Post-natal: What can you expect after a delivery?

Marie France Bodyline
weight loss plan, diet plan, pregnancy effects

“Being a mother should be a joy, not a bundle of worry”, they say. But a lot of new mothers have a lot of different things to worry these days, from weight management to eating healthy and breastfeeding to returning to work.

A mother experiences tremendous changes throughout the pregnancy from the increase of the different hormones in the body. Some of these changes that occur during pregnancy could be permanent, or if treated well, could revert to normal pre-pregnancy state.

So why does post-pregnancy sound stressful? What actually happens during and after pregnancy?

Well, if a new mother is equipped to face the care of herself and her baby whilst recovering from labour and delivery pains, she is probably on the right track for mending, and there is nothing to be stressed about.

Let's look at some of the physical changes that a women goes through during and post pregnancy:

  PRE PREGNANCY PREGNANT POST PREGNANCY
Energy Level Vitality Exhausted Fatigue
Appetite Normal Fluctuation Increase
Weight Standard Increase Remain
Breast Normal Fuller Lack of firmness
Tummy Flat & smooth Larger Laxity
Hips Smaller Expand Widen
Body Fluid Level Normal Retention Subjective

One will observe that nothing automatically reverts to pre-pregnancy levels, without a little effort perhaps, which comes in the form of post-natal care and discipline of course. Even breastfeeding, which is supposed to help a new mother lose weight, does not always yield the desired effects as fast as most new mothers would hope.

Perhaps the most disturbing of the lot is that you will be faced with some of the most common yet undesirable effects of motherhood including the lack of firmness in breast, abundance of stretchmarks, enlarged waistline and wider hips. Excess weight and accumulation of fat cells all over the body will be another thing altogether.

Pregnant woman

What should you do then to make sure you get through these stressful effects of pregnancy and perhaps lose them for good?

Easier said than done, experts advise that one should keep the positive things acquired during pregnancy and target and lose the negative things gained during the same 40-week period. If you have gained fuller breasts, rosy skin, a healthy metabolic rate, a healthy lifestyle and a good blood flow, you should perhaps try your best to maintain and preserve these. If you, however, have gained negative things such as those listed earlier, you should try your best not to overthink about it and only work towards losing them.

Breast changes with pregnancy

Working towards losing them, however, is not as easy as it sounds, again. A new mother, especially one under a good post-natal care, will have a couple of restrictions on what she could do and what she could not. This is even more inevitable if the delivery was by way of a C-section.

Let's look a simple guide on what you could and could not do post-pregnancy:

DO DON'T WHY THE DO'S AND DON'TS?
Week 1-2: Rest well
Week 3: Perform gentle exercises
Week 4 onward: Return to normal exercise routine
Perform strenuous exercises
  • Recovery of blood loss during labour
  • Need to promote wound healing with rest
  • Energy restoration by resting
  • Uterus contraction with mild exercises
Gradually lose weight.
*Advisable to lose approximate 2kg per month
Try to attain massive weight loss in a short period of time
  • Need to watch calories intake
  • Performance of physical activity will help getting back to normal health
  • Increase of metabolism generally good for body
  • Breast feeding may help with weight loss
Change in Lifestyle and healthy eating habits Consume slimming pills
  • Avoid magical pills
  • Such pills may pose health risks to organs
  • Eat accordingly to time
Get balanced nutrients Go on extreme diet
  • Your body requires adequate nutrients for recovery
  • Emphasise more on minerals and nutrients and go light on calories
Maintain a healthy weight without losing too much drastically Overlook the excess weight gained during pregnancy
  • Excess weight may not help with existing health complications
  • It may also pose risk for future pregnancy
  • After a period of time, the excess fat will become stubborn permanent fat in the body

Essentially, if you have signed up for a post-natal care programme during your pregnancy, the programme will take care of every concern above including your diet plan, recovery from labour, weight loss and so forth.

My Weight Loss Diet Plan

Losing excess weight gained during pregnancy is important for your future pregnancies, but losing too much could also be dangerous to your current recovery and even your baby who is relying on your breastmilk. Given the right care and advice, any new mother will be able to mend quickly towards leading a normal pre-pregnancy life with her beloved newborn.

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*As causes for being overweight vary from person to person, weight loss results will also vary from person to person, dependant on various genetic or environmental factors such as food intake, individual rate of metabolism, level of exercise, etc. No individual result should be seen as typical.