Say no to obesity after pregnancy
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Giving birth to a baby is a life-changing event for a new mother. Among all the changes that take place in your body during pregnancy, weight gain is one that can stick with you for a long time. If you do not take charge of your weight right away, the excess kilos on your body may make you obese and put you at risk for several health complications.1

Within six to 12 months after the delivery, you should focus on losing the excess weight and maintaining a healthy body weight to prevent obesity.2 This article will provide you with a few tips to prevent obesity after pregnancy.

What are the common reasons for weight gain after pregnancy?

Many women gain weight after delivering a baby, and it becomes difficult to control the weight gain. Research suggests the following reasons may contribute to weight gain leading to obesity after pregnancy:3

  • Thyroid problem: Some women may develop a problem in thyroid functioning during or after pregnancy, which may result in weight gain.3
  • Low initiation or maintenance of breastfeeding: Women who do not initiate and maintain breastfeeding after pregnancy are at a greater risk of becoming obese.4
  • Sleepless nights: Many women have disturbed sleep patterns or sleepless nights after delivery, which is one of the factors leading to weight gain.3
  • Stress: Being a new mom is a tough job. The stress of additional responsibilities often brings about stress eating. This, along with stress hormones, can lead to obesity.3

How to get back to a healthy weight after pregnancy and prevent obesity?

Once you are back home with your baby, a new routine begins in your life. You must take the essential steps and follow some easy tips that help you to get back your normal weight and prevent obesity.2,3 The following steps taken by the new mother can help prevent obesity and its associated health risks:

  • Breastfeeding: The initiation of breastfeeding at the appropriate time after delivery and continuing with it can use up calories in the mother. Dedicated breastfeeding can thus help control weight and prevent obesity.2-4
  • Eat right to beat obesity: Eat small meals several times a day. Do not skip food as you need the energy to take care of your baby. Regular eating habits can help you maintain a healthy weight. Drink plenty of water and choose a low-fat diet. Avoid eating sugary or fried foods. Take your time to eat food properly; don’t be in a hurry to finish it. There is no need to start a crash diet to burn those extra calories. Following these healthy eating habits is enough to help you lose weight.2
  • Exercise: Light exercise can very well help you to burn fat and gain muscle strength. Do not overdo any exercise.2
  • Make realistic goals for your body: After the delivery, it might not be possible to immediately return to the exact size you were before your pregnancy. However, setting up realistic goals to lose the extra weight gained during pregnancy can help you achieve them.2 A 30-minute walk outside, pushing your baby’s stroller, can be a great way to prevent obesity3 and keep your baby calm and happy as well.
  • Practice yoga: Post-pregnancy yoga can help you lose weight and gain peace of mind.5 Find time for regular yoga and meditation when the baby is asleep.5

What are the risks associated with obesity after pregnancy?

Your life will never be the same after you have a baby. But if you do not take steps to control the increasing weight, you may become obese.2,3 Weight gain and obesity have a negative impact on your self-esteem and will also put you at a higher risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes.3 Obesity can also affect your future pregnancy.4

Following these easy steps will help prevent obesity after pregnancy, get your self-esteem back and reduce the risks of developing any major health conditions in the future.3

Let go of the stress, eat well and keep moving for a healthier and happier you!

References:

  1. Gunderson EP. Childbearing and obesity in women: Weight before, during, and after pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2009 Jun;36(2):317-32. doi:10.1016/j.ogc.2009.04.001.
  2. MedlinePlus. Losing weight after pregnancy [Internet]. [updated 2017 Feb 17; cited 2019 Nov 28]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000586.htm.
  3. University of Utah Health. Why am I gaining weight after giving birth? [Internet]. [updated 2018 Jun 5; cited 2019 Nov 28]. Available from: https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_6rli8oby.
  4. Arabin B, Stupin JH. Overweight and obesity before, during and after pregnancy: Part 2: Evidence-based risk factors and interventions. Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd. 2014 Jul;74(7):646-655. doi:10.1055/s-0034-1368462.
  5. The Art of Living. Celebrating motherhood with yoga [Internet]. [cited 2019 Nov 28]. Available from: https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga-for-women/yoga-after-pregnancy.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for patient awareness only. This has been written by qualified experts and scientifically validated by them. Wellthy or it’s partners/subsidiaries shall not be responsible for the content provided by these experts. This article is not a replacement for a doctor’s advice. Please always check with your doctor before trying anything suggested on this article/website.