By Dr. Austin Abramson
The average weight gain during pregnancy is approximately 25 to 30 pounds. Based upon the average delivery around 10 to12 pounds are lost immediately: the baby weighs approximately 7 to 8 pounds, the placenta approximately 1 to1 ½ pounds and fluids and blood loss is approximately 2 pounds. So where is the balance of the weight: fat deposits and breast enlargement.
Women strongly desire to get into their pre-pregnancy clothes and have a pre-pregnancy body. However, this process usually takes about 9 months—the same amount of time to have a baby. All of your goals are possible with a slow and steady approach. Moderation is always the key to success.
A great way to lose weight is with breast feeding. Breastfeeding is always best for baby. On average 200-500 calories are lost every day when breast feeding. Of course, exercise is another great way to burn extra calories. Obstetricians used to advise a new Mom to wait 6 weeks after a vaginal delivery and 8 weeks after a C-Section before starting an exercise program. However, currently these guidelines have been relaxed.
After the episiotomy has healed a new Mom can begin a program of walking. Especially rewarding is placing the newborn in a stroller for long walks. Always ask the pediatrician “When is the first time the newborn is allowed outdoors?”
Generally after abdominal surgery, and a C-Section is abdominal surgery, walking can begin after 4 weeks. Always let your body be your guide. If you feel fatigued and tired decrease your exercise routineuntil you feel stronger. Common sense should always prevail.
An exercise program can also decreases the risk of postpartum depression and accelerates the loss of water weight.
The last factor, and maybe the most important for optimum weight loss, is a sensible diet. Drink lots of water and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Foods high in fiber are important for healthy digestion and the essential nutrients support healthy breast milk. Focus on healthy nutrition because these habits will help you maintain good health for the rest of your life.