Amidst the celebrations
of giving birth to a baby, the new momís next plan is to lose baby weight (the
extra pounds added to the motherís weight when she carried the baby in her
womb). A gradual and safe weight loss program is the best way to lose baby
weight, as is true with losing weight in general.
The changes in the
body include fat accumulation in the face, around the thighs and especially
around the abdomen. The muscles of the abdomen grow along with the babyís
growth and when the baby comes out, they loosen up. The weight lost immediately
after the birth of the baby is due to the loss of placenta, amniotic fluid and
other extra blood and fluids required to sustain the pregnancy
Further weight loss requires an active role of the woman, involving a healthy
diet and fitness program.
Weight gain after a baby - Why?
is one of the most common weight loss goals for which women
sign up, after the body changes during pregnancy to gear up to protect and
develop a new life and then comes back to the new mom, just after birth. This
process of body changes for accommodating the baby growth, provide nutrition,
etc., gives rise to many types of hormonal changes.
the hormones are controlled by hypothalamus gland, in our brain. This gland
takes up various functions like food digestion, sleep
cycles and others, including conversion of food to fat, where and when to store
it and when to release the stored fat to be converted to energy.
During pregnancy, a
new hormone called hCG
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin overrides the hypothalamus and gives priority to
provide the essential nutrients and energy from abdominal fat, to the growing
fetus through the placenta.
Once the placenta
is removed as a result
of birth process, the hCG gives up the functions to the hypothalamus. At this
stage, if the body gets good nutrients with right diet, adequate sleep and
stress-free time, the hypothalamus can resume its normal functions. However,
with the new baby and its ever-rising demands of feeding, nappy changing and
erratic sleep schedules, the new mothers are often tired with practically no
time to take care of themselves.
This kind of stress
makes the adrenal gland produce more cortisol, the stress hormone, into the
bloodstream. This, in turn, makes the hypothalamus gland to send signals to
store food, by converting into fat. Most women go for some comfort foods during
these stressful periods, which are usually fattening, too.
Hoping to get the
right nutrients, the new mother gets to take in all the unwanted calories as
well, along with the food she eats. For example, if she takes extra milk for
calcium, she also ingests the unwanted amount of fat in the milk, and perhaps
the extra sugar, too.
changes in a womanís body in the postpartum
loosening up of the abdominal muscles to stretch and accommodate the growing
baby. This also contributes to the weight gain. Erratic sleep cycles, care of
an older baby, attending to the needs of spouse and other extra jobs can make
it stressful for the new mom and contribute to the increase in weight.