Being pregnant is a beautiful experience, but it’s not all perfect. While you might lose your appetite during the later months, it’s not uncommon to struggle with gaining weight even after giving birth. If this sounds like you, you’re in luck because there are tips and tricks for both stages of pregnancy to help you lose and maintain the right amount of weight. Keep reading for more information on this topic.
How To Weigh Less During Pregnancy
Whether you’ve been prepping for this stage of your life for months or this is your first pregnancy, it’s never easy to determine how much you should or shouldn’t weigh. Most doctors or dietitians will tell you what NOT to do during pregnancy (such as skipping meals or going on radical diets), but they can’t make any suggestions on how to weight less because, well, you’re pregnant and they don’t want to risk harming your fetus. This is where following a very strict diet comes in handy because you can clearly see how much you’re eating and whether or not you’re staying within the recommended weight range for your stage of pregnancy. One option is to follow a diet based on what your body needs. If you’re not sure what those are, here’s a quick overview of what’s going on with your body during pregnancy:
- You’re producing more breast milk than usual (about 400 ml a day), which is great because it means your baby will get the best chance at survival through breastfeeding. However, if you’re struggling to gain weight, you might not be producing enough of this milk, which could lead to your baby becoming undernourished. In rare cases, this has caused low birth weight and increased infant mortality.
- Your blood pressure is rising and so is your heart rate, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. While this is normal and part of the welcoming to-be-a-mother process, if your heart rate becomes a cause for concern, you might want to consult your doctor to ensure everything is okay.
- Your hands and feet are getting bigger because of all the blood flowing to them as part of the growing baby. This is called ‘pregnancy oedema’ and is completely normal. If you’re not used to wearing large clothes or if you’re already at the weight limit for your pre-pregnancy size, it’s very easy to struggle with gaining or losing weight during this stage. Don’t worry though, as soon as your baby is born, the hands and feet will go back to their normal size.
- Your hair and nails are getting longer as a result of the estrogen and progesterone surges during pregnancy. If you’re not used to going long hair or nail free, it can be a shock to the system when your nails grow all of a sudden and you have to deal with catching locks regularly. There’s no need to be alarmed though, once your baby is born, these nails will grow back to their usual length and you can get on with your life as usual.
- Your breasts are changing shape and size and so is your body. Especially towards the later stages of pregnancy, you might notice your bust getting a bit bigger and more full. This is a completely normal and natural change and it’s a direct result of all the extra fluids inside your body. If this concerns you, don’t worry because your body is still adapting to being a mother and there’s no need to rush into buying any size small clothing just to make sure you fit into something when you give birth. Give it some time and you’ll adjust. And if you happen to be above average height, don’t worry — your breasts will still look amazing even when they’re not attached to your body.
- You’re going to have to go through childbirth pain (in one of its many forms). Whether it’s a tough time or a long and drawn-out affair, giving birth is going to be one of the most challenging events of your life. You might feel frightened or anxious during labor, but try not to let these feelings take over because this is a beautiful moment you’re sharing with your baby. Trust your body and your instincts and you’ll make it through this experience as strong as possible.
Why Do You Keep On Losing Weight After Giving Birth?
In rare cases, a woman will struggle with postpartum depression after giving birth. In these cases, the depression can lead to the woman either eating too little or too much, resulting in further weight loss. This kind of weight loss is known as ‘postpartum weight loss’. While this can be a cause for concern, most times this is a transitory phase and the mother will get back on track with their normal weight as soon as the depression passes.
If this sounds like you and you’re worried about becoming too thin after having your baby, there are things you can do to prevent this. In addition to eating healthily and getting sufficient sleep, you can try to engage with your baby throughout the day. Hold their hand while walking around the house or simply sit with them in the parent’s lap and interact as much as possible. These are all great ways to help build a strong mother-child bond and ensure that your baby is getting enough nutrients from the breast milk they’re producing.
Also keep in mind that the weight loss will likely be rapid and dramatic in the first few months, but then it will settle down to a more normal rate. This is a common occurrence and there’s no reason to think it’s a sign of anything more serious.
Being pregnant is a joyous experience, but it’s not all perfect. While most women will lose a little weight during the later stages of pregnancy, it’s not uncommon to struggle with gaining weight even after giving birth. In rare cases, this can lead to complications, but it’s nothing to worry about as long as you’re mindful of what your doctor says and you follow a healthy diet. And if you’re already at the weight limit for your pre-pregnancy size, there’s no need to worry because your body is still adapting to being a mother and you’ll get back on track when your baby is born. Just make sure you have all your postpartum checks and weigh in with your doctor at least once a week. If you’re staying within the recommended weight range, this is nothing to worry about and you can look forward to a healthier and happier babyhood.