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Exercise to reduce weight after delivery

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OBGYN, Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Practicing since : 1979
Answered : 79 Questions
How to reduce the weight after delivery.
I have delivered baby 8 weeks before and it was C-Section.As per my Gyn i can do all exercise.But what kind of exercise and food i have to follow.
Currently i am feeding my baby.I want to continue the same for minimum 6months(Feeding)
Posted Mon, 4 Mar 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Nirja Chawla 3 hours later
Congratulations on your becoming a mother!
Yes, i would encourage you to breast feed the baby for as long as you can. If you are working, then the maximum maternity leave available to you may be 6 months. You could extend the leave to nurture and be with the baby during this important time. If you are not working, please feed as long as 1 year. The normal saying is - you can start semisolids/top foods as and when advised by your paediatrician but the milk source for the baby should be human milk. Any other milk supplement - cow/buffalo/goat etc are not meant for human babies; they can cause allergies/asthma in later life of your child. This was just to reinforce a healthy practice, both for you and the baby.

Now attending to your main query:
For you, the advantages of breast feeding will be weight loss and contraceptive protection.
Your food intake, in fact, has to be 600 KCal more than during pregnancy. In practical terms, this could mean 1 small bowl of sprouts + 1 idli extra per day, in addition to what you were consuming in pregnancy, provided you were eating sensibly. Sensible diets are balanced - with good proportions of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Indian diets tend to be very oily. Keep fat to the minimum.

A good way to reduce weight to to focus on diet - don't compromise on basic food, but eat lots of salads BEFORE your main meal so that you don't overeat. Women tend to put the blame on how much they eat on the poor pregnancy and baby :) Take smaller portions of food at a time. When you eat, simply eat; don't gossip, decrease thinking, no TV, no book reading. You will find that the intelligence of your body will give you signals about how much food is enough.

Take on ALL baby care on yourself rather than expect someone else to care for the baby. So the feeding (naturally), burping, cleaning, bathing, washing baby clothes, keeping the baby's room fresh and clean - that should be an excellent way of trimming/toning your body. Go for long, brisk walks. Yoga is awesome for post-pregnancy weight loss. Check on the internet or TV for such programmes. One note of caution - don't make weight loss so much of an issue that you go about it in an egoistical manner, because then you may harm your body. Please don't do any stretches or asanas beyond the capability of your body. Push your body 10% more than what you did the day before but if you make achieving something a big goal, you are sure to overstretch the relaxed joints and muscles.

Beyond these 'exercises' you will not be able to do much in practical terms. The baby will demand so much of your time that you may feel exhausted all the while. So catch up on your sleep when the baby sleeps and complete your chores during this time too including your yoga and walks. I wouldn't recommend any 'gyming' at this point or any other point.

For your information, all yogasanas which include leg lifting, back bending, forward bending, weight on palms as in Santolanasanas etc are perfect including inversions - head below chest asanas and twists. One of the good ones is - lying flat on back with legs straight, then raise one leg up about 1.5 feet above bed, leg straight. Repeat with other leg. Then repeat with both legs. The return to bed level has to be as slow as you can do. Try it. Its not easy but excellent for abdomen and core back muscles.
Weight loss will follow automatically with the above advice.
All the best.
Dr Nirja Chawla

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