Quick Tips to Lose Weight after Childbirth

Dec 16, 2009
Many new moms want to shed extra pounds and fit in their pre-pregnancy clothes soon after childbirth. However, most women find it hard to take time for themselves, while caring for a baby. Here are some helpful tips to lose weight and stay fit after pregnancy:

Get a good night sleep

For many women, sleep deprivation is one of the biggest problems after childbirth, which may contribute to postpartum weight retention. Several studies showed that a good sleep is just as vital as your nutrition and exercise for losing weight after childbirth. Women who sleep less than five hour a day are three time more likely to retain weight than those who had seven or more hours of sleep. This can be partly explained by the fact that lack of sleep leads to the changes in the levels of hormones that control appetite. But what if your baby wakes up frequently at night and you just do not have a  chance to sleep enough? Sleep while your baby is sleeping during the day.

Stay Active with Your Baby

Spending most of the time caring for a baby may actually contribute to quicker weight loss after childbirth. There are many ways to shed pregnancy weight being with your child. Go for a walk with your baby in a stroller to get some fresh air. Pushing the stroller is one of the ways to burn some extra calories. You can also wear your baby in a baby carrier while walking or jogging to stay even more active. Dancing with your baby in hands is one more way to shed pounds and have fun.

Breastfeed Your Baby

Numerous studies showed that women, who breastfed their baby exclusively and longer were more likely to lose all their pregnancy weight six months after childbirth. Specialists recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and to any extent until the first year of the baby. During pregnancy your body stores additional fatty tissue to start and maintain breastfeeding after childbirth. When you are breastfeeding, you are burning more calories to produce milk, which make you lose weight easily.

Keep to Varied and Nutritious Diet

Many women start dieting to lose weight quickly after childbirth. However, if you are breastfeeding, dieting may harm your baby's health, because fast weight loss will promote the release of toxins into your breast milk and reduce milk supply. Keep in mind that you need around 1,200 to 2,200 calories a day to support your energy level and breastfeeding. Have 4-5 smaller nutritious meals per day, focusing on varied and healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish, beans, milk and dairy products. Keep junk food out of house to avoid temptation. Do not skip breakfast as studies show that eating breakfast may actually contribute to weight loss. Eat slowly and only when you are hungry.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

You will need to drink around 8 or 9 cups of fluids a day to stay hydrated and support breastfeeding. Also water increases metabolism and reduces appetite. It is better to drink plain water, moderate amounts of tea and juices. Avoid drinking soda and coffee drinks, because they contain caffeine which can dehydrate you. You should also keep off alcohol especially when you are breastfeeding.

Take it slow

Be patient while losing weight after childbirth. For most women it takes six months to a year to return to their pre-pregnancy weight. It is normal to store some fat after a month or two after childbirth. Women, who gained less than 30 pounds during pregnancy, who are nursing and have one child, are more likely to lose weight quicker. Be patient and keep to a healthy lifestyle and you will burn all the extra calories.