Weight Loss - Pregnancy and Childbirth

Oh, Those Hormones...

Pregnancy is a time filled with all sorts of strange and new feelings and sensations. At first there is no outward sign that a baby is growing, other than the initial signs of conception - spotting, feeling tired, and hanging over the toilet bowl whenever you smell food. During the first trimester (12 weeks), of pregnancy, weight loss is part of the package for more than half of the women who become pregnant. Nobody knows for certain what causes nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, but the most likely suspect is, of course, hormones.

One thing we know for certain, pregnancy is not the time to be taking on a weight loss program. If you're planning to become pregnant and you are more than your ideal weight, then part of the pre-pregnancy preparation should include getting down to a weight that is healthy for you. Being at a healthy weight prior to conception makes going through the pregnancy much easier and after you've had the baby, recovering from childbirth takes less time.

Hormones Strike Again

When it comes time to give birth to your baby, hormones kick in again in terms of labor weight loss. This time the change in your hormone levels may cause a loss of one to three pounds during the week before your labor starts. Most of this weight loss is water weight that has been held in the tissues of your body.

When you are recovering from childbirth, after delivery of your baby, your body begins to make adjustments in a bid to return to normal. Of course, this is going to take some time - although we've all seen those women who give birth and then walk out of the hospital, babe in arms, in their size 5 jeans. But, they're the minority. Most women recovering from childbirth carry pregnancy weight for several months, gradually losing it over time. It can become a bit difficult for some women who become "blue" postpartum, and recovering from childbirth is a time when they are focusing on how their bodies "don't look like they used to."

Don't Despair - There's Help Available

Part of the postpartum recovery from childbirth includes getting help, if you need it, to overcome the feelings of despair over weight gain. Some women gain as much as 40 or 50 pounds during their pregnancy and expect that as soon as the baby is born the weight will just drop off. When it doesn't, focus on weight can negatively affect their connection with their newborn as well as their self-esteem. If you find yourself in this situation, seek the help of your physician in getting a healthy eating and exercise plan established to help you get back on track and lose that weight.

Breastfeeding Bonus

Breastfeeding is a great way to shrink your uterus and lose weight while giving your baby the benefit of health and protection through your own milk. While breastfeeding, weight loss happens as a result of the extra calories needed to produce the milk your baby is drinking. Also, when breastfeeding, your diet should be much healthier simply because whatever you eat, baby eats as well. Certain foods are just not good for your baby and will create some problems. As a conscientious mother, you'll want to ensure you are eating well. Allergies can also crop up from foods you are eating. Your baby may react negatively to certain foods which, in turn, you will have to eliminate from your diet. All of these things contribute to breastfeeding weight loss.

If you have childbirth questions related to weight gain and loss - especially if you are being treated for a condition or illness, then talk with your doctor. Medications can definitely cause weight gain, especially those taken to deal with cancer and some other serious diseases. Together with your health care professional, you will be able to manage your weight and enjoy the experience of pregnancy and birth.

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