Postnatal weightloss: Options to get back in shape
Are you stuck with extra kilos after giving birth to you baby? Read this article to find out what you can do to promote postnatal weightloss...
Pregnancy are childbirth are wonderful experiences that every woman should be proud of. After all, you’ve just carried a baby in your womb for 9 months and given birth to a perfect new life — pretty amazing.
But after you have your baby, you may find that your body has changed — your thighs, hips and belly may be larger and perhaps you feel your arms are flabby. And is your bottom really yours?!
Many women hope they’ll be able to get back to their pre-natal shape and size as soon as the baby is born. But chances are it may take you much longer than you think!
After all, you’ve had 9 consecutive months of body changes where your uterus swells up, your skin stretches to almost 20 times its normal size, and you carry extra litres of excess bodily fluids.
To get back in shape, drastic options — for example, crash dieting — for a new mother are not recommended as both you and your baby need optimal nutrition. Given this, skipping meals is also not a good idea to achieve postnatal weightloss.
Slimming pills and meal replacement are also definite no- nos, especially if you are breastfeeding. You may not suffer any side effects but you would not want to risk having any of these potentially harmful ingredients passed on to your baby.
While the adult body may process the chemicals, the baby’s digestive is far more fragile.
You may be thinking, “what about about yoga and other forms of exercise?” However experts advice to take it easy when it comes to exercise immediately after childbirth.
The accepted guidelines to resuming an exercise programme are approximately 1 month after natural birth and 2 months after a C-section.
So what options are we left with to help with postnatal weightloss?
If you think breastfeeding is only beneficial to your baby in terms of her nutrition and wellness, you might be surprised to find out that it’s very effective with slimming and postnatal weightloss too!
Breastfeeding produces a hormone called oxytoxin in your body which facilitates muscle relaxation. Many breastfeeding mothers can even feel these contractions while breastfeeding (or pumping milk).
According to a study conducted on lactating mothers, the findings showed that the uterus of the non-breastfeeding mother will never shrink back to its pre-pregnant size and will remain slightly enlarged (Chua, S, Arulkumaran S, Lim I et al. “Influence of breastfeeding and nipple stimulation on postpartum uterine activity.” Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1994; 101:804-805).
And if the aim is to lose weight by burning more calories, breastfeeding can help to burn up to 500 calories per day!
2. Postnatal massage
Postnatal massage is usually associated with the recovering process, recuperation as well as nursing the mother’s tired body to health.
But did you know that not only does it help to relieve stressed and aching muscles, it can also help to breakdown your fats and cellulite, resulting in postnatal weightloss.
In postnatal massage techniques, after the entire body has been massaged, the massage therapist will focus on massaging the abdomen area – this is useful in expelling wind and stimulating the adipose tissue underneath the skin layer.
When herbs, slimming oil or cellulite cream are added, they will be better absorbed into the deeper layers to help work directly on these fat deposits.
Massage techniques such as beating and kneading are then utilized on these problem areas which will further break down and allow the quicker burning of fats.
Overall, postnatal massage helps to get rid of the top layer fatty deposit and also helps to reduce water retention, inflammation and tighten loose skin.
3. Slimming wraps
Following postnatal massage, slimming wraps are often employed around the abdomen area. This is a very popular method of slimming in the Indonesian Jamu Tradition and one of their slimming secrets.
The process involves a long piece of cloth that is tightly wrapped around the abdomen.
By confining your abdomen in a tight space, this technique encourages your uterus to get back into its original shape and size faster. The trapped heat underneath the wrap also helps to break down the fats by make you sweat.
4. Drink lots of water
Drinking lots of water promotes the breakdown of fats and will help you lose that post-pregnancy weight faster. When you are dehydrated, your metabolic rate slows down, which means your body burns your food slower and stores it as fat!
Because your goal is to increase your metabolic rate, water will do just that.
A study done by Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, USA has proven that people who drink more water right before eating a meal tend to eat less and lost more weight than those who did not increase their water consumption.
Dr Brendon Davy, the senior author of the study also added that “Drinking more water is a pretty simple strategy that may be helpful to people trying to lose weight.
We’re not saying, “Drink more water and the body fat will melt away”. But for people who are trying to lose weight and trying to follow a low-cal diet, it’s something they can do as part of that.”
We’d love to to hear how you lost your post-pregnancy kilos. Do share your tips with us by leaving a comment below!