It has been six months since I became a mother. With all the pampering & preggers days perks, I had gained a total of 18kgs.
And now 6 months postpartum I have managed to shed most of it.
Normally a pregnant lady loses 5kg weight right after delivery. Which includes – baby weight, blood loss, amniotic fluid & placenta.
Additionally, 2kg of water weight is lost in the 1st week after delivery.
So here’s what all I did to lose the rest of the weight –
1. GOOD NUTRITION :
It takes more calories to breastfeed a baby than it does during pregnancy. An exclusively breastfed baby needs around 500-800 calories for growth & development.
Hence, good nutrition becomes imperative. But remember consuming for two or more than your body can burn will be stored as fat. Moreover, the calories for breast milk are mostly coming from your body reserves.
Though I wasn’t exclusively breastfeeding (suffered from sacroiliitis), I tried breastfeeding as much as I could. So my focus was/is on a balanced diet as the vitamins & minerals from the food get pumped into breast milk. For this I tried the following things :
– Small frequent meals.
– Protein-rich , wholesome meals
– Home cooked/Ghar ka Khana
– Less oil / but ghee on chapati
– More veggies (seasonal)
– Curd (home set)
– Rice (easily digestible)
– No processed/packaged food
– Chew food properly (15-20 times)
– Avoid carbonated drinks
– Avoid packaged juices
– Drinking lots n lots of water: I preferred drinking warm water. It’s been 6 months postpartum & I still drink pre-boiled warm water.
2. CATCHING UP ON SLEEP :
A new mum is low on energy, has no time – what so ever! And to ice everything, her pattern & duration of sleep is extremely disturbed & compromised.
The sleeplessness increases the cortisol levels which in turn decreases the inability to metabolize calories.
Unfortunately, all this is unavoidable but just a little bit of smartness can be helpful here.
– Take help (mum, MIL, husband)
– Avoid caffeine (tea/coffee)
– Avoid stress
– Avoid overexertion
– Buy a breast pump – this was my best decision. During the initial days I made sure to pump enough milk so that while I took my 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep (mostly from 4am – 11am), my mum would cater to the baby & let me take the much-needed rest.
3. EXERCISE :
Well, clearly this does not mean joining a gym or aerobic classes.. (No time for any of that !).
What I mean is – just the basic stretches which can happen with the baby.
– making your legs a swing for the baby
– taking the baby for “stroller walks” or babywearing walks.
– doing kegels
– abdominal bracing (contracting abs, lower back & buttock muscles at the same time). I usually did this before going to bed.
– Physiotherapy exercises – well these were must for me as they were part of my sacroiliitis treatment post delivery. But somewhere I believe these played a big role in my weight loss. I do these for 20min in the morning & 20min in the evening.
These are the following –
1. Ankle stretches
2. Hamstring stretches
3. Tummy tucks with buttock squeezing
5. Knee to chest
6. On chair (knee stretch)
7. Buttock stretch (knee to opposite shoulder)
4. HEALTHY SNACKING :
Snacking on protein-rich food is important. It keeps you full for more time than carbohydrates.
– Panjeeri/Harera laddoos: maximum 2 laddoos in a day.
– Makhaane (fox nut) : it is rich in protein & calcium. It also helps in reducing inflammation.
– Avoid too much Sugar
– opt for fresh fruits, fresh juices, lassi, tender coconut or plain water for hydration.
– Lactation tea: This warm caffeine-free tea is a must for new mums. It not only helps with the breastmilk flow but also relaxes the body. I have my own version of lactation tea.
Things you will need to make this tea are-
You can also buy the ready-made mix – Tea for nourishing mother from @themomsco. This tea has aniseeds, blackcurrant leaves & peppermint leaves additionally. Its taste & smell is incredible.
5. POSTPARTUM BELT :
The day I left the hospital after delivery, I still looked 4-5 months pregnant. And this time the abdominal muscles felt involuntary, loose & flabby.
The fat that had given perfect cushioning to the baby in the womb, was as it is.
So, 1 week after the delivery I started tying a cotton dupatta on my loose belly. Don’t know about others but I felt better because this loose pouch belly was in one place.
Almost 20 days later, I switched to the @Farlin postpartum belt.
6. POSTNATAL SUPPLEMENTS :
In order to recover & replenish your body – taking supplements is important. But make sure to take your doctor’s approval.
I am taking the following supplements-
– Amway Nutrilite multivitamin & multimineral
– Supracal pro
– CoBaDex czs
– Cholecalciferol tablets 60,000 I.U
7. PATIENCE :
It takes nine months to create a baby, it will take months to juggle in this new mom’s life & get back to the pre-pregnancy shape at the same time.
Always remember – your body has undergone a major change. It won’t be better, it won’t be worse. But yes, it won’t be exactly the same.
So, starting with realistic & attainable goals in terms of exercise or food habits can be a starting point.
My starting point was drinking warm water & taking the baby for walks. Later other things followed.
8. DOCTOR’S APPROVAL –
Whether you had a vaginal delivery, an episiotomy or a c-section. It is extremely important to get your Doctor’s approval & clearance prior to starting a fitness routine (exercising or food habits).
All the above-mentioned things worked perfectly for me. But like every pregnancy, every baby, every mom- every body type is different.
I hope this blog helps a new mum in taking that first step towards her pre-pregnancy self.