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?
Losing baby weight 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.
Before pregnancy, 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 or 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.
The muscular changes in a womanís body in the postpartum period include 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.
Latest Publications and Research on Top Tips to Lose Weight Fast After Pregnancy
- Are Lifestyle Interventions to Reduce Excessive Gestational Weight Gain Cost Effective? A Systematic Review. - Published by PubMed
- Maternal chronic stress correlates with serum levels of cortisol, glucose and C-peptide in the fetus, and maternal non chronic stress with fetal growth. - Published by PubMed
- Impact of an integrated nutrition, health, water sanitation and hygiene, psychosocial care and support intervention package delivered during the pre- and peri-conception period and/or during pregnancy and early childhood on linear growth of infants in the first two years of life, birth outcomes and nutritional status of mothers: study protocol of a factorial, individually randomized controlled trial in India. - Published by PubMed
- Maternal malnutrition impacts placental morphology and transporter expression: an origin for poor offspring growth. - Published by PubMed
- Associations of maternal diet and placenta leptin methylation. - Published by PubMed