How to Lose Weight After Pregnancy

HI Doctor,

I’m about to give birth anytime..I gained  60lbs in this pregnancy and want to lose weight fast. How soon can I start working out or doing cardio  exercises after giving birth, nsd po ako…Thank you!

 

Dear C.

Congratulations!

This must be an exciting time for you and the family. Don’t worry about those extra pounds just yet. I suggest you start slow. Take it easy for about 1-2 weeks. You could still have some postpartum spotting or bleeding and the cervix could still be open. Limit your activities to just carrying your baby and walking around the house. Try not to climb up and down the stairs and avoid carrying anything heavier than your baby.

http://www.flowersplane.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Weighing-Scales-1.jpg

After 2 weeks, your doctor will see you for a final internal examination just to be sure that the cervix has closed  and the repair of the episiotomy has healed.

On that first check up, I’m sure the weighing scale will show that you’ve lost around 15 lbs already. That accounts for your baby, the placenta and the extra fluid you retained during the 9 months.

So, if you gained 60 lbs, we have only 45 lbs to worry about.  The ideal weight gain is 25-35 lbs for the entire 9 months. Maybe you did go a little overboard in the “eating for two” part. But here are a few suggestions to help you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight.

1. Try your best to breastfeed. Breastfeeding makes the mother burn more calories due to the extra requirements of milk production. Some women have reported a 4-lb weight loss for every month that they were breastfeeding.

2. Choose your food. Focus on fruits and veggies. Skip the junk food and candy aisle when you are in the grocery. Your baby does not need those and so do you. If you don’t buy it and keep it in your pantry or cupboard, then you won’t be tempted eat it. Right?

3. Don’t skip meals. But eat in smaller portions. Breastfeeding makes you hungry all the time so try to eat 3 small meals and 3 snacks all through out the day. Munch on sliced singkamas, watermelon, papaya and prunes. Fruits will also help your bowel movement to avoid constipation since this could be uncomfortable after an episiotomy.

4. Kegel, kegel, kegel. Kegel’s exercises not only tighten the vaginal muscles but strengthen your core. Pretend you are holding a coin between the 2 lips of the vagina. Hold it for 10 counts then release. Do this 20 times a day. This should strengthen the relaxed perineal muscles that just extruded a whole human being! And the action of tightening the vaginal muscles also makes you tighten your abs, too.

5. Tighten that flabby tummy. Be conscious of your belly button. Try to push the belly button towards the spine at all times. This will also strengthen the abdominal muscles which were stretched out for 9 months. Doing sit-ups and other abdominal strengthening exercises is advised at 3 months after a normal delivery and 6 months after a Caesarean section.

6. Walk your baby. Brisk walking with your baby in a stroller may be the best way to lose that extra weight. It a good way to exercise while bonding with your baby too. Try to walk for at least 30 minutes every other day then increase the duration and frequency as you notice your strength and endurance getting back. A good gauge to know that you are walking fast enough to burn those calories is if you are too breathless to sing. If you can still sing a lullaby while walking, then you are walking too slow.

Other cardio exercises like aerobics, running, biking should be delayed till 3 months for a normal birth and 6 months for a C-section.

7. Hydrate yourself. Breastfeeding, frequent peeing and now sweating from exercise will increase your requirement for fluid. Make sure you drink 2-3 liters of water a day. Carry a water bottle with you all day to keep track of how much water you have consumed.

8. Don’t over do it. If you feel tired and fatigued, rest. Sleep while baby sleeps. A sleepy mommy is a cranky mommy.

9. Finally, be kind to yourself. Love yourself. Follow the rule “9 months up, 9 months down”. If it took you 9 months to gain the 60 lbs, then allow 9 months to gradually lose that weight.

Motherhood is a happy time. Don’t stress yourself out. You’ll go back to your old self in due time.

Doc D

 

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