This has been the new topic of my household of late! And, honestly, is a conversation that a lot of new, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. time parents have. What fad diet would work the best? How will this affect my newborn if I am breastfeeding? What is a healthy amount of weight to lose after the birth of my child? These seem to be some common questions asked online and a few asked in my house.
We all have friends and family that have just have a child and I am sure they would love to spark this conversation as well. Thankfully and honestly the answer is not that much different from the answer that is used for everyone else in this world. The simple overnight solution answer is “slow and steady wins the race”. Now postpartum weight loss does have its subtle differences but is still very similar to answer for us all.
The biggest weight loss will be during the birth of your child when you will lose 10 to 12 pounds which will include the weight of your child, placenta, and amniotic fluid. After that within the next week or so you should expect to lose about another 5 pounds of water weight that had been previously retain to prepare your body for childbirth. Now after this initial weight loss everything will slow down but it not a time for you to be discouraged. From here if you are not breast feeding then everything will be based off of healthily losing 1 to 2 pounds per week to you get to your desired goal. If you are breastfeeding you may have an advantage. On average, mothers that breastfeed get back to pre-pregnancy weight 6 months faster then mothers that do not breastfeed. On the flip side to that coin, the struggles of breastfeeding can have an adverse effect because of the demands of feeding two people. Breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day.
Burning 500 calories a day can definitely aid in your ability to lose the weight as long as you are able to maintain a healthy eating regiment for your lifestyle. It does not mean following fad diets that will aid in quick unsustainable weight loss. Solid healthy ridden choices to what you put into your body that will also be shared with your child is the best way to go. Which means to do your best with staying away from candy and junk food. Not an easy task (wife made sure I added this line). Pregnant cravings do not just go away when your baby is born.
So now for the advice section
Start off slowly. Understand that you body first has to recover from the trauma before you dive right into anything. After your six-week check-up, and with your doctor’s approval, start to lose weight by about a couple of pounds a month. Mainly to make sure you aren’t going to be nutrient deficient in your own recover and for feeding your child. Try your best with staying away from junk food. It doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect, it just means that you have to make the choice to try. Everyday you can get better at anything as long as you try to do better.
Next, as long as your doctor has cleared you, start exercising. NOW keep in mind that your body has gone through a substantial trauma and you will need to start slow and build things back up. You will not be exactly where you left off but if you go in with that expectation then you will start with the right mind frame to succeed to you weight loss goal.
Lastly, TRY try try to get enough sleep. I am not insane by telling you this but I sincerely know the struggle of this with a newborn and a wife that is breastfeeding. It pretty much feels like sleep is non-existent for me, let alone for my wife who is breastfeeding. But it is a know fact that lack of sleep will hinder your ability to lose weight. Now this will be different for every couple but figure out a way to make sleep possible. Trade off naps, nap when your children are napping, do whatever is possible to gain enough sleep throughout your day to aid in your health.
Sincerely a tired father that was inspired to write this by his also tired wife!