When we were kids we were taught, man is a social animal. I have always been the talker in my group and my friends will vouch for this attribute. So as a young mother, young because I am in the initial years of parenting and not otherwise, I meet many mothers, most in my residential campus. A fine woman who I had met a year ago ran up to me and broke the ice by complimenting me for my lost weight from what she had last seen of me. Delighted we got chatting, after all who minds a free and unexpected compliment!
I am lucky that I could fit into most of my pre pregnancy clothes exactly two years after being a mother, but is it the case with all women? I doubt!
The fascination for good looks runs deep in females, not undermining the growing pressure on men as well to be a tall, dark and handsome. However with women expectations are a tad bit more. In this piece of writing, I decided to look into this grave issue of women going bonkers about returning to their pre pregnancy body immediately after the baby is born.
For somebody who has been on this boat of new motherhood, It was being hammered into my head, that the weight of your baby is directly proportional to your food choices especially when you are a nursing mom. I would like to add that there is no doubt that healthy eating is important to heal a mother’s body but it is no guarantee that the baby will be healthy and “chubby” only through a mother’s feed. The genes play an important role. If you or your partner were lean as a kid so will your kid be.
I attended a dear friend’s wedding with my five month old. I was all puffed up, thanks to the generous food intake back home. One of the guests who had seen me in our college pictures who I met for the first time said, “Are you the same girl who went rafting with Riya?” Much to her dismay, it was me. I sheepishly pointed to my daughter on my lap and said all thanks to her.
I have always believed that I had a thick skin when it came to receiving unwelcoming comments or opinions. However when it comes to weight, just like any other individual I feel insecure.
This is the prime reason why girls start following special diets. The pressure to look slim mounts from the many mediums and influences us. Our social circles start mocking us for looking out of shape, sometimes these come in the form of generic frivolous comments as,“ wow motherhood suits you”.
The other influencing factor is the social media where celebrities endorse diets and generate unnecessary mental rush for regular moms.
Cancel diet culture
The fad around having a personal “nutritionist” who plans your meals is picking up fast. I am not averse to the idea of fitness, however what bothers me is being coerced into loosing muscle weight only to fit into a blouse perhaps two size smaller.
Motherhood is a joy beyond words but postpartum body is a (sometimes harsh) reality that comes along. I had put on a total 15 kg in my pregnancy and there was no healthy diet on this planet which could make me lose that in a month or two, as much as I wished.
My initial days of night time nursing often led me to the Google by-lanes which were full of fascinating stories of women with perfect hour glass figures. Did I yearn for the same? Anyone would!
I read along, it takes nine months to be a mother, at least give your body another nine months. Though it did not work for me in that exact number but sooner or later it all added up or shed out . Perhaps then as my mom says, it is a good time to relax and not succumb to external pressures.
The right time to lose weight after pregnancy
This can vary from one mom to another, our bodies are different. When to hit the gym? Will yoga be a better alternative to the weight lifting tough routine? What kind of exercises should one do? What diet will help you best? All this can be best answered by your doctor who knows your medical history well.
Generally talking, it takes around two months for the milk production to normalize, therefore it is advisable to not follow any calorie cutting diet this early. Statistically saying 50% of the weight gained post-delivery is shed by many women in the very first six weeks. Keep the hope alive.
Following are some safe tips to undertake the process of losing the weight slow and steady:
- Target a wholesome diet
I am not a fan of diets personally but I always believe it is so much better if we pick nutrition supplying foods from various food groups. One can include from the broad five categories: nuts, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein.
Studies say breast feeds help strengthen the immunity of the baby. The mothers who continue to nurse for more than one year have vouched for its manifold benefits. One of them is reducing post pregnancy weight.
A side note I would I like to add, while breast feeding is healthy, it is definitely a choice and not a compulsion, a mother knows best.
- Hydration is important
When my little one was just four months I had to take a train journey of six hours. Since this was our first and longest ride together, my priority was my daughter and her comfort. I fed her every two hours but did not drink much water. When we finally reached the destination, I had a tough day with dizziness and a jarring headache. My mom in-law then explained to me why adequate hydration was important for my body as I was a nursing mom. Ever since then I have heeded her advice seriously.
- Skipping meals
The postpartum body needs a good amount of time for recovery. Many women believe skipping dinner helps in cutting the calories to the maximum. Well, it might in general but with a new and nursing mom it can cause imbalance in the already wobbling hormonal harmony. A better approach would be to be mindful of your food choices.
Avoid high processed food, packaged foods are high on sugar and further increase the cravings. They lead to bloating and increasing the weight without any significant nutritional contribution. Again once in a while it is fine but grabbing a packet of chips with a soft drink every evening to chill is a bad idea mommie.
While missing your pre pregnancy body is an unavoidable feeling, as a mother I would say let’s take it slow. After the birth of the baby the world around you changes in more ways than you had planned and prepared. The priorities shift. It is in those early months that we should enjoy those tender moments with our little ones which by the way they say are fleeting.
Until then be healthy and wise