(Post-partum weight loss, exercise and nutrition)

When you learn that you are pregnant, you would possibly start planning your pregnancy week by week. Daily you would possibly have some questions like what to eat? What quantity to eat? Can you exercise? How much weight will you gain? What’s going to be the post pregnancy life?

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), A standard weight woman (BMI 18.5-25) should gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. An underweight female should gain more (28-40 pounds) and an overweight female should gain less (11-20 pounds). If you are thinking you’re gaining insufficient or excessive amount, talk with your doctor.

Pregnancy workout- Increasing amount of research on exercise during pregnancy has shown that pregnant women can exercise safely without harming the fetus. Further it shows that regular exercise can result in reduced gestational diabetes, c – section, low back pain, anxiety, weight gain etc

Pregnancy Diet– Remember that dieting is not healthy during pregnancy. It’s often said that when you’re pregnant you’re eating for two. But really your calorie needs increase by not more than 15 %. You just need 300 excess calories  to support your developing fetus – a bit less within the first trimester and more with in the third.

The second trimester is the best part of pregnancy for many ladies. Protein along with nutrient dense food and omega 3 supplements.

The third trimester is devoted to putting on weight in the growing fetus, during this trimester it is especially important to consume carbohydrates regularly throughout the day to provide an adequate supply of glucose to the fetus.

Postpartum Nutrition – In post-partum women experience major changes in their lives, they need to accommodate with new internal and external demands of their body, and look after themselves and also the baby. Postpartum is characterised by feelings like not been able to nurse, fear of baby’s health etc. Postpartum feeding also suffers from this new condition and ladies find more barriers to healthy eating which may put them at greater risk of obesity.

Remember that you are fuelling your body, helping it recover and also nourish the new born.

Aim to drink at least a glass of water every time you feed to keep your milk supply up. Its best to avoid alcohol throughout pregnancy. After one drink, one must wait for 4 hours before feeding again. Caffeine also should be avoided at high doses. You can easily lose weight by following a few simple steps to begin with.

Shift to complex carbs and say a total no to refined sugar and carbs. Include whole grains foods like oats, whole wheat, quinoa. Millets like ragi is a great source of calcium and should be a part of the diet. Ragi porridge can be given to 6-month-old infant once the infant is introduced to solid foods. Dairy products low fat milk, cheese, Greek yogurt. Lentils, eggs, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes. For healthy fats include nuts, seeds and avocados. It’s very important to include lean protein sources like chicken breast, eggs and fish. Apart from these many Indian spices like cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, fenugreek seeds, carom seeds, gondh, turmeric are all important with amazing benefits. Avoid sugary drinks, all-purpose flour (maida), cakes, biscuits, pastries, chips, candies.

You need to consume 400-500 extra calories every day to what you were consuming before.


Postpartum workout- `After 9 months of carrying the weight and delivery, jumping back to the pre pregnancy exercise routine, we need to keep in mind a few things, one can resume the pre pregnancy exercise routine once its medically and physically safe. You need to consult your gynaecologist for the same. The amount of time that’s ‘safe’ varies from person to person. This doesn’t mean that you cannot start exercising. You just need to start at a moderate pace for about 30 minutes to 1 hour in a day for aerobic exercises and 2-3 days a week for anaerobic (strength/resistance) training. Avoid excessive fatigue and dehydration.

Most important exercises to be included are exercises for core strength and low back health like bird dog, dead bugs and planks which will work for diastasis recti as well. You can work to strengthen your pelvic area by performing Kegel exercises. If you have undergone a c-section then your body will need time to heal and regain its strength.

Safe postpartum exercises and healthy diet is very important both for your mental and physical health as you recover from pregnancy and child birth. It may look and feel different from your pre pregnancy but never forget that it’s only because your body did an amazing job, it grew and gave birth to your baby.

Nidhi Gupta, ACE Coach