The Mother`s Weight & Diet After Birth
A new mother`s weight after birth is almost always a sensitive subject, especially because the daily diet cannot support major restrictions. Weight loss in the postnatal period is made gradually, without drastic measures which may harm the mother`s health. The purpose in such situations is to regain the physiological balance from before the pregnancy in a natural manner.
First of all, it`s recommended to prepare yourself mentally for the transformation. You should exclude from the start the comparisons with other new mothers and to not make an obsession with your weight loss. The priority for you should be to support your baby during his first days of his life and to watch your health for the sake of both you.
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Weight after Birth
On average, a pregnant woman gains during pregnancy around 13kg on top of her usual weight. The additional weight consists mainly from the body weight of her baby (3.500g), placenta (650g), amniotic liquid (1.000g), enlarged uterus (1.000g), the mammary glands (600g), the increase of blood volume (1.200g), the accumulation of liquid (2-5kg) and other fat deposits (2 – 3kg).
Immediately after birth, the mother remains with some extra weight due to the increased volume of her uterus, blood volume, fat deposits, edema and mammary glands. The excess of liquids leaves the organism during the first few weeks after birth, while the uterus and blood volume may need more time to adjust.
A pregnant woman who has accumulated 12kg during pregnancy will recover her original shape in around 6 months, if she breastfeeds and has a balanced diet. Even so, the situation is different from one woman to another because each woman has her own unique functioning rhythm. Doctors consider that normally would take around 1 to 2 years from birth for a woman to lose her weight in a healthy way.
Diet after Birth
During pregnancy your eating habits may have changed drastically from a natural desire to offer your baby all the nutritional values he needed to develop healthy. After birth, the mother`s diet remains just as important, especially if she is breastfeeding. The mother will offer him the necessary daily intake of vitamins, proteins and minerals through the milk that the baby is fed.
This means that is required a rich diet in nutrients to be sufficiently consistent for a nourishing milk. Fortunately, breastfeeding helps you lose weight: one of the reasons for which the organism accumulates “deposits” during pregnancy is that it keeps a deposit of 200 to 500 additional calories for the baby. When you are offering your baby breast milk, the caloric excess from your organism disappears like magic.
The Daily Vitamin Intake Necessary for Breastfeeding
- In case that the organism of the mother has deficiencies when it comes to certain nutrients (vitamin B6, vitamin B12 or iodine), breast milk may not be sufficiently nutritious for the baby. Therefore, it`s recommended to add to your daily diet a complex of essential vitamins.
- Mothers who consume around 2.200 calories each day will need an additional intake of calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.
- In case of a daily intake of only 1.800 calories, you`ll need to consume more calcium, thiamin, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, iron, vitamin E, folic acid and phosphorus.
- Mothers who don`t consume animal products are more exposed to deficiencies in vitamin B12, which can instead take from other foods with the same proprieties or supplements prescribed by a doctor. Mothers who don`t expose themselves enough to the sun need supplements with vitamin D, while those who smoke are recommended to consume an additional intake of iodine.
Advices for the Postpartum Diet
- Focus yourself on fruits, vegetables or whole grains. They offer fibers, vitamins and essential minerals, and also give the sensation of satiety.
- Skinless chicken, fish, dry beans and grilled beef offer you the essential proteins for the quality of breast milk and regaining your organism`s tissues.
- Eat small meals more frequently because they improve digestion, they keep hunger away and limit the calorie intake.
- Immediately as you receive the doctor`s permission, you can start some easy physical exercises for toning your body. Soon you`ll notice how the results will bring the smile on your face again.