You’re baby has arrived and though you may be ready to begin losing the baby weight, it is not yet the time to diet. Here is a post-baby nutritional guide to ensure both you and your baby get the proper nutrition.
Post-pregnancy is not the time to be cutting calories. You will have plenty of time later on to lose the pregnancy weight. But right now, your first priority is to give your baby what she needs. Restricting calories will only deprive her of much-needed nourishment. And these nourishment needs can be very specific. In fact, here you can find a list of these new nutrient needs.As you enter the postpartum phase, one of the first things you should do is make changes to your nutrition program to reflect your body’s changing nutritional needs. Most importantly, pay attention to your calories.While pregnant, your caloric needs are about 300 calories higher than your normal (non-pregnant) weight maintenance level. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want to bump that up by another 100 calories for the first couple of months (for a total of 400 above normal). If you’re formula-feeding, you can simply subtract those extra 300 calories. More details about these changes can be found in Making the Nutritional Transition.
You actually need more calories post-pregnancy, not less. There will be plenty time for weight loss as you adjust to motherhood and your new lifestyle.
Healthy Weight Loss
That’s not to say that you can’t or won’t lose weight during this time. If you happen to lose weight as the result of a balanced diet and moderate activity (as your doctor allows), that’s great! It just shouldn’t be the focus of your dietary and exercise decisions.
If you’re breastfeeding and want to lose weight (after nursing has been established and is going well), do so gradually (about 1/2 to 1 pound weekly). Eat a nutritious diet, exercise daily and cut back on foods high in fat and sugar (such as potato chips, cookies, candy, soft drinks, and fried foods). Do not try diet pills, liquid diets, or other weight loss products. Not only do they not work, but they can be harmful to you and your baby.
If bottle-feeding, continue to follow the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. After six to eight weeks, talk to your doctor; if your body has recovered and your energy levels are sustained, it may be OK to start actively losing weight.
Yes, you can indeed lose weight post-pregnancy, but that shouldn’t be the focus. Follow a balanced diet, exercise as recommended by your doctor, and you may find some of those post-baby pounds melting away. However, the goal is take proper care of yourself and nourish both yourself and your child.