Nowadays, most mothers all over the world realize the importance of breastfeeding their babies. One of the several desired outcomes of breastfeeding is to lose the extra pounds gained during pregnancy. However, this is more elusive than many expect (see details here). Therefore, the strategy to lose weight while breastfeeding has to be developed according to a strict medical regime and followed with care and precision. You may be able to lose weight in a disciplined manner by eating the right kinds of food and in the right quantity, complemented by regular physical exercising and enough sleep.
Being a mother to a newborn that is still breastfeeding is a big job, taking most of your time and attention. You may think that finding ways to lose weight while breastfeeding is rather far-fetched and wishful thinking. However, doctors believe that by following certain instructions, you can have a fairly good chance of weight loss.
While on this topic, bear in mind that if you are breastfeeding, you may need to wait a few weeks or months to get back your pre-pregnancy looks and curves, since some of the extra pounds are essential for the welfare of the nursing baby.
Some simple rules to follow:
- You can’t get there overnight. Give yourself time to show results. The aim is to lose weight in a gradual and steady pace. Too much haste will ultimately take a toll on your health and may have serious consequences. If possible, lie back and enjoy the bliss of motherhood for about two months after birth before considering losing weight. The one thing that you may start doing from day one, however, is to consume nutritious and healthy foods and to avoid junk snacks as much as possible.
- Do not get lured by promises of rapid weight loss through consumption of special medications that, supposedly, will burn your fat and lessen your weight dramatically. Such therapies may turn out to be quite harmful to you, as well as to the baby. What you really need is to slowly and gradually lose weight in a controlled fashion. Too much stress on your body in a short time may result in long-term damage.
- During the first few months, avoid food items rich in carbohydrates and fats like candies, cookies, white bread, and so on. Balance your diet with all nutrients, especially a good bit of protein, iron, and calcium. It is best to avoid excessive processed foods, caffeine, and sugar. This will help you lose weight and will provide your baby with high-quality breast milk.
- An important contributor to weight gain is mental stress. After the baby is born, your stress may suddenly increase significantly. Read here for ways to help you regain control of yourself and here for strategies to prevent post-partum depression.
Finally, try to get at least 8 hours of sleep per day. This may be very difficult if your baby has an irregular sleep pattern. This article describes a method to teach your baby to sleep 12 hours per night. Try it!
In summary, eat well, feel well, and sleep well. With a little bit of exercise, you will be on your way to lose weight, be healthier, and look amazing.