Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Postpartum Weight Loss

I have been wanting to write about post delivery weight shedding for the longest time. And I have been wanting to do that for various reasons. Firstly, because every time a new mum sees me she asks me how am I  back to my previous size. Secondly I want women to get over some notions about postpartum weight loss . Thirdly, I want women to know that just because someone has a lean structure doesn't mean weight loss comes any easier. 

Also, with this post I will share a few things you can do while you are baking that bun in your oven for easier weight loss after the bun is out.

While the average weight gain during pregnancy is between 13 and 15 kgs I had put on 17 odd kgs during my pregnancy. I am sharing this fact with you so that you know that I had REALLY put on weight. I had not restricted my diet. I was slightly worried when I touched an above average number in weight gain. My doctor had told me that it was alright to go a few kgs above. The only issue was the difficulty I would face in losing it. 

Now I have been an active person even before I got pregnant. I did not follow a certain regime or a particular activity. I did yoga or danced a bit in the bathroom (yes I do that often) or just managed a set of squats before getting into the shower. The idea has always been to remain active. And my pregnancy was no different. 

The first trimester was a bit challenging since I was bed ridden. However, the moment that phase passed and I was on my feet all free I decided to practice light yoga which included light physical movements and breathing exercises. I followed pre-natal yoga videos on you tube.

 Also, I really worked myself out after the 36th week. I was always keen on a normal delivery and my doctor suggested that if I wanted one I better be squatting enough. So, with those extra 17 kgs I used to do full squatting for ten minutes with two breaks plus brisk walks plus the yoga. Ofcourse there were days I just didn't feel like moving a finger and that felt ok! On such a day I say don't lift a finger. 

So the FIRST TIP to losing weight postpartum is to remain active during pregnancy. You can go for a walk or practice yoga like I did. A word of caution when following pre-natal you tube videos; listen to your own body. Everything you see in the video is recorded under guidance of a trainer or is performed by a trainer herself. Not all of us are trained or have been performing yoga forever. So when you are following one of these videos perform a movement that you are comfortable with. Wrong asanas or positions can cause trouble. Be as active as you can be as your due date approaches. Squat; walk; take stairs. Not only does that help you with your delivery but also escalates the weight losing process later.

Now that I have covered the pregnancy part let's talk about the post delivery part. So we all shed a couple of kilos as soon as our angels are out. I had lost a decent 7kgs right after delivering adira. Now the task was to lose the remaining 10 kgs. However, losing weight was the last thing on my mind that time. All I wanted to do was take care of my baby. I was suggested a few light exercises by the hospital staff that could be done in bed. Even an otherwise active person like me  did not do them regularly. I was just so busy looking at adira if I was not feeding her or was changing her diapers. 

So here comes TIP No. 2. Be patient. By that I do not mean that you wait forever but do not be in a rush either. The doctors generally suggest a three months period wait before indulging in a full fledged workout regime. So work out as hard as you want to after three months. Till then go for a stroll and do light exercises as suggested. 

I did not shed the remaining 10 kgs overnight. I started looking close to my previous self around 7th month after delivery. Once adira settled a little I realised that my stamina wasn't the same. I used to feel breathless while taking stairs which had never been the case earlier. So when I started working out after the fourth month, I did it with the motive of regaining my strength. The weight loss came complimentary with it.

This brings me to TIP No. 3: Focus on your overall wellness. The weight loss will follow. Focus on building on the lost strength. 

Adira is a year old now and I still do not find the time to work out everyday. I know new mums who take out an hour everyday and go to a Zumba or an aerobic class and I feel great that they are able to do so. But the ones who cannot do that don't fret. 

TIP No. 4: Don’t follow a workout routine. Make workout a part of the routine. Your children  will anyway make you workout a lot, keeping you on your toes once they start crawling. So besides all that running around just perform any form of exercise even if it is for 5 minutes. Dance on your favourite number. Take the stairs a few extra times. Do a quick cardio by doing a a few sets of jumping jacks or take the yoga way. You do one or you do all. The choice is yours. 

I used to do nearly 80 surya namaskars in a session before I conceived. Now I am not sure if that is more or less but that was my limit. When I started working out a little seriously after delivery I could manage only 10 surya namaskars in a session. But that did not stop me from going forward. I now manage 40 of them plus a few sets of crunches. (No I don't do that every day. Rather sometimes I manage to do that just once in ten days but I am active everyday). 

Coming to TIP No. 5: Concentrate on the progress. It will all come back. Start with whatever time span you are comfortable with. Slowly and steadily you will reach where you want to be. 

I won't be lying when I say that working out with a walking baby around is no piece of cake. I don't feel like working out every time she takes a nap because sometimes I too want to take a nap and the other times I want to watch something on Netflix. So my workout sessions with adira walking around mostly end up with a tornado-hit looking room and a fit of laughter. But like it is said “ laughter is the medicine”. 

I am sharing all these details and my experiences so that you know there is someone like you facing the same challenges.

The LAST but the most important tip: DO NOT COMPARE yourself with other women. We all have different body types, structures and different metabolism rates. We all have different tendencies to weight gain and loss. Keep all this in mind. Do not beat yourself up trying to achieve what another woman has achieved. Rather keep a check on your own progress. Where were you when you started the journey of pregnancy? You just have to go close to it if not the same. 

Besides all the above mentioned try to get a few sessions of body massage after delivery. It just doesn't help you feel relaxed after the hard work you have done delivering a baby but also helps firm up your body. My masseuse ditched me after 10 days so I got a few sessions at my mom's after which I used to massage my belly a bit on my own. I was not religious with the practice though. If you do not find a masseuse just massage your own belly in strokes towards the belly button. 

I haven't mentioned diet even once till now since I know how hungry new mums are. They breastfeed which only leads to wanting more food. So do not worry about your diet. Till the time your baby is latching onto those assets do not starve yourself and keep eating healthy. You can go on any diet once the baby is off your feed. No one is judging you and the ones who do let them.

I hope this post helps the pregnant women as well as the new mums who are trying to get back in shape. If you have more ideas do share to help other women sailing in the same boat. 

 I am sharing a few pictures of how my workout sessions look like with a walking toddler around. Also there is a picture of me before i conceived and of the time when i was heavily pregnant so that every woman understands that weight gain is normal. If it won't be during pregnancy then when should it ideally be? and if I can lose 17kgs so can you shed those extra kilos.


here i am trying to exercise in my boxers

adira chilling like a boss