The only thing that women worry about the most, all through their life, is their weight and shape of the body. Once they get pregnant, they are loaded with extra pregnancy pounds. But as soon as a woman gives birth to a new life, her dream of getting the pre-baby body fades away. All she is left with, is a belly flab and sagging skin. This terrible surprise of not losing weight after baby leaves many in great stress. Let’s find out more about it.
Why Can’t I Lose Weight after Baby Is Born?
Getting rid of those extra fat stores after the baby’s birth is not impossible. You can do that through workout and proper diet plan. But don’t expect to regain your pre-baby shape too early as there are lots of factors involved in it. Normally, a woman can lose about 12 pounds right at the time of delivery, out of the whole pregnancy weight i.e. around 25 to 35 pounds (in a healthy mom). But the overall recovery of the pre-pregnancy size would be slow-paced. It may take about 3 to 12 months after delivery to get to your pre-pregnancy weight. But it could vary in every woman. Some may lose earlier while some take a period of a year or even more than that.
Causes of Not Losing Weight After Baby
Stress is a common postpartum symptom that mothers usually face. It causes various chemical reactions in the body, including the release of cortisol. It’s a hormone that increases hunger, leaving you with more fats.
About 49% of women may suffer from postpartum depression. Depression comes with the symptoms like overeating, sleeping disorder and laziness. And all of these are connected to irregular weight gain.
New Fat Cells
According to a research, the last trimester too, adds on new fat cells in woman’s body. Once you have these fat cells (baby fat), losing weight would not be as easier as it used to be before pregnancy. Even working out and diet plan could only help in shrinking those fat cells but you can’t get rid of them completely.
Lack of Sleep
Arrival of the new baby means you are going to lose your sleep. With less sleeping hours, your body is going to have an increase in cortisol levels. Spike in cortisol level affects body’s ability to metabolize calories. And it would definitely result in not losing weight after baby.
Health-filled dietary intake is significant, especially when you are nursing your baby. But sometimes consuming calories, more than your body’s ability to burn, may cause storing of extra fats in your body.
Thyroid problem is quite common among women within the first year after pregnancy. About 5 to 7% women tend to face this issue. In case you are facing underactive thyroid (overactive thyroid causes weight loss), you are surely going to gain weight. Even exercising or diet plan is not going to work.
Your Age also matters!
Your age affects body’s tendency to lose weight. As you get older, your metabolism rate slows down. So, losing weight after delivery very much depends on your age.
The Weight You’ve Put on!
A lot depends on the weight you have put on during pregnancy. For example, if you have gained more than 35 pounds when pregnant, it would take longer to shed those calories (10 months to 2 years approx.). So, don’t be too impatient.
Our body experiences a dramatic imbalance in hormones during and after pregnancy. This hormonal surge not only affects metachengdubolism, but it may also result in weight gain, weight loss or no change in weight at all. If you are not losing weight after baby, you might be suffering from hormonal imbalance .
Note: In some women, pregnancy causes some permanent changes in body’s shape, for instance, a tummy with loose and flabby muscles and wide hips. If you experience any of that, regaining your EXACT pre-pregnancy shape would not be possible.
How to Effectively Lose Weight
Breastfeeding proves helpful in losing weight after baby. It burns approx. 500 to 600 calories in a day. BF also causes the release of hormones that help in shrinking the uterus. Until your uterus is not shrunk (first six weeks), nothing is going to work. To get the best results, make sure you are breastfeeding for at least six months. In case you stop it earlier, you are advised to cut your calorie intake to a certain level.
Diet plays significant role in losing weight after baby. Cut down the calorie intake (on the premise that it does not affect your baby’s health and your health). Just make sure not to opt for it for at least first 6 weeks after delivery. This is the most crucial stage for mother’s health and also for a regular supply of breastmilk.
When eating, prefer protein over carbs. Make sure to have larger meals early in the day, followed by the smaller, or 5 to 6 smaller meals in the whole day. This way your body will effectively manage to burn the calories. And never think of skipping meals. It would slow down the metabolism rate.
When you feel like munching some snacks, prefer fresh fruits. These not only are low-fat but quite helpful in overcoming the deficiency of fiber and vitamins.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water (fluids) to flush away the fat toxins. Stop or limit intake of caffeinated or sugary drinks.
Keep moving. The more active you are, the less storage of postpartum pounds you are likely to have. Even a simple standing position is better to burn calories, as compared to doing nothing and keep sitting. Yoga, cycling, running, walking, whatever you are planning to do, get your doctor’s advice first. Ask him about the time and type of exercises suitable after baby’s birth. Too much exertion must be avoided at this stage.
Lastly, just relax and don’t panic about not losing weight after baby. This is something natural that happens to every woman. If you stay on the right track, you will ultimately end up on getting your pre-pregnancy weight (or a weight closer to that).