Most new moms wonder how to lose weight fast after delivery and get back to pre-pregnancy shape. Get real facts and about how your body holds on the weight after your baby is born.
Congratulations on becoming a mommy, finally! Giving birth to a baby is one of the most difficult tasks a woman has to face in her life and is definitely not a cake walk. Pregnancy brings many changes in a woman’s body – as a new parent, she undergoes many physical and mental changes.
Now when you have put on a lot of weight and pile of excess fat on your tummy, you still look like you’re six months pregnant. However, getting back to your normal size after delivery isn’t as difficult as you might think. Many researches have proved that with regular exercising and balanced diet after delivery is not only beneficial for health of the mother but would also reduce the risk of postpartum depression.
Why do I still look pregnant after giving birth?
You must have thought that your belly will look normal soon after delivery. Now when your baby is out, you are in for a shock.
Consider your tummy a balloon which slowly inflates as baby grows in it. Giving birth will not pop the balloon but would start to leak slowly. The speed may be slow, but it will be steady. After delivery, there are many hormonal changes in your body which cause your tummy to decrease in size. It may take about six to eight weeks for your uterus to contract to its pre-pregnancy size.
The extra fat consumed by you during pregnancy to provide nutrition to your baby gets accumulated in your body in the form of fat. And belly fat is quite stubborn which takes time to go.
Stretch marks and the linea nigra stay for long time. However, they usually become less visible after 7-8 months of delivery. Their pigmentation will fade eventually and become lighter than your surrounding skin. While the linea nigra will fade over a year, but it may also not completely disappear in some cases.
How long will it take for belly to go back to pre-pregnancy size?
We’ve heard of many new moms whose tummies are flat immediately after delivery. This does happen, but it’s rare. For most new moms, it takes 8-9 months to reduce their tummy back to their normal size. Unfortunately, some moms do not lose their pregnancy pouch.
You don’t need to be worried. If you follow a healthy lifestyle, have nutritious food and follow few good tips, you can reduce belly fat quickly. Patience is the key. It took none months to accommodate a baby, it makes sense that it will take at least that long to tighten back up.
How quickly you can reduce your belly fat after pregnancy depends on many things – how much weight you gained during pregnancy, your body size, how active you are and genes. If you gained less than 35 pounds during pounds, breastfeed regularly and exercise, there are chances to lose your belly fat quickly.
Home remedies to shrink your belly after delivery
- Breastfeed your baby: As soon as your baby is born, start breastfeeding. Not only does it help burn 500 extra calories each day, but it also responsible for releasing a hormone, oxytocin which stimulates uterine contractions. It further speeds up the up the uterus’s return journey to pelvic. According to the American Pregnancy Association, mothers who breastfeed their baby secrete 425 to 700 calories into breastmilk each day. As human body doesn’t usually produce this highly specialized milk having so much nutrition, it has to work hard for it. In order to burn so many calories, woman needs to run 10-minute mile pace for about 50 minutes in a day.
- Eat healthy: To get a flat stomach after delivery, eat a healthy and nutritious diet. Cut down your processed foods as much as you can along with increasing the amount of healthy fats, lean meats and protein. Protein would help you balance your blood sugar and also reduce insulin levels in the body. Instead of focusing on quantity, focus on quality of your food. Dieting is a strict no-no if you are breastfeeding. New moms need about 2000 calories in a day to maintain their quality milk supply.
- Exercise: Include exercise into your daily routine. Most new mothers will not be able to do regular exercise if they find it drudgery. One of the solutions to this is put on some music and dance with your baby. If exercise doesn’t excite you, look for fun workouts. Speed walking can be another option for new moms.
- Hydrate yourself: Drinking water in good amount not only helps new breastfeeding mothers to produce milk, but it also helps them keep their belly flat. As water fills up your tummy, you would be less tempted to unhealthy snack if you aren’t hungry. There are many studies which show a relation between hydration and obesity. A better hydrated body is less likely to be obese. If you feel like you can’t drink too much water, try adding lime, lemon or fresh mint. You may also have high-water content like snacks like celery, cucumber, watermelon and lettuce.
- Get good sleep: With your newborn baby, you will find it difficult to get 8 hours of continuous sleep, but still try to make sleep as your priority. Sleep whenever your baby sleeps. Not only would it help you get rid of belly fat but will also improve emotional health. New mothers who sleep for less than 5 hours in night usually have a difficult time getting rid of belly fat than those sleeping for 7 hours a night. This is because getting less sleep causes release of cortisol hormone, which is usually associated with weight gain. So, make sure that you get enough sleep even if it means sliding other areas such as housework or making meals.
- Grab your walking shoes: While walking is not a workout, but walking remains one of the easiest ways to ease into fitness routine after delivery. Start with easy walk. You will eventually work your way up to pumped-up power walk. A gentle walk can simply do wonders specially in the beginning. Take your baby along with you to get more benefits of walking.
- Avoid extreme diet: Dieting after delivery is not a good idea to lose weight. It will make you weak and may also affect your baby if you are breastfeeding. As your metabolism is quite high after delivery, aim for two heavy meals and at least 3-4 small meals in a day at regular intervals. Breakfast should be heavy.
- Try belly belts or wraps: Similar to body wraps for body weight loss, maternity belts or belly wraps can help you reduce belly fat quickly. This old-fashioned way to reduce fat after delivery, would accelerate the process of shrinking the uterus back to its size. Wrap your midsection with soft cloth, neither too loose not too tight. Now-a-days you can also get maternity belts in the market.
- Get full body massage: A full body massage not only brings a well-earned break for new moms, but it would also help them reduce weight after pregnancy. Massage not only helps to stimulate lymph nodes, but also breaks the stagnant fluid in the body. When this fluid is spread, your body would process it better to diminish it. This fluid loss results in reduction of belly fat.
- Avoid stress: Whether you are working too much, or parenthood is taking a toll on you, chronic stress can be a major factor contributing to increased belly fat. Prolonged levels of stress can result in release of cortisol hormone which can spark your appetite, slow down the metabolism, increase cravings for junk food and promote abdominal fat storage. To reduce stress and help lose belly fat after delivery, engage yourself in activities like deep breathing, meditation and soothing bath.
When can I start exercise after delivery?
When can you start exercising after delivery depends on how fit you were during pregnancy and how your delivery process was. Avoid doing strenuous exercises for the first three months after delivery.
If you had uncomplicated vaginal delivery, you can start gentle pelvic floor exercise after 4-5 days of birth. Stop doing it if you feel any pain. However, if you had a C-section, you should take up exercise gradually.
A gentle walk is a safe option for new mothers while pushing the pram. Then, gradually, you can increase the speed and time of walks according to your own pace. Don’t overdo things if you are feeling tired.
Take exercising slow, if you:
- had a C-section
- had an assisted birth
- didn’t exercise regularly during pregnancy or before that
- have problems with leaking wee