Lightened by the weight of the baby , the amniotic fluid and the water accumulated in the blood, the body eliminates pounds slowly. Without forgetting the uterus that finds its normal size in the 8 weeks following the birth. So, without following a diet , the return of hormones to normal values and the activities carried out at home help to gradually regain the form and also the energies.
Of course, if during pregnancy the woman has accumulated many kilos (the ideal increase would be 11-12 kilos), or because she was already starting from an overweight condition or because she was fed incorrectly, a personalized food plan might be advisable that helps you lose weight , without a drastic reduction in caloric intake and following the nutritionist’s instructions.
Factors that influence postpartum weight loss
It is important to remember that each body reacts differently . Some women get rid of 20 pounds quickly while others find it difficult to lose 10.
Sometimes it can happen that the thyroid undergoes hormonal stress during pregnancy and this may explain the difficulty in losing weight after giving birth. We must also consider the greater sedentary lifestyle, the food and psychological changes that have their role in finding the form.
Another aspect to consider is age. The situation changes if you get pregnant at 20, 30 or 40 years. The farther you go with age, the more you need to be careful about weight to protect yourself from any pathologies that can arise in pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes.
But even after giving birth the mother’s age can make it more complicated to lose weight: it is physiological to have more difficulty losing weight over the years and this is even more true after a pregnancy.
Finally, it is not true that during breastfeeding you always lose weight! Surely you consume more energy, but you should also take more calories just to make up for this loss. In addition, when you breastfeed, the body produces several hormones that increase the sense of hunger, so it is essential to have a balanced diet.
Postpartum diet: the nutritionist’s advice
The first rule to regain weight after childbirth is ” no to a low-calorie diet, especially if very rigid “, as a nutritionist biologist, explained to us .
Instead, it is important to resume the normal nutritional regime , with the right intake of both calories and nutrients.
A key aspect is to try to stay active : after giving birth, the new mother often tends to be a little more sedentary, also because taking care of her child occupies all her energies. Instead it is important to try to do a little more movement, even a simple walk with the child , and, in general, adopt an active lifestyle : this will help to recover the form as quickly as possible.
Postpartum diet: the right nutrients and foods
The post-natal diet must be varied and complete from a nutritional point of view, so include all the food groups and all the nutrients , from proteins to carbohydrates to fats.
Then there are some foods that are particularly important in the post-natal diet because they help the new mother get into shape without giving up the calories required during this period of her life.
Fish, meat, low-fat cheeses are essential , but also Parmesan plays an essential nutritional role. Complex carbohydrates (cereals) in controlled quantities should not be forgotten , as well as fruit and vegetables in abundance
It is important to drink plenty of mineral water and to reduce salt and the consumption of salted foods such cheese, chips. This will help the mother dispose of the accumulated liquids.
Eat healthy against Maternity Blues and postpartum depression
A healthy diet after giving birth is not only useful for regaining weight but also for recovering and maintaining balance in a psychologically and emotionally demanding moment for all mothers.
Maternity Blues and, in the worst cases, postpartum depression can cause bad mood, irritability, sadness, but also a sense of inadequacy, guilt and shame: emotions that make it difficult to face the first few weeks after the birth of the child and build a serene relationship.
Eventually, it may be useful to combine it with psychological support in the most serious cases.
Particularly useful are, in particular, the omega 3 , of which the blue fish (anchovies, sardines, mackerel) are rich but also the salmon, the walnuts and all the nuts .
These fats, introduced with the diet, are metabolized and transformed into other fats, such as DHA and EPA , which are very important for mothers and babies already in pregnancy and which, after giving birth, thanks to their neurological protection action, favor the cognitive activity, memory and concentration. Their deficiency, on the other hand, increases the risk of mood disorders .
Very useful for new mothers are also micronutrients such as B vitamins , in particular B12 but also B3, which has a toning action that removes fatigue and tiredness , and B6, which intervenes in the synthesis of serotonin , the so-called hormone of good mood, helping to prevent disorders such as depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating, insomnia.
And then, minerals like zinc, magnesium, selenium, iron ,
which give energy
, improve the functionality of the nervous system
and promote relaxation
Postpartum diet: if the mother is breastfeeding
If you are breastfeeding , the advice is to maintain the expected 400-500 calorie increase in the last trimester of pregnancy. Also important to follow some rules of healthy eating , such as:
- drink a lot , because a lot of fluids are lost during breastfeeding
- eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- consume milk, cheese and yogurt
- ensure an adequate supply of proteins , because the need for breastfeeding increases
- minimize sweets, oil and complex carbohydrates
Your diet must be rich in foods containing calcium and iron because it is common to face deficiencies in this period.