AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Losing pregnancy weight is a very common concern amongst new mothers.  It is also a legitimate concern, since moms need to be fit to keep up with busy babies and to be a good fitness and weight role models for their children.  What is good for moms is very often quite good for baby too!  With limited “me” time for most mothers being a very real obstacle, here are some realistic ways to shed the baby weight while also benefiting your baby.

  • The Benefits of Breastfeeding for New Moms and Babies

The benefits of breastfeeding go beyond benefitting baby’s nutrition and immunity; it can also help a woman regain her pre-pregnancy shape faster.  The act of breastfeeding secretes the hormone oxytocin.  This hormone is a key player in contracting smooth muscle in a woman’s body.  Smooth muscle comprises the milk sacs in the breast and the uterus.  Producing and releasing oxytocin during breastfeeding contracts the milks sacs to make it available to your baby and contracts the uterus muscles, helping it to shrink back down to pre-pregnancy size much faster than if a mother does not breast feed.

Breastfeeding also burns a lot of extra calories, approximately 500 calories a day, it’s a good way for losing pregnancy weight.  Breastfeeding moms need to eat extra calories to maintain their health and milk supply, but the extra energy required to produce milk can contribute to weight loss.

Every woman’s body is a little different, so breastfeeding is not a guaranteed way to lose actual pounds of weight.  However, the health benefits to mother and child, as well as the physiological response a woman’s uterus has to oxytocin will usually help the body regain pre-pregnancy shape much more quickly.  The faster Mom regains her pre-baby fitness, the more quickly she can join baby in modeling active play that translates into baby being an active adult in the years to come.

  • Moms and Babies Are What Mom Eats

85688 newborn weight loss1 300x255 Ways To Lose Pregnancy Pounds That Are Good For Mom AND BabyRound the clock child care makes convenience foods very appealing for a busy new mom.  However, pre-packaged and fast food options typically aren’t very healthy because of the high amounts of fat, salt and preservatives that they often contain.  We are driven by how good a food tastes or how easy it is to access and often forget that food is quite literally fuel for our bodies.  What we put into our bodies directly impacts how our bodies function, and that reality is even more striking in the weeks and months after childbirth when a woman’s body is recovering and healing.  A new mother needs nourishing foods to heal, but she also needs nourishing quality food to maintain energy, overall health and to maintain a healthy weight loss post-partum.

It may require extra planning at a time when the fatigue is at a maximum level, but the rewards are worth it.  Before baby arrives, stock up your freezer and your pantry with easy but healthy meals that can be prepared quickly so you won’t be tempted to go through the drive-through for a greasy hamburger.  Crockpot meals can be big time savers to busy moms because ingredients can be prepared when baby is napping.  Check out bulk aisles at the grocery or health food store, there are often easy meal options like bean and legume soups that only need to have water added to rehydrate for a tasty and protein rich meal.  Stock up on health snacks like fresh fruits, veggies, granola, oatmeal, nuts, whole grain breads and nut butters to satisfy hunger quickly.  If your budget allows, now is the time to buy pre-washed and packaged items like veggie trays and salads for easy snacking.  By setting your kitchen up with healthy, nourishing, low-fat options, a new mom can ensure she will steadily lose the baby weight and provide herself with the fuel she needs to care for her family.  Establishing healthy eating habits now will also be immensely beneficial for baby, too, once he starts to eat and grows up having a palate for nutritious foods.

  • Working In Time to Work Out Also Good For Losing Pregnancy Weight

The elusive “me” time that moms need to work out is definitely challenging, especially in the intense early months before a baby is old enough to be left a gym’s day care center.  However, there are ways to work in an effective work out with baby and meet your need for exercise.

Many jogging strollers have attachments that allow a car seat to be attached to the stroller, so you can take baby out for a walk or a run while providing your baby with the proper head support during the newborn and infant stage.  Brisk walking and running are excellent for burning calories and ensuring cardiovascular health.  Baby also gets fresh air, visual stimulation and time outdoors that helps “set” babies circadian rhythms for more reliable sleeping/waking schedules.

Baby wearing is growing in popularity for a variety of reasons, but for purposes of weight loss, if you wear your 10 or 20 pound baby as you go about your day, you will be burning a lot of extra calories too.  Moms can burn bonus calories by wearing their baby instead of pushing a stroller when going for a walk.  There are a number of excellent carriers now that provide proper support for mom and baby including the Ergo and Tula baby carriers.  I personally did a good amount of hiking and walking at Inks Lake, both on stroller friendly paths and paths that required a baby carrier.

Finally, choose play activities with baby that make you move too.  Play airplane and lift your child up in the air, walk like a bug with your child.  An added bonus is that it will model an active lifestyle for your baby too.
Challenges like fatigue and time limitations will remain obstacles for most mothers, but it is possible to build lifestyle choices and activities into a daily routine that will result in losing pregnancy weight and also establishing lifelong good habits for your child.

About the author: Tracey Louis is a mom to an attached and super-energetic toddler and had to find ways to get fit while keeping her daughter engaged.  She also works part time promoting the Highland Lakes to visitors to the Texas Hill Country.


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