5 Natural Ways to Drop Post-Partum Weight Quickly and Safely
Pregnancy brings a lot of new, exciting surprises with it (not all of them as welcome as the baby!) Bloating, morning sickness, indigestion, hormonal shifts, bladder irregularities, sleepless nights, and usually a bit of stubborn weight gain are all possibilities that might come as an added “side bonus” to bringing the little one into this world.
While there are ways to minimize these types of side effects with natural approaches (see other posts), we will specifically focus here on how to normalize the “set point” of your body weight.
Weight loss is more than just counting calories and working out until you feel like passing out. Just like the thermostat in your home, your metabolism has a set point where it maintains a certain weight. Depending on the signals our body receives, our metabolism will either store or burn fuel in order to keep a happy bodyweight range.
Control Blood Sugar
Whether you were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, type II diabetes, or prediabetes, or had a generally healthy pregnancy, controlling how your blood sugar responds to each meal will largely determine how your body deals with incoming meals, especially carbohydrate-rich meals. The best investment you can make is buying an inexpensive blood glucose monitor for your personal testing before and after meals.
Stick to fibrous, non-starchy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, asparagus, and dark leafy greens. Also make sure your eating a hearty amount of protein at each meal, along with a choice of healthy fat (avocado, coconut oil) to help you feel satiated.
Address Your Hormones
Weight loss is more than just what you eat. The latest research shows weight management is highly regulated by our hormones. Even our energy levels are heavily influenced by the natural daily cycle of our hormones, like cortisol. Other hormones include but are not limited to insulin, adrenaline, testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.
Nutrition, stress, genetic and environmental factors all play a role in bringing your hormones back into balanced, physiologic levels. You may think about getting your hormone levels checked. Unfortunately, most conventional medical doctors are not using the most up-to-date, accurate lab tests, so you may consider getting comprehensive hormone testing done by a functional medicine practitioner[ii].
Improve Your Zzzz’s
Having a newborn around can really interfere with your sleep quality. For the first 2-3 months, be prepared to have fragmented sleep, and therefore, poor sleep quality.
As the baby’s sleep schedule normalizes, will yours, too. If the baby doesn’t seem to be sleeping well or having issues getting enough rest, you may consider having your baby checked by a healthcare practitioner to make sure nothing serious is keeping him or her awake.
Pediatric chiropractic is a gentle, safe, effective approach to ensuring your baby feels comfortable in his or her own body enough to relax and get restful sleep. After all, he or she is not able to vocalize any bodily discomfort they may be experiencing. The better your little one sleeps, the better you will too!
Move Your Body
Childbirth can be a physically taxing experience on a woman’s body. After giving yourself enough rest to allow your body to restore, try increasing your level of physical activity slowly and conservatively over several months.
Jumping right back into the intense boot camp or interval training you did prior to pregnancy may cause unwanted injury. You may even start by increasing the time you spend on your feet, pacing around the house holding your new bundle of joy, instead of sitting or lying in bed.
Set a goal of 10,000 steps a day and maybe even invest in wearable tech like a Fitbit to encourage yourself to stay on track. Eventually, you can work up to doing yoga, taking walks or even jogs around the block with the stroller. Remember to be patient and not push too hard too early.
Take Time To Unwind
This is a biggie, especially for new mothers! An increase amount of vigilance comes with bringing a child into this world. Being watchful and careful of your over your little is a natural, innate feeling to have, but make sure you aren’t worrying or obsessing.
Having balance and allowing your mind to rest with gentle deep breathing exercises, meditation, or even a relaxing bath soak while someone else watches baby can go a long way to avoid unnecessary stress…after all, you’ve earned it!
[i] 1. Vos MB, McClain CJ. Fructose takes a toll. Hepatology. 2009;50(4):1004-1006. doi:10.1002/hep.23212.