After you’ve given birth and adopted a new, steady routine, you may start making plans to tackle your pregnancy weight. Some moms — especially celebrity moms — can make weight loss look incredibly easy after giving birth. However, new research published in Obstetrics and Gynecology has found that most new moms still haven’t lost all their baby weight at the one-year mark after giving birth.
In the United States, it appears as if pregnancy could be contributing to rising obesity rates. Research from the aforementioned study found that 75 percent of all American moms weigh more than they did one year after giving birth than they did prior to becoming pregnant. Furthermore, 47 of those women weighed 10 pounds more than they did prior to giving birth, while 25 percent weighed at least 20 pounds more.
According to lead study author Lorraine Endres, MD from the University of Chicago, most American women are heavier post-pregnancy as a result of gaining more weight than recommended during pregnancy. In most cases, pregnant women only need between 300 and 400 extra calories per day to support their growing babies, but most adhere to the “eating for two” rule. Endres says that eating for two is a popular myth that should be laid to rest, and that for every extra pound a pregnant woman gains above the recommendation, there’s an eight percent higher chance that the pound will not be lost down the road.
Do you feel you may be at risk for obesity following the birth of your baby? Here are three ways to tackle weight loss following your pregnancy.
1. Exercise as soon as possible
Consult with your OB-GYN to determine when it’s safe for you to start exercising again after giving birth, based on your personal health and medical history. The CDC recommends that all Americans engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week, combined with at least two sessions of strength-training exercises. If you’re unable to make it to a gym, take time to sit down and put together a series of exercises you can do in circuit format at home. You can also invest in exercise programs and videos you can do at home in your living room, such as the Piloxing System, which combines dancing, boxing, and Pilates, or Insanity Max 30, which combines high-intensity cardio with strength training.
2. Make a plan and stick to it
In addition to developing an exercise routine, talk to your health care provider about ways you can make your current lifestyle and diet healthier. For example, ask for recommendations on how to make your diet more nutritious, and ask whether alternate treatments exist for health conditions that require you to take medications for which weight gain is a side effect. Whatever it is you decide to do, choose a plan that works best for you, and that you know you won’t have any problems adhering to.
3. Take time to de-stress
As a new mom, you may tend to focus more on your newborn baby than on yourself. Although you may have more responsibilities as a new parent, it’s important that you make time to take care of yourself as well. Stress is linked to weight gain and other health problems, so do whatever it takes to reduce stress, or eliminate stress-causing factors from your life. Ask your parents, in-laws, or friends to babysit your newborn for a night while you relax in a warm bath or enjoy your favorite book or movie. If you just need someone to talk to about your role as a new parent, consider joining a support group for new mothers. Take time to engage in activities that help reduce stress, and that make you feel happier so you can lose stubborn post-baby weight.
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing you with the individual care and attention you need so you can relax and focus on what is most important — the birth of your new baby. Contact us today to learn more about our obstetrics and maternity services.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.