Weight Loss After Birth: At What (& Whose) Cost?
It is almost every mom’s dream to be able to lose all that she gained throughout and after pregnancy — yes, we’re talking weight. You might look at your pre-pregnancy clothes and wonder when would you be able to fit into them again.
With such eagerness, you may have even considered going on a weight loss diet. But, is it the right thing to do now? Could it possibly slow down your recovery or affect your baby’s growth? Let’s talk about it.
How Should Your Diet Be Like After Birth?
You are highly advised to focus on eating and following a nutritious, healthy, balanced and varied diet. There is almost no restriction except to limit your consumption of sugary or fast food.
If you keep to a healthy diet and appropriate portion of food, the process of breastfeeding itself will help to reduce your excess postpartum weight naturally. When breastfeeding, your body stores are used up over the course of several months to produce breast milk for the baby.
To put it simply, your diet at this point should only be for the purpose of healing and recovering from birth.
Can Your Diet Affect Your Baby?
Technically, yes it can. Since your milk is possibly the only source of nutrients for your baby at this point, the change in your diet can greatly affect your milk – so you can do the maths from here.
In fact, a mother’s diet and her milk supply are very closely intertwined that one of the most common advice you would be given to increase or decrease your milk supply is to change some parts of your diet.
Studies have shown that if you put yourself on a weight loss diet drastically, it can potentially decrease your milk supply AND change its flavour. Not only you will not be able to produce enough supply for your little one but if your baby tastes the foreign flavour of milk, they may reject it (sure, they may like the new flavour too, but it’s pretty much a gamble).
We have briefly talked about how a mother’s diet can affect her milk here, so do give it a read if you’d like to know about it in details.
Should You Try to Lose Weight Right After Birth?
We believe the answer is pretty clear at this point – you most likely shouldn’t.
The long answer is that since your body has just lost a lot of blood (approximately 500 ml after the birth of a single baby) and with it a lot of energy as well, the postpartum stage is when you should be replenishing and nourishing your body. Your main focus should be placed on focusing on recovering, replenishing stores, and improving your milk production and overall lactation.
Therefore, if the diet you are going to adopt to lose weight will compromise any of these elements, it is best to postpone that plan.
You May Also Read this : Confinement Diet Tips to Help You Lose Weight
Regardless, remember that there is possibly nothing wrong with your current weight. We tend to let ourselves be defined and scrutinised by the society’s standards that are often inhuman unnecessary to achieve, and that if we do not fit the image of a beautiful woman as portrayed by the society, we are not beautiful — this is absolutely not true.
You can compare 500 different people with each other (not that you ever have to) and you will still be able to find beauty in all of them because there are endless ways to look and be beautiful.
Hence, if you are indeed planning to lose weight, make sure it is only for your health and not because of the pressure you are feeling to fit into the mould – because even if you do manage to achieve it, there will always be another new mould you’d need to change yourself to fit into, and it is simply not worth putting such pressure on yourself.
Set in your mind that it is because you love your body that you want to be healthier, and not that you want to lose weight so that you can love your body. Your body has done and endured a lot for you and your child, so the best you can do now is to love and nurture it as lovingly as possible.
The best thing about all this, though, is the fact that a considerable percentage of that extra weight will go away on its own. So don’t be too harsh on yourself and let nature takes its course.
Whatever you wish to do from here on, we wish you the best! Stay healthy, stay happy.
You might also like
- When Can I Start Going on a Diet To Lose Weight After Birth?
- What NOT To Do When Planning Your Confinement Diet
- Should I Follow a Weight Loss Diet While Breastfeeding?