Monday, January 13, 2014

Losing Weight While Breastfeeding: Diary of A New Mum

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You've already heard everyone say this - from your doctor to baby's pediatrician to your mum to maybe your mum-in-law to your friends and relatives to the media and the books - almost everyone will tell you that breastfeeding a baby helps the mother lose major calories, thus lose weight.

I wouldn't be so sure.

Maybe, breastfeeding does help burn the calories, but the thing is, while you are breastfeeding, you are constantly hungry, which is good, don't get me wrong. Also, since you are hungry, you should of course eat (the last thing a breastfeeding mom should think of is going on a diet that makes her starve, be deprived of good healthy nutritious food or stay hungry for longer periods of time).

If you are here for something like this, then I suggest you head on somewhere else, as this is not the right place.

If you want to know about realistic and healthy ways that can help you lose weight while breastfeeding, do stay :-)

So, one of the first things to remember is that while you are breastfeeding, you won't be able to shed major kilos and get back to your pre-pregnancy weight and figure. Many celebs do end up achieving that, but that is not with burning calories while breastfeeding alone. And yes, most regular day mums that you see showing off their pre-pregnancy figure have gone on diets that are not good for the baby while on feed. Either that, or they have amazing metabolism (some people do, and that's the truth of it.)

Now that we know what we are going to read here, let's look at some realistic and healthy ways by which you can cut down a few kilos during breastfeeding:

  1. Be Realistic: Before you start thinking of losing out those few kilos, you need to remember that you ARE a breastfeeding mom. So, no matter how much you are exercising (which cannot be too much unless you have help at home to manage baby while you're away or resting) or eating fit, you will not be able to lose weight as fast as you may have lost earlier. 
  2. Wait till baby is 3 months: It's always advisable to let baby have your milk as healthy and nutritious as possible. Wait for baby's first 3 months before you even think of any kind of a diet.
  3. Calcium, Iron and Folic Acid: Make sure you include lots of calcium rich food like milk, yogurt, tofu, cheese, lentils (dal) and legumes to get your calcium content. Include foods rich in iron, like carrots, beetroots, chicken and peas. For folic acid, include fruits and green leafy vegetables in your diet.
  4. Cut down on fat: While your body does need fat and you should consume fat rich food, make sure you keep it under check. 
  5. Snack in between meals: While breastfeeding, you are always hungry. So make sure you pack in a few munchies in between your main meals. Snack on carrot sticks, cucumbers, salads, raw veggies, oat or raagi biscuits, rusks, boiled eggs, cheese slices, fresh smoothies, saabudaana khichdi and the like. 
  6. Sleep: Yes, did you know that lack of sleep aids in weight gain? Get at least a basic 8 hours of sleep - I know this is asking for A LOT for a new mum, but still ;-)
  7. Stop comparing: Pleaaaase! There will always be fabulously slim celebrity mums out there who are back to their pre-pregnancy form and kickass figures within as early as 6 weeks of giving birth. But reality check - it does not happen to us, not to people like you and me, not to 'real' people who are not part of the glamour world. You see, we do not have much of what goes in behind that figure - personal trainer, personal nutritionist, special chef, personal stylist, hair dresser, makeup artist, nanny to exclusively take care of the new born. So stop comparing yourself to those images you see! And instead, enjoy these moments of guilt-free pleasures.
  8. Cut down on coffee, colas and sugar
  9. Dark chocolate: We all love chocolate, and there's no harm in having some. So each time you have a craving for some chocolate, try and have dark chocolate as it is good for health too and not as harmful as normal chocolate.
  10. Cut down on processed food: As a new mum, it's always tempting to go for ready meals that you can simply take out from a box and heat and eat. But these are your worst enemies.
Hope this article helps you in some way. Remember, weight loss is not something that should disturb you while you are breastfeeding, unless your doctor has asked you to lose weight. We all get those baby fats and trust me, no one thinks any less of you now that you have put on some extra kilos. You are a mommy, you are beautiful. Give it some time, let your baby grow out of breastfeeding, and then....kickback yourself to your sexy beautiful 'you' weight and figure, on your own terms.....

- Debolina Raja Gupta

And like I always believe in and say:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ
Happy Parenting!!!!

Be good to your little one, and to the millions of little ones out there who truly need every bit of love and compassion they can get.....Be a grown the little ones.... Debolina Raja Gupta

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