Modern day mothers acknowledge the importance of taking care and staying fit post child birth. Some of the recent examples for everyone to see is of course from Bollywood, where they are no more shunning the shutterbugs but gladly posing for them, as they take to losing all their acquired fat and resuming a normal life in no time. Their glow is palpable and their energy extends to spending quality time with their new borns.
Okay, that final awaited moment of child birth is over. You now see your life slowly getting busy caring for the new born and everything is revolving around it. Take a moment, and analyse- Are you not draining yourself? Don’t let this phase be an excuse to neglect your health and weight. Take charge. Find time for yourself to rejoice in the moment and not let it overtake your well being and spirits. After all remember if you are feeling happy, it will have a positive effect on your baby as well. So, taking care of yourself is just as important to make your baby feel happy, healthy and safe.
Getting back into shape after childbirth helps the mother to regain control over her life and that of the baby. Use your post pregnancy time to restore your nutritional status and energy and minimize the chances of postpartum depression. Any baby weight you don’t take off could stick with you for a long time so take action after 6 weeks to get rid of those extra kilos and inches you packed in during pregnancy.
The following tips will help you get back in shape and feel good.
- A properly monitored diet will increase your milk supply and facilitate quick weight loss and healing, even from a C-section. So target for a weight loss of half a kg a week by having a monitored healthy diet and slowly increasing your physical activity.
- Your diet should have balanced portions of proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats for optimal nutrition. A breakfast of proteins (such as eggs or yogurt) and complex carbohydrate (wholegrain breads or cereals) are better choices than fat laden foods or simple carbohydrate foods like sugar. Healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds and fatty fish (e.g salmon) should be chosen over cooking with saturated fat (palm oil, cream, butter, lard) and consuming foods with trans fats (commercially fried and baked goods).
- Snack on apple slices, dried fruits and nuts, hummus with carrot and cucumber sticks, cheese and crackers, fruits (oranges, peaches, pears) and yogurt. Drink unsweetened beverages like coconut water, nimbu pani, buttermilk and smoothies.
- Consume seasonal fruits and vegetables. Avoid produce that has travelled long distances as they have more pesticides. Try organic foods to minimize pesticide consumption or peel your fruits and vegetables after washing them. Pesticides have a way of reaching breast milk.
- Choose lean meats and remove extra skin and fat before cooking as fats store chemicals. Unhealthy fats alter the fat composition of your breast milk and increase signs of inflammation.
- Drink filtered water while breastfeeding. Stay well hydrated. Alcohol and caffeine intake should be limited.
- There should be a variety in your meals so that all nutrients and vitamins reach the baby via breast milk. Eating your favourite foods while nursing will give the baby a taste of your diet.
- Choose superfoods like milk, yogurt, fish, eggs, beans, legumes and chicken which are heavy in nutrients but light in calories and fats.
- Choose healthy foods and simple healthy eating strategies to keep your energy levels boosted.
Enjoy the joys of caring for your newborn without neglecting yourself!
Sapna Puri, a Delhi based Diet Coach is dedicated to helping people lose weight and in turn gain better health and confidence. She believes in a holistic approach keeping in mind the lifestyle, health concerns and emotional well being of her clients. She blends her knowledge with her inner calling to create awareness and deliver healthy solutions. She can be contacted at 9910204459