Restoring Body Composition Post Pregnancy – the HCG DIET can HELP!
Bouncing Back After Pregnancy Weight Gain
For many of us women, the first few months after we give birth are filled with extreme joy and some extreme challenges in getting used to providing our sweet little one with everything that they need … constantly! You are happy as can be with your new love. There are also some challenges with getting used to a new schedule. There is also the reality that your body has just been put through A LOT!! You put on some pounds during pregnancy to help nourish your baby and the best thing you can do is relax into letting them go. You may have that baby pooch for a few months post partum, but, it will go! I recommend that women focus on a healthy diet, good ole walking and nurturing their baby for a few months to come. The truth is that your body composition can bounce back from having a baby. I have found the HCG Diet to be helpful in those women who have a hard to time shedding those last pounds after they have completed breast feeding.
More Fat Mass After Baby!
So, you put on 15-90 lbs during pregnancy. That weight includes the baby, your uterus, your breast tissue, increased blood supply, placenta, amniotic fluid and of course those necessary extra fat stores. ALL NORMAL! After childbirth, the baby, placenta, extra blood, and amniotic fluids will be the first to go. It takes about 6 weeks for the placenta to return to pre-pregnancy size and weight. The last to go will be the additional fat stores.
Why do we need to store fat in pregnancy? Well, that growing baby will need those extra fat stores to grow in your womb and for adequate milk supply with breast feeding. The best thing you can do is not judge yourself. Celebrate your body in pregnancy and post partum and let it come off with a healthy diet, gentle exercise and breast feeding (if you choose that route). Interestingly enough, their is also a genetic component to fat storage during pregnancy. Of course, not all women will store it in the same places, in the same amounts or at the same time.
On my personal post partum journey, I actually gained weight while breast feeding and lost weight rapidly as soon as I stopped. My body chose to hold onto fat stores to help my body make milk and then let them go when I was no longer a milk maker:) Studies also show that the body fat post partum sticks around longer with the first child and disappears more quickly with the next.
Your Action Plan to Lose Weight Post Pregnancy
IMPACT OF BREASTFEEDING AND BODY COMPOSITION
Breastfeeding has shown to have a positive impact on body composition within the first 6 months. It has been shown that breast feeding women lose more fat mass in the first 12 weeks after child birth than non-breast feeding women. The average weight loss was about about .5 to 1 lb per week. You do not want to try to lose weight too quickly after child birth or it will have an impact on your milk supply! The weight is there for a reason. Love yourself with those extra pounds and love what they can provide to your newborn!
YOUR DIET AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY LEVEL DURING AND POST PREGNANCY
Looking at nutrition, it has been shown that women who eat a diet higher in simple and even complex carbs will gain easier than those who follow a lower glycemic diet. Eating a diet rich in leafy greens, clean proteins and good fats will be a wonderful way to support you and your baby during pregnancy. I always like to explore an individual diet plan with my patients. There is not a “one size fits all” diet!
As far as exercise, there are many factors that come to play. You must know when it is medically safe to begin your exercise routine. Much of this will depend upon your method of delivery. Birth complications and cesarean births will need more healing time. In the absence of birth complications, some women begin exercise within 2 weeks after delivering their baby. Aerobic exercise has been shown to help with cardiovascular fitness without affecting the milk supply. It is important to listen to your body!
BE KIND AND LOVE YOURSELF
Remember … it took 10 months to get your body prepped for your baby and it may take that long to get it back to pre-baby condition. Please do not compare. Everyone starts their journey at a different place. This is a lifestyle … not a destination!