Giving birth is one of the most challenging, but also one of the most rewarding, things any woman can do, but it does leave many ladies feeling uncomfortable in their bodies afterwards. Here at Bodyline, we think post-baby bodies are just as beautiful as figures that haven’t been put through the stress of childbirth. But if you are keen to shift the baby weight, when is the right time to do it?
There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about when it is and isn’t acceptable to start dieting, exercising and losing weight after giving birth but here are our recommendations:
Wait At Least 6 Weeks to Get Started
It’s needless to say that life is a bit of a whirlwind when you’ve just had a baby and you have a lot to think about, losing weight being the least of your worries. But your body also needs time to start balancing and healing.
Your hormones are really unbalanced when you’ve just given birth which will affect you mentally and physically, but your body also needs time to start adjusting back to normal. So, it is best to reduce the pressure on yourself and your body while this happens.
If you’re breastfeeding, this can also take a few weeks to get the hang of and not eating the right diet can hinder milk production, so give yourself a few weeks to settle into your new routine and regain some normality.
Start Easy with Light Exercise and Healthy Choices
A lot of women find it helpful to almost ‘phase’ themselves back into weight loss, starting off easy when your baby is very young and getting more into it as they get older.
When you are ready and when you’re feeling more in a routine and more recovered, starting with daily light exercise and making healthier food choices is the easy way to get back into a healthy lifestyle without putting too much pressure on yourself or your baby.
A walk with the pram or your baby in a sling every day can help burn calories and get your body moving while choosing healthy snacks that are high in fibre and protein as opposed to sugars and saturated fats is a guaranteed way to keep you energised and slowly help you lose any weight you’re not happy with.
Don’t Cut Calories if You’re Breastfeeding
If you’re breastfeeding, that does change the options available to you for weight loss quite drastically. Weight loss pills, supplements and slimming products aren’t generally suitable for use when pregnant or breastfeeding, so any of those options will have to wait until your baby is off the breast. For example, Bodyline Clinic recommends waiting 3-6 months after birth before starting one of our plans and you can’t be breastfeeding when you do.
If you’re breastfeeding, cutting calories also isn’t the best idea. You will be noticeably hungrier and thirstier whilst breastfeeding as the nourishment you’re absorbing is having to fuel not just you but your baby too, so you need to ensure you’re eating enough to be able to provide for both of you.
You can still make healthy food choices but cutting your calories down in a bid to lose weight isn’t recommended when breastfeeding.
There is evidence that suggests breastfeeding actually aids post-birth weight loss anyway, so don’t worry if this is hindering you from getting back to a strict weight loss plan, it might be helping you anyway!
Do What Feels Right For You
Advice is just that – advice. You have to do what is right for you.
There are certain recommendations around postpartum weight loss that are there for your health and safety, but you know your own body and you’ll know when it feels right for you to start thinking about your body again.
Some women feel they want to start working on their shape again within weeks while for others, they aren’t interested for months, even a year – and that’s fine.
There is no pressure to ‘snap back’ and if you do wish to lose some of the weight gained in pregnancy, do it in a way that is safe and responsible for you and your baby and at a pace that works for you both.
If you want to discuss post-baby weight loss with medical professionals, why not book your free consultation at your local Bodyline Clinic? Our medical weight loss products may not be suited to you just now, but we may able to help you get a plan in place for when you are ready.