Putting on weight after you give birth to your bundle of joy is inevitable. But while most new mums resort to crash diets or spend extra hours at the gym, they must know that it is most important to maintain basic fitness levels. Use a little tact and you can easily become your slim self again. We show you how.
Making up for the loss
In any normal delivery at least 300 to 350 ml of blood is lost. When the blood loss exceeds 500ml it’s termed as postpartum hemorrhage. After pregnancy the body needs to build up on the lost hemoglobin. Secondly since the mother will be breastfeeding the baby, the body also needs an extra dose of calcium, proteins and vitamins.
WATCH YOUR DIET Small meals : Consume small frequent meals i.e. five to six mini meals instead of three main meals. Make sure you eat something filling like a tall glass of milkshake, sprouts, soup or a plate of fruits.
More liquid, cut caffeine : Caffeine is permitted in moderation i.e. not more than two cups of coffee a day. Instead, opt for other liquids and drink gallons of water. Add to your diet fresh fruit juices and milkshakes, especially with fruits such as apple and banana that will make up for the calcium requirement. Also swap whole milk for skimmed milk; it has proteins minus the fat.
Restrict fried foods, not fats : One needs to understand the difference between good fat and bad fat. It’s best if you avoid fried foods like salty chips, etc but give your body essential fats through nuts, home-made ghee (two to three tsps) and olive oil.
Build on animal protein : Proteins from lean white meat such as chicken and fish (deskinned) are a good option for lactating mothers. Whereas cholesterol rich red meat and organ meat that contain fats along with proteins should be consumed sparingly. For vegetarians, animal protein can come through curds
Healthier substitutes : You need not skip food, instead substitute it for healthier options. Like jaggery for sugar, watermelon juice for cola and brown rice for its polished cousin.
Increase fibre : Keep away from refined flours like maida and its products such as noodles, spaghetti and bread. Foods like spinach, methi, gourd, pumpkin, lady finger, brinjal, bitter gourd, peas, mushroom and bellpeppers are packed with fibre. Fibre improves digestion, controls sugar, promotes satiety, and provides anti-oxidants and vitamins that are important post-pregnancy.
EXERCISE For women who have undergone cesarean surgery, it’s best to stay away from exercise for six months after the delivery. But exercise can usually begin 40 days after a normal delivery. You can do the following:
Walk : Brisk walking for 20 to 30 minutes is good enough for a beginner.
Yoga : Post-pregnancy, yoga is the best way to improve posture. Regularly practise surya namaskar, cobra pose or the inverted-V.
Dance and group Aerobics : Dancing or working out with music releases happiness hormones in the body.