Weight Loss and Pregnancy – Your Questions Answered

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When you find out you’re pregnant you’ll naturally expect to gain a few pounds, but weight loss and pregnancy can go hand in hand as long as you are sensible and don’t put yours or your baby’s health at risk.

Is It Safe To Lose Weight Whilst I’m Pregnant?

Yes and no. You should never embark upon a calorie-controlled diet whilst pregnant, and fad diets such as Atkins and the like are also out. You can however take sensible steps to make your body healthier. Exercise is the best thing you can do for your body in any circumstances, but for pregnant women it has extra benefits, including making carrying the baby less physically stressful, preparing the body for birth and speeding up recovery time after birth. It also means you will find it easier to get back into shape after the baby is born.

What Exercises Are Safe During Pregnancy?

This depends on your level of fitness before pregnancy. If you were very active then carry on doing what you’re doing, but take care to avoid contact sports. Most physicians recommend avoiding horse-riding and cycling due to balance issues. If you were fairly inactive before getting pregnant, then it’s best to start by doing gentle exercises such as swimming or walking. Check with a doctor if you have any doubts.

How Long Should I Wait After Giving Birth Before Exercising Again?

Most experts recommend waiting 3 months to give your body time to recover from the stress of giving birth, however there is no need to remain completely inactive during this time. Indeed, as a new mom you will no doubt be very active! Walking with the baby in a sling or a stroller for about 30 minutes a day will keep you fit, whilst giving you some precious time out of the house.

Is It Safe To Lose Weight Whilst I’m Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding burns around 600 calories a day, equivalent to about 2 hours of aerobic exercise.

You will need to eat more calories when you’re breastfeeding, so don’t worry too much about what you’re eating. Exercise is safe when you’re breastfeeding. Whilst lactic acid can build up in breast milk following a workout that goes above the aerobic threshold, undertaking moderate exercise will not cause a build up. Lactic acid may affect the taste of breast milk but is not dangerous to the baby and will disappear within a few hours. To avoid this altogether, simply feed your baby before doing a workout.

What’s The Best Way To Lose Weight After The Baby Is Born?

3 Months after giving birth your body should have recovered and you can start on a calorie-controlled diet if you wish. The best way to lose weight healthily and, more importantly to keep it off, is to eat sensibly and exercise regularly.

Weight loss and pregnancy may seem like a minefield, but avoiding fads and sticking to sensible eating and exercise habits will ensure that you get the best out of your pregnancy and your baby gets the best start.

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