Now that your bundle of joy has arrived, you might be thinking about how to lose that extra weight. You’ve probably already gotten a head start. For an average pregnancy, most women stand to lose about 12 pounds alone from delivering the baby and amniotic fluids. Unfortunately, they still don’t go back to their pre-baby bodies right after giving birth. Those who wish to lose the extra weight must rely on good, old-fashioned diet and exercise. And even then, it’s still hard to bounce back.
Luckily, science has given us ways to speed things along. With a little discipline and some expert help, anyone can successfully return to a healthy, post-baby weight. If you are a new mom, here are five easy things you can do to get your body back after pregnancy.
Breastfeeding moms can burn up to 800 more calories per day than non-breastfeeding moms. That means you don’t have to spend quite so much effort sweating it out at the gym or restricting your diet, simply by choosing to nurse. Breastfeeding also releases hormones that help the uterus shrink to its original size, further reducing the look of a post-baby belly.
2. Be Careful with Your Diet
That doesn’t mean you should go on a diet. Rather, consult with your doctor to determine the right diet for your lifestyle. You should be packing your plate with enough calories to fuel your recovering body and milk supply. Too many calories can hinder your progress, but too little can actually make weight loss harder, which is why an expert’s advice is necessary.
3. Start Exercising
Ten minutes of exercise a day can help you slim down faster. Once your doctor has given you the green light, you can start with low-impact exercises. Try to incorporate stroller walks or bicep curls with baby into your regular routine. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you should begin exercising more during the weaning stage to replace one calorie-burning activity with another. At this time, avoiding inactivity is more important than the intensity of your workouts.
4. Drink More Water
Your goal should be eight glasses a day, at the very least. It staves off dehydration, which your brain might misinterpret as hunger. Proper hydration is especially important for nursing moms, who need to stay hydrated for milk production. Drinking water throughout the day also takes up space in your stomach, helping you feel fuller sooner during your meals. To cut even more calories, replace all your sugary drinks like juice, soda, and trussed-up coffee with healthy, calorie-free water.
5. Consider a Mommy Makeover
Sadly, many women will never go back to their pre-baby bodies, no matter how hard they diet or exercise. This is because stubborn fat is, well, stubborn, and the years of motherhood only let it settle even more. In these instances, it’s still possible to feel satisfied with your body. Modern medicine makes it possible to address these issues through plastic surgery. The Mommy Makeover is a type of surgical procedure that corrects sagging skin, removes fat, and improves any other aesthetic flaws. Depending on the patient’s needs, it will entail some or all of the following procedures:
Liposuction is a fat-removal procedure intended for stubborn “pockets” of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. After pregnancy, many women see more of these fat pockets in areas they aren’t used to, which is why liposuction is one of the most common post-baby procedures.
Often, pregnancy can result in weakened abdominal muscles and stretch marks, which permanently alters the look of the abdomen. The tummy tuck surgery removes sagging skin and excess fat in the abdominal region, leaving it smoother and flatter in appearance. This surgery is usually performed in conjunction with liposuction for an optimally-contoured stomach area.
Some of the most noticeable post-pregnancy changes are seen in the breasts. You might see changes like sagging, loss of volume, asymmetry, or stretch marks, leaving them drastically different in appearance after you’ve recovered from pregnancy. With a breast lift, a surgeon will trim and reshape the breasts, restoring them to a more youthful appearance.
Breast augmentation might be recommended for women who are unhappy with the size of their breasts. In this procedure, breast implants are inserted to provide lift and volume, resulting in a more proportionate figure. It can be performed alongside a breast lift for a truly customized result.
Motherhood isn’t easy, but it’s okay to ask for help, especially when it comes to your health. Communicate with your doctor to set realistic weight loss goals. Then, consult with a plastic surgery expert to start your Mommy Makeover journey. Dr. Stephan Baker is a plastic surgeon located in Miami, FL, who provides such body makeovers, along with several other cosmetic procedures to fit your specialized needs.