The theme for World Health Day, 7th April 2016 is “halt the rise, beat diabetes”. What better way to achieve this than by encouraging the mother’s to start with themselves by losing weight and including exercises and healthy eating habits in their lives. Healthy mothers raise healthy children and healthy families
Weight loss after delivery:
After the birth of the baby, one big task on every mother’s mind is how to lose all the weight and when to get started? For those, who have had an uncomplicated normal delivery, the earliest time is few days after birth- say two weeks after birth and for those who have had an uncomplicated C-section, 4-6 weeks is good time to start.
The two main components of weight loss program are diet and exercises, which have to be planned realistically. On an average, most women gain between 7-16 kgs during pregnancy & 4 – 7 kg is lost after the delivery of the baby. Thus, a practical target would be half kg per week.
The best exercise to start with is to walk 20 min a day and increase by 5-10 min every 4th day till one reaches 45 min of walk, everyday. Abdominal toning breathing exercises can be started alongside. 6 weeks after delivery, if no other complications are present, one could join the gym. Swimming and healthy balance diet is also a good way to go for post delivery lactating mothers in order to keep fit. Studies have shown that lactating mothers get quicker and better results when on weight loss programs than non lactating mothers. Those with medical disorders, like hypothyroidism and diabetes need to keep a regular check on their TSH and blood sugar levels. Vitamins, supplements like Iron, calcium need to be taken if haemoglobin has been low during lactation. Effective contraception must be used post pregnancy so that unwanted pregnancy and associated hormonal changes are avoided in order to be able to continue to weight loss program (diet and exercises).