Eating for Two, Again
You’re delighted with your new baby but less so with your new body. This is not, however, the time to go on a diet. In any case, you don’t really need to. Know that having lost ten pounds or so at delivery, you will lose a further ten in the first two weeks of your baby’s life. After that, your overall weight loss will vary, depending on how much weight you gained during your pregnancy and how you approach your postpartum life.
As you transition into this next phase, nothing is more important than what you put into your body, especially if you are breast-feeding. Follow these basic guidelines, and you’ll develop eating habits that will support your new way of life, as well as providing the foundation for weight loss in the long run.
Drink, drink, drink.
Water that is. This is very important during the first few days after you give birth when you may be swollen, especially if you received IV fluids during your labor. At this time, you may also be losing an above-average amount of fluid. Night sweats are normal right now, as is peeing a lot as your body releases excess fluids stored during pregnancy. Along with avoiding dehydration, water also helps to keep constipation and hemorrhoids at bay, as well as maintaining your breast milk supply. Drink at least one eight-ounce glass of water every time you breast-feed.
Keep taking your prenatal vitamins.
If you took them during your pregnancy, don’t stop now. Many formulations are created specially to support both pregnant and lactating women, and even if you are not breast-feeding, your eating habits may be less than stellar as you adjust to your busy new lifestyle.
Eat small and often throughout the day.
Chances are you’re not going to be whipping up a gourmet dinner every evening. However, you do need to refuel often, so make sure you have plenty of healthy comestibles at hand. During the early postpartum period, you should try to consume the equivalent of your pregnancy diet plus an extra 200 or so calories. (If you’re not breast-feeding, just eliminate those additional calories.)
Stock up on healthy snacks.
By some strange quirk of fate, it seems to be that high-sugar, high-fat snacks are the only things you can lay your hungry little hands on when you’re refilling your water bottle after your baby’s lengthy 3:00 a.m. feed. Avoid temptation by loading the fridge, the pantry, and indeed any available counter space with nutritious and healthy snacks that require minimal preparation. Things like cheese, fruit, rice cakes, yogurt, and celery loaded with peanut butter are easy ways to give your body energy and satisfy cravings.
Think about breast-feeding.
As well as being the best possible choice for your child, anecdotal evidence suggests that breast-feeding can help you lose weight. There’s no medical data to prove this, and it doesn’t work for every woman, but there’s way more good than harm to be had in trying.
By Fit Mam for Barefoot & Pregnant
Photo courtesy of Barefoot & Pregnant