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How To Lose Weight After Childbirth

One of the most life changing experiences a woman can have in her life time is having a baby. This singular experience comes with accompanying changes in different areas of a woman's life. It affects her shape or size, mood, emotion and psychology, but it can be a most rewarding experience when armed with the right knowledge to handle this experience.

One area that new mums are interested in immediately after having a baby is losing the weight gained especially around the belly after childbirth.

Most new mums wonder why it is so difficult to lose baby fat and whether they will ever regain their original belly shape.

When you look at some Nollywood actresses who have given birth and still look as if they never did, you tend to imagine and wonder how they were able to accomplish those feat. People like Omotola Jolade, Genevieve Nnaji etc comes to mind.

The reality is, having a baby affects every part of your body irrespective of what you see among the celebrities who seem to have a flat belly in a short time after delivery, and it can take up to one year for you to go back to how you were before pregnancy.

The question now is;

Why Do I Still Look Pregnant After Childbirth?

I remember when my wife gave birth to our baby girl, she was still looking as if she was still 5 months pregnant. But with time, doing the following tips you will soon learn, she lost almost all her belly fat.

Be assured that it is perfectly normal to have a bulging belly after childbirth. Remember also that the baby has been living in that womb for nine good months and it has within that time period expanded the skin of your belly to have that bulge for that time period.

This is what happens to the belly fat after a child is born.

Naturally, the belly tries and automatically starts to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy state. But this process is very slow and takes time. In the process of retracting, within the first 2 weeks after childbirth, an average of 5kg of weight is lost while the body is trying to get rid of the delivery fluid out of the body. The Uterus also contrast in this period and goes back to normal shape after 4 weeks.

The hips and the pelvic area also takes time to shrink back to their original state after delivery.

However, the best way to fast track the process of losing belly fat can be achieved by doing the following activities for a long time.

1. Breast-Feeding

Apart from the fact that part of being Baby friendly is breastfeeding a child for as long as 9 - 12 months, this important activity can help a nursing mother to burn as much as 500 calories per day. No wonder mothers feel so hungry when they breast feed, it's because you burn fat in that process.

So breast feeding in general benefits both the mother and the child.

The fact that breast feeding helps in burning calories or belly fat doesn't mean you should starve yourself so that you will lose all your fat. You must eat well, so that you will have sufficient nutrient to pass on to the baby and also keep you the mother healthy enough to do other strenuous activities that will help you burn belly fat.

2. Exercises

A lot of women, out of desperation to lose belly fat will be tempted to start exercising immediately. But you mustn’t do that immediately after child birth.

The safest time for a woman who had vaginal birth to start exercising is after 2 months of delivery. For a woman who underwent a Caesarean section, 3 months is okay. However, before commencement of any type of exercise, you must get your doctor's approval.

Sure, exercise is safe while breast feeding, but you must eat very well to have sufficient energy to engage in exercises.

I understand the challenges that may inhibit the new mum from starting an exercise program. Challenges such as having little time, regular mood swings, erratic schedule due to changing baby's needs which demands too much attention from the mother etc.

However, in spite of the above, a new mum can make a serious effort to find time especially when the baby is napping to engage in simple exercises.

Here are sample exercises a mum can do to help the burning of Belly fat.

Pelvic Tilt Exercises

Pelvic tilt exercises are workouts that allow the gentle movements of the muscles around the lower back especially the abdominal muscles. They are done as the preliminary exercises that warm up your body for more strenuous exercises.

To do this exercise, you need to lie flat on the floor, then gently move your hips up and down for up to 30 times per session.

Back Extension Exercises

Step 1. Start by laying on your front, with your hands close to your chest, fingers pointing forwards.

Step 2. Exhale, pushing yourself up with your arms while keeping both feet firmly on the floor and your hips down.

Step 3. Look up toward the ceiling. You should feel the stretch in front of your neck too.

Plank Abdominal Exercises

This is similar to the normal push ups, that we do. However, this is a little different.

Step 1: Begin in the plank position (see picture above) with your forearms and toes on the floor.

Step 2: Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.

Step 3: Hold this position for 10 seconds to start. Over time work up to 30, 45 or 60 seconds.

Plank Exercise With Leg Lift: Start in the same plank position as above with your forearms and toes on the floor. Slowly raise one leg 5-8 inches off the floor. Count to two and slowly lower your leg to the floor. Switch legs and repeat. Do about 2-3 sets of 10 reps.

3. Proper Nutrition

One of the ways that will help you to lose your baby fat while doing the above activities is what you eat. You need to eat a balanced diet each time with little portions of carbohydrates and follow the following rules.

  • Avoid processed foods in bottle and cans
  • Drink at least 10 glasses of water daily
  • Eat lean meats such as chicken, turkey, (without the skin), fish, grass fed goat meat etc.
  • Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, salads, and natural snacks like cashew nuts and groundnuts.
  • Avoid fast food joints and cook at home all times.

Though there are other things that we do here in Nigeria to help a new mum lose her belly fat immediately that helps. Such traditional treatments like using a moderately hot water to massage the tummy for the first 4 - 8 weeks after childbirth, and a waist belt to hold the tummy for at least 30 minutes thereafter can also be applied by any woman.

These method is an additional but very effective practice that will go a long way in helping a mother lose her belly fat.

A baby stays 9 months in the womb before delivery, at least allow a maximum of nine months after delivery to get back into shape using the above processes to fast track your body. Doing that will help you to remain emotionally balanced and worry less about your tummy fat while you work your way to tone it to your preferred size.

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