Perhaps, you’ve asked yourself a couple of times, “Why do I still look pregnant?”
After giving birth, many mothers try to get back into shape only to be frustrated because it’s not happening fast enough. Even with adjustments to one’s lifestyle (reducing daily calorie intake and incorporating regular exercise), it can still take a while before they can see results, leading them to feel like a failure.
What can you read in this article?
- Why do I still look pregnant after giving birth
- How to get rid of pregnant looking belly
- Why am I gaining weight after pregnancy
Why do I still look pregnant after giving birth
Why do I still look pregnant after giving birth? | Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels
For most women it takes six to eight weeks for their stomach to shrink back down to normal size after giving birth. This is because both the stomach and uterus expand to accommodate a baby.
The uterus makes room for the baby by expanding over the pubic bone, pushing out the abdomen in the process. Hence, women can appear “pregnant” six months after the delivery.
Thus, it would take six to 8 weeks - the average time to lose baby weight.
It’s also important to remember that women’s bodies are different; some may find it easier to lose that stubborn pregnancy weight while others may be stuck with it for longer periods of time.
Are you thinking about losing weight soon after giving birth? Experts are saying that you hold your horses. New mothers should not be losing weight at such lightning speed.
“We don't have the kind of lifestyle that would allow for that kind of quick loss—and the sooner women recognize that the better they will feel about themselves,” says Laura Riley, MD, a high-risk-pregnancy expert from Massachusetts General Hospital.
Experts are also warning against adapting crazy crash diets and an intense exercise program, especially if these mothers have had a particularly difficult pregnancy or C-section.
For new mothers, cutting calorie intake especially if they’re breastfeeding isn’t the way to go, as per WebMD.
"You should be eating at least 1,800-2,000 calories a day while breastfeeding, and if you eat less you will not only be shortchanging yourself, you'll be shortchanging your baby,” says nutritionist Elizabeth Somer. “You can't produce quality milk if you are not eating enough.”
If a mom is intent to get back into shape, light to moderate exercise will be beneficial for them. Not only does it increase energy, it also reduces the risk of postpartum depression.
Experts say that new mothers can start working out as soon as they feel like they’re up for it, but it’s still best to get a go signal from a doctor.
“That's key, being able to keep up with whatever program you start. If you can't then either the program is too rigorous, or you're just not ready. Exercise should make you feel better, not worse," says Laura Riley.
How to get rid of pregnant looking belly
You'll lose at least 13 pounds after giving birth due to fluid loss, the placenta, and your child's weight exiting your system. You'll probably lose even more weight after the first week postpartum. However, your stomach may still resemble that of a pregnant woman.
This is common, and both your stomach and uterus will begin to compress to their pre-pregnancy sizes after you give birth. It will take about six weeks for your uterus to fully contract. You may have already lost the weight you gained during pregnancy at six weeks.
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This is especially true if you're nursing your baby. Breastfeeding mothers lose 500 calories each day on average. This is due to the fact that your body utilises the calories it has accumulated during pregnancy to produce milk and nourish your baby.
Furthermore, many women suffer from diastasis recti, or abdominal separation, while pregnant. This occurs as your uterus expands, separating your stomach muscles. It makes your stomach protrude. Hormones have a role, as does the pressure that a growing baby places on your body.
Women who have had multiple children, twins, or a bigger infant may experience abdominal separation. You may detect an unusual shape or protrusion in your stomach if you have abdominal separation. Back pain affects certain women. Postpartum abdominal separation is common and takes time to heal.
If you don't put any extra strain on your stomach while you're pregnant, you can avoid abdominal separation. Avoid doing strong core workouts such as planks or sit-ups. Try not to carry heavy objects, undertake severe abdominal stretching, or sit up too quickly after giving birth.
Why am I gaining weight after pregnancy
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels
Women who don't get enough sleep acquire weight. According to research, women who slept less than five hours per night six months after giving birth were three times more likely to keep their baby weight and maybe gain more.
3 reason why you are not back to your pre-pregnancy weight
Some women experience (1) hypothyroidism during and after pregnancy. Being a new mom is also stressful. (2) Stress hormones can cause weight gain, and stressed women are more prone to eat.
So there you have it: thyroid issues, insomnia, and stress all have a role in postpartum weight gain.
If you're having trouble gaining weight, talk to your OB at your postpartum visit; a thyroid test may be necessary.
How to lose baby weight after birth
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels
Still worried about your weight gain and postpartum body? Here are a few reminders for you.
Your postpartum belly will naturally shrink over time. However, there are several things you may do at home to help with your postpartum tummy. Once your doctor gives you the go light, attempt to include exercise into your regular routine. Begin with light body weight exercises and walking. You can gradually incorporate running and core activities. Kegels are a good pelvic floor workout.
2. Maintain a healthy diet
Try to stick to a nutritious diet after you've given birth, just as you did while pregnant. Breastfeeding will make you feel better and supply your kid with more nutrients. Additionally, consuming a well-balanced diet can aid in the reduction of your postpartum tummy.
3. Let yourself heal
Keep in mind that giving birth is one of the most amazing experiences you'll ever have. It challenges your body in ways you never imagined.
All of this upheaval, though, necessitates rest and recuperation. Allow yourself to relax and heal as much as possible in the weeks and months following your baby's birth.