Motherhood and Pregnancy Belly fat
Congratulations on entering this beautiful and the most cherished phase called “Motherhood“. Birthing is not an easy feat and we all vouch to it. My mom often used to say that “Birthing” does not just entails giving birth to a new life, it is a re-birth for the new mum as well. Re-birth in the form of changes her body goes through and the emotional transformations. A new mum herself is changed emotionally as well as physically and same happened with me as well. As soon as I came out of OT after having C-Sec (due to long twists of Umbilical cord around my baby), I felt as if it was a new life and I had changed there and then.
Emotionally it is a long journey, but usually the most challenging and worrisome task faced is to “reduce the belly fat”. The grumpy discussions of mums who haven’t lost that belly fat keeps on haunting over in our minds. I also felt the same and never knew how my body would look after birthing my baby. I refrained from buying many trendy clothes then. Though I had the plan ready for reducing my belly fat, I was sceptical of all the actions. So, here, I’m sharing you all the points, which I ensured to reduce my belly fat to pre-pregnancy situation, not exactly flat, but near to flat belly in less than 4 months.
Some reasons why you still look like Pregnant even after giving a birth?
- A life was being developed in your uterus for almost 9 months taking nutrition from your body. Uterus needs 6 to 8 weeks to return to its pre-pregnancy size, so have some patience.
- You should congratulate yourself on having a healthy pregnancy, which made you gain weight. While we do lose some weight after birthing (of the baby, amniotic fluid, blood), still we have an added fat retained and deposited in the belly region.
- Loose muscles : Pregnancy was responsible for stretching most of the abdominal and pelvic muscles, hence they won’t be as tight as they were in the pre-pregnancy phase.
Thus toning up the tummy region or reducing the belly fat becomes the most concerning area, more so if you are becoming a mum for the 2nd time.
10 tips to help a new mum reduce her Belly fat (the way I went) :
1. Breastfeeding :
As soon as you have a new born in your hands, start breastfeeding. It not just helps your new born develop immunity and resistance, but it also helps you in reducing the belly fat by burning up calories. It also releases “Oxytocin” hormone, which quickens up the uterus contraction phase. Our body has to work hard to produce this nutritious milk for our baby and this helps in burning the calories. You might also feel exhausted after breastfeeding sessions, which proves this fact.
2. Hydration :
I remember guzzling litres of water, lemon juice, mint juice throughout the day. The next day of baby birth, I was offered Spiced lemon tea, full of vitamins to heal up my body. I used to rely only on :
Lukewarm water :
Which flushes out the body toxins. Adding lemon to it helped me more in burning the adipose fat of the belly and surrounding areas. Thrice a week, I used to add honey to warm lemon water and drink it as the first thing in the morning.
Green Tea :
Green Tea fastens the fat burning process, hence intake of a cup of Green tea, after slight exercise gives a great result. It is also full of antioxidants, so green tea should be regular in your routine.
Cucumber – Mint water :
Atleast once a day, this refreshing water was a part of my routine. Cucumber, not only helps in hydrating, but it is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals and has detoxifying properties. It also curbs the appetite and hence helps you reduce the extra fat.
Spiced Tea :
I started with Spiced lemon tea, right from day 2, including spices as pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and lemon, which does not allow accumulation of fat in the body. Cinnamon is a great healer.
3. Support Belts/ Maternity Belts/ Belly wraps :
Many maternity belts are available, check basis your waist size with your doctor and start wearing it soon. I started wearing it on Day2 and continued it for around 2 months. Not just it provides your back a good support and helps in maintaining your posture, it also accelerates uterus shrinking back to its normal level and speeds up the process of reducing your tummy. Do check with your doctor before using it.
4. Walking :
Well, it isn’t like running or jogging for miles, but it involves comfortable small walk sessions, atleast 2-3 times a day (for 20-30 minutes). Starting off with walking is the first step towards fitness after baby birth. You can start strolling with your baby as well to have a quality time together once a day. Walking in nature always boosts up your energy. Just be careful of any mosquitoes or bugs, before taking your baby for a stroll.
5. Nutritional Diet :
Never go on “Diet”, after birthing as dieting will hamper your breast milk quality and quantity both, which your baby needs the most right now.
Well, forget those sugary and spicy foods. High sugar and more carbohydrate rich food will lead to extra accumulation of fat in your body and more in belly region. Though laddoo’s will put your thoughts at a bay, since it helps in regaining strength and increases milk supply, you need to know that sugar in laddoo’s don’t help. You can get jaggery added instead of sugar and keep it less sweet. Well, I opted for Jaggery laddoo’s. Say a strict No to cookies, chocolates, packed juices, soda, and oily foods.
Oily foods are the worst enemy for your weight loss as well as for the new born. I still remember, my favourite food for around 2 months was a vegetable porridge with lots of Bottle guard (which burns extra fat), carrot and beetroot. This diet actually kept me healthy with a happy baby and pushed me a step further in reducing belly fat.
Opt for more of salads, with soaked nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts), fresh fibrous fruits, fresh curd (not cold), and baked munchies.
6. Massage :
I took massage for nearly 4 months (along with my baby). A good tight massage can distribute the extra fat in body and not allow more fat to accumulate. It also helps in improving the metabolism and a better metabolism means a faster burning up of the body fats and nutrients. I used to opt for a morning massage after a session of walk and it really helped me stay active, energized and in reducing belly fat.
7. No Stress and adequate sleep :
A new mum will always feel that, stress and lack of sleep are her companions now. But change that. I had a very clear routine as I could never gather a continuous 8 hour sleep. I used to take naps when my baby used to sleep and believe me new borns sleep for more than 16 hours a day, you have plenty of time to take a nap along with your baby.
It has been proven that new mums who sleep less than 5 hours have a really hard time getting rid of that excess weight compared to those mums who sleep 7-8 hours, more so during the night.
Stress and less sleep releases a stress hormone in the body which leads to weight gain and is a hindrance in your belly fat losing journey. So, be happy, calm, contented, ask for help and enjoy this phase.
8. Meditation and Breathing exercise :
Try to practise meditation, be it only for 15-20 minutes a day in the morning. It will keep your mind fresh, create an aura of positivity and help your body in every possible way. Along with meditation, practise breathing exercise, mostly called as anulom – vilom or deep belly breathing exercise. This exercise helps in rhythmic contractions of abdominal muscles which helps in muscle tightening and thus tones up the belly region. It’s not a magic, follow these practises daily to see the result.
9. Keep proper posture :
Usually after pregnancy, mums get into poor posture. But as you feel some strength, with maternity belt, try to sit and walk straight pulling your stomach. This will always help you in flattening your belly.
10. Kegels and Cardio :
To be honest, I was regular with my Kegels but somewhat irregular with cardio, which I started after a month of birthing. Kegels helps in strengthening and tightening your pelvic floor. In Kegels, all you have to do is, tighten your muscles in the same manner as you would have tried to hold in your pee.
If you can, go for atleast 20 minutes cardio, 4 times a week when your baby is fast asleep. It should involve either professional trainer or go for planks, squats, twists, sit-ups, stretching, push-ups, jogging, crunches and more so yourself after discussion with your doctor. Talk to your doctor and trainer as in when you should start your exercises and what type of exercises should be apart of your routine. We suggest you to never go against your doctors advice, as it is your body’s re-birth as well! Be patient, be soft with your body.
[Disclaimer : This post is written basis my personal experiences, but before going in for any diet or work out regime, do consult with your doctor, as all the things are based on the type of body you have and your birthing process].
Hope this post helps you in reducing your belly fat and attain a “near to” pre-pregnancy figure.