Child
If you can and plan to, it is wise to wait to have another child until after you have lost the weight from the first. It only makes sense to start off where you want to be so that it is easier to return to your optimum weight. Of course, the best laid plans don’t always happen, so relax and enjoy your pregnancy no matter what your weight gain is.