Now that your new baby is here, your life will have changed completely. There are many things to think about – what to do when your baby cries, getting into a feeding routine, remembering everything, and losing ‘baby weight’ may be the last thing on your mind.
1. Don’t Diet
Contrary to what you may think, creating a new, strict eating regime just when you have had a baby is the wrong time to start. There are so many happy moments with a new born baby but it is a time of many challenges too.
Rather than being too hard on yourself, take a balanced view of your diet. Just like in pregnancy, vary your food choices and when you can, enjoy creating tasty dishes in the kitchen.
There will be times when your day and night don’t go according to plan. Disturbed or minimal sleep can leave you feeling drained and hungry at odd times in the day.
Try to make healthy choices, even when your body is craving chocolate or sugar – but remember it is ok to have the occasional treat.
2. Super-Charged Foods
As a new mum, whether it is your first baby or your fourth, you will need foods that are packed with nutrients but ideally light on calories and fat.
Super-charge your diet with great foods such as fish. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, it helps your new-born develop a healthy brain and nervous system, nutrients that are passed on as your feed. Stick with cold water fish such as salmon, sardines and tinned tuna. And don’t forget your dairy intake too. Milk and yogurt contain essential calcium and stick with lean meats such as turkey, chicken and lean red meat.
3. Consider Breast Feeding
There is no scientific evidence that supports the theory either way that breast feeding supports weight loss after pregnancy or not. Some studies suggest that it can, but others suggest not.
Irrespective of the arguments, if breast feeding is right for you and your baby, then go for it. Breast feeding uses up extra calories – up to an extra 300 in a day, more if you have a heavy feeder or twins etc.
Bur, this doesn’t mean that breast feeding is an excuse to eat whatever you want…!
4. Stay Hydrated
The feeling of thirst is often mistaken for hunger pangs so instead of reaching for a snack, reach for a glass of water instead.
Staying hydrated stops you from snacking and is also great for making your feel alert and on top of
Keep an eye on caffeinated drinks and try to limit your consumption of soft drinks too. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you are breast feeding.
5. Get Moving!
Exercise as well as diet is important for a new mum.
As well as helping you get back into shape and tone up, exercise is important for your emotional well-being too.
Post-natal depression is estimated to affect 1 in 10 new mums but it remains a hidden problem because many women don’t realise the symptoms. Some women develop serious levels of depression that require treatment, whilst other women ‘live through’ their depression.
Exercise produces endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormone that lightens mood and helps with a positive outlook. A stroll in the park on a sunny day is fantastic exercise so don’t assume that the only place you can get fit is the gym.
6. Ask for Help
All new mums need help. Whether that is someone to watch the baby while you go shopping or someone to help with your other children. It may be that you are also struggling to get a decent night’s sleep and this affects not only your mood and enjoyment of your baby, but also how and what you eat.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Ask people to help you out – you’ll probably find you won’t be short of volunteers!
Losing weight after giving birth is a sensitive subject. Coverage in the press of celebrity mums may leave you feeling ‘lacking’. Getting back into your favourite jeans will happen but it will take time but don’t forget, enjoy your baby too!
Have you any tip to lose weight after pregnancy?
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