A Guide to Nutrition and Exercise After Giving Birth
It took nine months to grow your beautiful baby, so remember to be kind with your body as you enter your postpartum journey. Becoming a mother is a wonderful process and it is important to feel confident and empowered. Some moms find that their body “bounces back” soon after pregnancy, however more often moms find that they need time to recalibrate, and their body changes to a beautiful new version.
Whenever you feel ready to enter a postpartum weight loss journey, the most important thing is caring for yourself. Remember, there’s no rush, and no right or wrong time to begin. Here are some tips to help you along.
You are probably tracking all of your new baby’s feeding schedules and diaper changes but your own nutrition may have become a lower priority. We totally get it!
Focusing on ensuring you are providing yourself with the proper nutrition is important for healing your body, supporting milk production, helping to lose postpartum weight and feeling like your best self. You have a little human (or two! or more!) relying on you now.
Focus on providing yourself (and your baby if you're breastfeeding) a balanced diet of whole foods, fiber rich veggies, iron rich foods, energy boosting whole grains, and foods rich in vitamin C. Look to take baby steps (pun intended) to cut processed foods out of your diet.
When you’re time starved, try stocking up on healthy snacks that nourish your body and are easy to reach for:
- hummus and fresh veggies
- toast with a hard-boiled egg
- apples with almond butter
- veggie packed smoothies
- nuts & seeds
- full fat yogurt
While breastfeeding it is important to not be too strict in counting calories, to encourage and support your milk production, and maintain your energy levels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that a breastfeeding mother should consume approximately 2,300 to 2,500 calories per day and non-breastfeeding women should consume approximately 1,800 to 2,000 calories.
If you are able to carve out some time while your baby snoozes, take the opportunity to connect with your partner (or a friend) over a meal. Pop a meal out of the freezer or order some take out from your favorite farm to table restaurant and marvel over the beautiful human you created.
Depending on how active you were before and during your pregnancy you may be eager to jump back into exercising…or not so much. Either way, it is important to wait until your doctor clears you at your six week checkup before you start any rigorous exercise regimes postpartum.
Exercising with a new little one can be a fun opportunity to explore new ways to stay active. You can now attend baby and mom yoga classes, which is also a fun way to meet other new parents and learn ways to safely incorporate your little one into exercises.
Load up that stroller and go discover some new spots around your neighborhood or city while your baby snoozes to get in some extra steps. Bonus points if you also pop your headphones in and catch up on some podcasts - you're a mom now, multitasking is your new superpower! There are also great stroller exercises available to help tone different parts of your body (Pinterest is your best friend here).
Before you make any significant lifestyle tweaks, take some time to enjoy the beautiful gift of being a new mom. Weight loss after a pregnancy can take time, and focusing on an active lifestyle and balanced diet can help support this journey.