When you have had a baby, all your attention is focused on doing everything right for newborn and a lot of advice is available, often not so accurate. It is indeed important to make sure that you give your baby all the love and care in the world, but also, it is time to get back to shape and embark on a lifetime of staying healthy and fit.

Weight loss after baby: when and at what pace?

It is advised by experts that mothers should wait for at least first six weeks after having a baby before attempting any weight loss, by this time the mother and the baby would have found the optimum way of breastfeeding and some semblance of a routine! If you want you can wait a little longer, say first three months or so, but it is important to lose the weight you put on during pregnancy relatively early, otherwise this weight can stick with you for many years

Weight loss after pregnancy should be gradual, at nearly one pound or 400-500 gms/week and you should target losing this weight over a period of nine months or so

If you were in normal weight range before pregnancy and gained weight in the normal range ( 10-12 kilograms) during pregnancy, weight loss would take lesser time than if you were overweight or gained excessive weight

Diet for weight loss while breastfeeding

If you have been getting right kind of diet during later half of pregnancy, you require only a little more calories, from say a tablespoon of oil or ghee and your milk production will not suffer at all

In fact, experts say that even with moderate restriction of calories to lose weight, there is no adverse impact on milk production, provided total calories consumed are higher than 1800-2000 calories/day and you divide your food intake into six or more meals and snacks

Food FHI has a diet plan for breastfeeding women, which will help you reduce calories to acceptable levels without compromising on nutrients needed for adequate milk production

Get your diet plan for weight loss after baby now

Exercise for breastfeeding mothers

It is best to wait for six weeks or a little after childbirth to start exercising again, and if you had the Caesarean section wait for three months and discuss with your doctor, before you start exercising

Take care to

  • Begin with small bouts of aerobic as well as resistance exercises of ten minutes or more and pick-up gradually
  • Do a warm-up of 3-5 minutes at least before exercise, which can be just household works or simple stretch exercises and walking at the same place
  • Eat a small baked or boiled potato before exercise to keep milk production optimum
  • Drink a lot of water to keep the metabolism high

Here is a suggested exercise schedule:

Aerobic exercise: Ten minute bouts of moderate intensity walking (walking at brisk pace, meaning you can’t sing while walking). Try to do three such , once you are comfortable or if you have time, try to do 30 minute bouts at this intensity or try jogging

Resistance exercise: Begin with the plank + downward looking dog, do a few repetitions and then get into regular resistance exercise such as yoga at home

Unstructured physical activity: such as taking the baby out on stroller or carrying the baby in a baby sling while you do your housework or walk around the house, are also good ideas

Exercises of the pelvic floor: It is a good idea to keep doing the pelvic floor exercises you have been doing during pregnancy

CHECK OUT: Our references for care during breastfeeding