Pregnancy leads to moderate weight gain. Thus, women get desperate to drop a few pounds and get back into shape.
Losing weight after childbirth is not as easy as otherwise. A new mom has to take special care and precautions because, for the first few months, the baby depends on her entirely for its food and nourishment. She needs to eat well and healthy in order to breastfeed the baby.
But, this does not mean that she cannot try to lose weight after childbirth. She can if she sticks to the right dietary measures. Besides, there’s a secret we would like to disclose- breastfeeding nutrition helps to promote weight loss.
I can vouch that what I’ve just revealed is getting you to the edge of your chair. So, without wasting time any further, let’s get to the main points.
Breastfeed Your Baby
Breastfeeding regularly helps lose weight too. How? The body burns calories to produce milk. Milk production burns almost 750 calories daily on average. Isn’t that sufficient enough?
A Moderate Calorie Diet
In reality, it is your body that needs a nutritious diet and not your baby’s.
The primary responsibility of the body after childbirth is to produce high-quality milk for the baby. It continues to fulfill its commitment even in the absence of a proper diet using the mother’s energy reserves. Doctors recommend “No dieting” for the first two months after delivery. Delivery is a physically exhausting and traumatic event, and the body requires proper nutrition to recover. Thus, you should eat a wholesome meal. It does not matter if you gain some more weight during this period. Weight gain is regarded as healthy for both you and your baby.
The recommended daily calorie intake for a nursing woman is 1800 -2000 calories or 500 calories more than your regular consumption. Your diet should be low fat, high fiber, and high protein. Include plenty of vegetables and fruits. Avoid junk food, carbonated drinks, and high sugary foods. Eat when the body feels hungry. The body needs to be well hydrated when breastfeeding. So, drink a lot of water. Reduce the intake of caffeinated drinks and substitute them with fresh fruit juices.
Have a fussy baby who spits up or vomits most of his feed? Is your baby suffering from colic or diarrhea? Your baby has developed a rash that tends to reoccur – These are all symptoms of food allergy. A particular substance in breast milk is causing the allergy, and the problem actually starts with what you eat.
Pregnancy advice is not restricted to only nine months. It continues as you nurse and helps your child grow. Quickly skim through the list of foods you should avoid when Breastfeeding.
You will have to limit your intake of caffeine – Coffee, tea, and sodas. Have no more than two cups a day. Caffeine passes into the breast milk and thereby to your baby. The baby’s body system is unable to excrete caffeine in the manner we adults do. Caffeine interferes with their sleep and may make your baby cranky and agitated.
Peanuts and Tree Nuts
If you or any family member has a history of allergy, a pregnancy tip is to avoid eating peanuts or other tree nuts, at least while nursing as your child may develop an allergic reaction. Signs of peanut allergy in babies include wheezing, rash, hives, and eczema.
Some babies display sensitivity to egg whites while some to the egg yolk.
Dairy Products – Cow Milk-based formulas
Cow milk does not agree with babies as the proteins are hard to digest. However, if there is a family history of cow milk allergies, it may affect your baby even if they ingest it indirectly through breast milk. Sensitivity to breast milk can cause colic, sleeplessness, vomiting, dry, red skin patches, or eczema in your infant.
When you looked up pregnancy tips on the foods you should avoid during pregnancy, fish featured in that list, and now it features in the list of the foods you should avoid while breastfeeding too. Fish is not recommended because certain varieties contain mercury. This mercury can pass into the breast milk and impair the development of the baby’s brain and central nervous system. You should avoid fish varieties such as king mackerel, shark, tuna, tilefish, and swordfish.
Though not a food item, it is one of the most important things you should avoid when nursing and hence is on our list. You can have your occasional glass of wine. What we’re talking about is the habitual consumption of moderate to large amounts. Alcohol that transfers to the child through breast milk is not at all healthy for your little one. It may cause drowsiness, irritation, deep sleep, abnormal weight gain, and weakness.
Babies who cannot tolerate milk are generally the ones that display symptoms of soy intolerance.
Wheat allergies are common in adults and can be equally severe in babies. Symptoms of wheat allergy or sensitivity in babies are pain, inconsolable crying, and bloody stools.
Parsley and Peppermint
Parsley and peppermint are not recommended because they decrease the production and supply of milk. Hence you need to check supplements that contain parsley or peppermint.
Other foods you may want to avoid are chocolate, citrus foods, broccoli, cauliflower, spicy foods, garlic (alters the taste of milk slightly), cabbage, corn, and shellfish.
How to tell if your baby is allergic to food?
It is difficult to understand the food item, which could be the allergen. Thus, if you have any of the foods mentioned in this list, stop all of them for a week or two. Then slowly add each food item one by one and see how your baby responds to them.
I don’t mean it literally. You should get active and incorporate moderate, low-intensity exercises in your daily routine. Regular exercise helps to gradually tone, firm, and strengthen the different muscle groups that were stretched during pregnancy. Not only this, exercise helps build energy. Additionally, it acts as a stress buster and improves mood. Workout for 10-15 minutes initially and work up the time as you get comfortable. Yoga, mild aerobic exercises, and Kegel exercises are ideal for women who want to lose weight while breastfeeding.
You can take some time to relax before you start exercising. Exercise should be initiated 8 weeks postpartum. The time duration may vary depending upon whether it is a vaginal birth or a C- Section.
One pound lost per week is normal for a breastfeeding mother. It should not exceed that. Be patient, and things will fall in line automatically.
As a precautionary measure, speak to your doctor about the dietary attempts or exercise routines you intend to take up for weight loss before you start.