You had a beautiful pregnancy, and now you’ve brought your little one into this world. The next thing on your mind, naturally, will be weight loss & getting your pre-pregnancy body back.
The recent culture of celebrity maternity trends & their inspiring weight loss journeys has influenced many new mothers to take up the weight loss challenge themselves, too.
As easy as it looks, however, postpartum weight loss requires a lot of patience, determination, & a regular diet & exercise regime to be successful.
The one weight loss tip new mothers abide by is breastfeeding! Yes, breastfeeding doesn’t just bring you closer to your baby & provides your baby with adequate nutrition but also helps in reducing the post-baby kilos.
As the world gears up to celebrate International Breastfeeding Week from August 1-August 7, we bring you a few breastfeeding weight loss tips, including a proper breastfeeding diet, exercises for breastfeeding mothers, & breastfeeding tips to aid with the entire weight loss process!
1. Include a lot of fruits & vegetables in your diet
Fruits & veggies are an excellent source of major vitamins & minerals, that you’d be needing to ensure an adequate breast milk supply for your newborn, hence they must be made an important part of your breastfeeding diet.
Besides being rich in essential vitamins, they’re also a great source of roughage that’ll help keep your metabolism healthy, & also provide your body with the much needed liquid content required for a healthy breast milk supply.
In the early days of being a new mother, you might get the urge to follow a fad diet that leads to quick weight loss, but it’s advisable that you intake a wholesome breastfeeding diet rich in fruits, vegetables, liquids & healthy juices to help maintain a rich balance of vitamins & minerals in your body.
As you’re nursing right now, it’s essential that you include all types of healthy fruits & vegetables in your diet for the good health of yourself & your baby.
2. Proteins, too!
One of the few things you absolutely need as a new mother, is ample amounts of energy throughout the day, to tend to your baby’s slightly erratic & untimely needs!
Having gone through the whole ordeal of labour, birth & postpartum health scares, high energy levels are definitely not something that you can boast about right now!
This is precisely why you’d be needing to include a lot of protein-rich food items in your diet, that’d not only help raise your energy levels but also lead to breastfeeding weight loss.
Consuming a protein-rich diet; including a lot of pulses, fish & eggs in your meals; is also a very valued breastfeeding tip given to new mothers by their elders, as it helps increase your breast milk supply & enriches it with essential nutrients.
3. Opt for Whole Grains
When we’re talking about high energy levels, a common breastfeeding tip for new mothers is for them to go for whole grain substitutes of white rice, refined flour & other such food items, in their breastfeeding diets. The reasons are pretty obvious too whole-grain food items provide the good “slow-release carbs” that your body needs to break down glucose & produce energy, besides filling you up for a longer time than regular grains that help with breastfeeding weight loss.
Whole grain food items like whole-grain cereal, flour, etc., are also a great source of natural starch & sugar than the processed ones, & help in keeping up your energy levels sustained throughout the hours.
4. Eat a lot of ‘Healthy fats’
Doctors advise nursing mothers to include a lot of ‘healthy fat’ in their breastfeeding diet, to help keep up their energy levels & increase their breast milk supply.
Healthy fats are monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fats, found in vegetable oils such as Olive, sunflower, etc. & in some nuts, seeds & fish.
Healthy, unsaturated fats pose a significantly lower health risk, unlike natural fats, while providing roughly the same amount of energy.
Consuming a diet rich in healthy fats also keeps you filled for a longer time, thus reducing urges to indulge in over-eating, which eventually helps speed up your breastfeeding weight loss.
5. Drink plenty of water
This breastfeeding weight loss tip should really come as no surprise since breast milk is 80% water, so it goes without saying that you should drink ample amounts of water throughout the day. Medical experts recommend breastfeeding mothers to drink about ½ or ¾ of an ounce of water per pound of their non-nursing weight, which translates to around 14-16 cups of water every day, each cup having a holding capacity of 150-180 ml.
Adequate water consumption not only helps in a healthy breast milk supply but also keeps your body free of toxins accumulated through environmental & other factors.
In addition to increasing breast milk supply, drinking tons of water also helps in shedding the ‘baby weight’ & keeps you filled for a long time, thus reducing compulsive eating & snacking.
6. Indulge in some light exercise for breastfeeding mothers
All the above talk is pretty much irrelevant if you do not do some light exercises to supplement all those healthy eating efforts you’re undertaking. Most new mothers are often apprehensive about exercising, viewing all the bodily discomfort it brings & the strength it requires. But experts opine that there are indeed some exercises that new mothers can do without over-exerting themselves.
Below, we give you a list of a few of these exercises that you can do:
Starting with the basics first, taking a stroll slowly for an hour or so is a great exercise for breastfeeding mothers, & will lead to amazing benefits in the long haul for your post-baby body. Eventually, you can begin pumped up jogs & runs, & carrying your baby along in a front pack will add to the weight, leading to further benefits!
- Deep breathing with abdominal contractions:
A relatively easy exercise for breastfeeding mothers, you can do this anywhere. All you need to do is just sit, breathe in & out and simultaneously contract your abdominal muscles. This will begin to show results in a few months, depending on the number of times you do this on a daily basis.
Pilates is a multi-faceted exercise that tones several parts of your body. With a few adjustments, this can be adopted as an exercise for breastfeeding mothers to tone various parts of their body to help them get their post-baby body back.
Pilates exercises like head-lifts, mid-rise crunches & back-lifts, etc. can be done easily by new mothers with minimal exertion required.
Overtime, medium-strength pilates will show definite results in the form of a toned, well-defined body!
Most new mothers swear by Kegels, as it has multiple benefits. It helps strengthen pelvic floor muscles, tone abs, as well as gives definition to your abdomen! No wonder it’s called the ‘Wonder Exercise’ for new mothers. All you need to do is stand with your knee down & push your pelvic floor muscles in a rapid, sustained movement. Over time, it will begin to show definite results.
- Light workouts with your baby:
In the initial days when your baby is too young, you might not get any time to alone. But worry not, as there are certain exercises you can do with your baby. Workouts like back body crunches, push-ups, mid-rise crunches, knee-lifts, etc. can be done even with your baby. The specific positions can be worked out differently for each mother-baby duo, but you can definitely give it a shot!
To sum it all up, your post-baby weight loss journey is going to be a long one, & patience, perseverance coupled with relentless hard work & discipline are the keys to achieving your weight loss goals.
As an all-inclusive pregnancy & motherhood community, we are dedicated to providing all the necessary information, tips & help to new mothers to support them in this beautiful phase of their lives, & to ensure every new mother & her baby stays healthy as well as happy!