The postpartum period is a very important time for the mother and the baby and is as crucial as the pre-pregnancy and the pregnancy period. It can get very overwhelming for the mother to have their firstborn.
It is important to take care of both the mother and the baby. The mother must take rest whenever they can. Even after delivery, it is important to take rest whenever possible. It is a period of utmost care and support.
After delivery it is important to take care of yourself and eat nutritious food. Especially when the mother is breastfeeding, it is important to stick to a healthy diet that would also help the baby grow stronger and healthier along with the mother.
It is true that once you give birth, you lose your belly fat. However, it does take time. After the delivery process, lots of women expect that their belly would return back to its normal and original size almost immediately. In reality, it takes about 6-8 weeks before the uterus is back to its pre-pregnancy size.
Good eating habits and exercise will help you to lose the weight that you have gained. It is hence important to follow some of the healthy eating habits that are mentioned below:
- Eat variety of nutritious food items – It is vital for the mother to follow a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy each day. The diet should avoid calories from added sugar and saturated fats as much as possible.
- Drink plenty of fluids – While the mother is breastfeeding, their need for fluids increases. It is important to drink enough water and other fluids like milk and fresh fruit juices, to keep oneself hydrated. When the mother is breastfeeding, their body requires a lot of fluid, like about 6-10 glasses per day.
- Proteins – At this stage, the mother’s body needs food that has protein such as milk, meat, fish, yogurt, and beans. Protein-rich food items are important to help you recover from childbirth and keep your body strong. Protein intake should be more if the mother is under 18 or was underweight prior to pregnancy.
- Fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are the most needed food items in your diet chart. They have vitamins and minerals that keep you healthy. They also have fiber, which helps prevent constipation. It is mandatory to wash fruits and vegetables under running cold water before eating them.
- Lose weight safely – As much as post pregnancy weight loss is needed, it is also important to lose it safely and slowly. Losing weight too quickly can affect the mother’s breast milk supply. It is also necessary to not pop in any diet pills as they contain harmful drugs that can be passed on to the baby through the breast milk.
- Prenatal vitamins – If the mother is breastfeeding, it is a good idea to continue to take prenatal vitamins. Prenatal vitamins typically contain more folic acid and iron than do standard adult multivitamins. The folic acid that is found in these prenatal vitamins help in preventing neural tube defects. These defects are serious abnormalities of the brain and the spinal cord. Iron, which is also present in these prenatal vitamins, also helps in the growth and development of the baby.
- Limiting junk food – Consuming junk food is highly a no-no at any stage, especially when one is trying to work on post pregnancy weight loss. Added sugars and saturated fats can be found in foods like soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, whole milk, cheese, and fatty meats. Healthy choices must include low-fat, fat-free, unsweetened, or with no added sugar as much as possible.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine – Alcohol and caffeine are highly harmful for consumption, especially while breastfeeding. Wine, beer and other malt liquor beverages, and mixed drinks containing alcohol that can pass on to your baby through breastfeeding can harm your baby’s brain and body development.
Caffeine is another chemical that passes through breast milk to the baby that may affect the growth of the baby. Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, chocolate, and many soft drinks.
Although consuming fish is important, there are certain types of fishes that need to be avoided. Fishes like swordfish and mackerel that contain high levels of a toxin called mercury, must be avoided. Mercury is harmful to the growth of the baby’s brain.
- Exercise – Exercising is very much a necessity to reduce weight. Once the doctor approves of resuming exercising, the mother can start their regime and put on their walking shoes!
- Walking is a great way to exercise because it puts very little stress on the body. Try walking briskly for about 20-30 minutes every day or at least 3 times per week. It is also much more fun to go walking with your friends or other new moms. It not only helps with post pregnancy weight loss but also helps with uplifting the mood. Overall, it refreshes you.
These are some of the ways that the mother can do to be in shape and maintain their body and mind.
A healthy mother results in a healthy baby!