Getting rid of that excess pregnancy weight is a concern for most new mothers, but what with having a newborn baby to look after, it is not normally seen as a high priority.
However, there are some simple things you can do that will help you shed the extra weight and get back to your pre-pregnancy size, while still being able to spend the time you want taking care of your child.
Ideas for losing weight
Get enough sleep. This is a common complaint for new mothers, that they are always tired and never manage to get the sleep they need. The best way to get round this is to follow the example of your baby, and nap as often as you can during the day. Sleep helps to regulate the hormones that control your hunger, so making sure you sleep whenever you can will also stop you from being as hungry.
Snack throughout the day. This is particularly important if you are breastfeeding, but any new mum will need to keep up her energy levels. Remember that healthy foods will be most beneficial to you, so make sure you have plenty of fresh foods, particularly fruit, in your kitchen.
Have a larger serving of vegetables at dinner. Eating vegetables fills you up more quickly, so you will find that overall you are eating less. They are also low on calories, meaning you will burn off the excess weight more quickly.
Be aware of your portion sizes. Putting less food on your plate will go a long way towards helping you lose that extra weight. If you always feel the need to completely fill the plate, then eat from a smaller plate. This way, you can still fill it, but it contains less food, so you don’t end up eating as much. If you are eating out, perhaps grabbing a takeaway, do not be persuaded to have the supersize option. This will simply undo all of the hard work you have put in so far.
Exercise. Yes, you have just given birth, and your doctor or midwife should have given you some advice about avoiding strenuous exercise for a while, but there are still several things you can do to help you lose some weight. Talk to other new mums in your local area, and arrange to do something together. Take the children for a walk round the park or to the shops, do a post-natal yoga or pilates class together. There are many groups intended for new mothers, many of which will help you to get active again after the birth. It is important that you get into a routine with your exercise, as this means you will be more likely to continue until, and perhaps even after, you reach your goal.
What you may not realise is that breastfeeding will help you to lose some of the excess weight that you gained during the pregnancy. If you hadn’t thought about breastfeeding before, then this may be a reason for you to consider it.
The best way for you to get back to your pre-pregnancy size is to get in a routine as early as you can, and stick to it as much as possible. This will allow your body to become accustomed to the amount of sleep and food it is receiving, and also means you are more likely to stick to any exercise programme that you begin.
Even simple activities like playing with your children will help you to burn extra calories, and over time will help to reduce your weight. Don’t worry when the weight does not fall off immediately, it can take time.