Motherhood is one of the most fulfilling things that any woman will ever go through. Sure, your kids will probably drive you mad every so often, but we don’t know a single mother who didn’t love their baby the moment they laid eyes on their little bundle of joy. If we’re talking about one thing that every new mother is desperate to be rid of, however, we’re putting all our money on this: pregnancy weight.
The moment a woman gets pregnant, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the baby weight will slowly start to accumulate. Ladies, it’s okay. We’re eating for two people, after all. But that still doesn’t change the fact that there’s probably going to be some work to be done once you push that baby out. That’s not to say that the process doesn’t get daunting though. If you’re a new mom and don’t quite know where to start in between all the crying, feeding and diaper changing, we’ve got a few tips to get you started.
Tip #1: Breastfeed
Honestly, we’re huge fans of breastfeeding. Not only is it fantastic and totally important for your baby’s health, it’s also a complete game changer when it comes to dropping your pregnancy weight.
Amazingly, breastfeeding causes a woman’s body to burn and extra 600 to 800 calories per day. Even better? All you have to do is get comfortable and let your baby nurse. Sure, you’ll need to consume an extra 500 calories per day to maintain breastfeeding, but that’s nothing compared to the benefits you get in return. Some women have even reported that they dropped all their baby fat through breastfeeding alone.
One important thing to remember though ladies is that when you start to wean your child off of breastmilk, or when your baby starts eating solids, your caloric burn will, naturally, plummet. When this transition starts to take place, you also need to adjust your diet. Start decreasing your calorie intake and increasing your exercise.
Tip #2: Do Your Best to Get Up and Move
Being a new mom is tough. Sleepless nights are the norm and sometimes getting used to caring for a tiny human can be overwhelming at best. Who has time to think about exercise in the midst of this all, right?
We want to assure you that it’s completely okay to feel like this. In fact, most new moms won’t be ready for any serious exercise until a month and a half after they give birth. This number goes up if you delivered your baby through a Cesarean procedure, too. Regardless, there are some easy activities that you can try to throw into your day just to make sure that get up and move a little.
One easy activity is to just get out of the house and walk around the block. Not only do you get to enjoy some fresh air and a few moments of alone time, the walking will also feel good and won’t cause any bleeding. You can walk just a bit further with every day that goes by until you’re ready to start throwing 30 minutes of cardio back into your regular daily programming.
Tip #3: Pay Attention to Your Caloric and Fat Intake
Ladies, you can’t eat the same way post-pregnancy that you did during your pregnancy. If you’re serious about ditching the all the weight you gained during your bun-in-the-oven days, you’re going to have to start paying good attention to the food that you put in your body.
For example, chips and sodas are out the window (you probably shouldn’t be eating this during your pregnancy either). Fad diets are also a huge no-no, especially if you’re a new mom. Remember that you need tons of nutrient-dense foods in your diet when you’re nursing a child because these are what you’ll pass on to your baby.
Stock your pantry and refrigerator with fantastic whole foods that are rich in nutrients. Some must-haves include whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein and dairy products that are naturally lower in fat.
In addition to watching what you put in your body, it’s also worth mentioning that you should be mindful of the way you fuel your body too. Go for healthy cooking methods and try to spread out your nutrients equally throughout the day since babies tend to feed frequently. Small but frequent meals are the best way to go. Plus, this way of eating will help you metabolize your meals more efficiently and cause your body to store less fat.
Tip #4: Take a Decent Nap
Sleep. Is. Good. Actually, allow us to rephrase. Sleep. Is. Very. Good. We know that it’s kind of impossible to get a solid block of sleep when you’re a new parent, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take every chance that you can get to nap.
As a rule of thumb, sleep is a crucial element to weight loss because this is when your body regenerates and regulates your body’s hormones. Additionally, it’s a lot easier to avoid binge eating when you’re asleep. When it comes to post-pregnancy weight loss, however, sleep is especially important because caring for a newborn will throw your body through a loop. Your unusual sleeping cycles will have an effect on your metabolism and this will become one of your biggest hurdles to losing your pregnancy weight.
One easy way to get those extra naps in is to sleep when your baby sleeps. Yes, we understand that there’s tons of housework to be done, but it’s going to have to wait. Also, this is what your husband is there for. Make it clear to him that you need his support and that you need the extra sleep so he’s just going to have to pull some extra weight around the house. Taking naps when your child does will allow you to minimize your sleep deficit and keep those cravings at bay. Besides, extra rest is always welcome.