Do you want to lose the baby weight but are not sure where to begin? Here are some helpful tips on what to expect when trying to get back in shape postpartum
During pregnancy, you can expect to gain about 11.3 – 15.9 kg (or 6.8 – 11.3 kg if you are overweight before your pregnancy).
Although it may prove to be a little difficult for some, it is not impossible to shed the excess weight after giving birth.
However, you should be realistic and set reasonable goals for yourself and understand that losing around one to two kg a month is considered healthy.
Dr Ong Wee Sian, the Head Consultant Sports Physician of the Sports Medicine Service Clinic at KK Women’s and Children Hospital (KKH), reminds mothers that, “Most of us don’t have the kind of resources of celebrities (such as nannies, chefs, personal trainers and dietitians) that allow us to devote an enormous amount of time to getting back in shape straight after delivery.”
So what exactly can you do to help get your body back into shape?
What you’ve heard is true — breastfeeding might help you lose some weight as most nursing mums will burn about 500 calories daily.
By breastfeeding, your body will also release the hormone, oxytocin, which will help your uterus shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size.
Mischa C., a stay at home mother of one, shares that she was able to lose up to 20kg within one year of giving birth, just by breastfeeding.
“I lost all the baby weight and I think my body looked even better than it did before I got pregnant! My friends were really amazed and kept asking me what my secret was. I honestly think it was mainly due to breastfeeding on demand.”
Watch your diet
After giving birth, it is recommended that you follow a good postpartum diet, but avoid crash diets.
In other words, don’t starve or deprive yourself of food thinking that a crash diet is going to help you lose that baby weight.
New mums and especially those who are breastfeeding, require enough essential nutrients to recover and to produce enough breastmilk for your little one.
Ms Nehal Kamdar, Senior Dietitian of the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) says, “Getting the proper nourishment not only speeds up your postnatal recovery, it helps boost your energy and immune system as you take on the job of your life.”
She also recommends that you should only proceed with a weight loss regime six months after giving birth, once your baby has been fully weaned onto solids.
Postpartum diet tips:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help flush out fat
- Eat lots of green leafy vegetables and fruits to help regain your health and for added fibre
- Do not skip meals
- Eat five to six small meals per day instead of three larger meals
- Have healthy snacks throughout the day
- Avoid alcohol (especially if you are breastfeeding)
- Limit your sugar and fat intake
- Cut down on fried food (opt for healthier choices such as boiled, steamed, baked or grilled instead)
- Taking low-fat or non-fat dairy products is fine (and will not affect the quality of your breast milk)
What else can you do to help lose that stubborn baby weight? Go to the next page to find out more!