Weight Gaining after Childbirth /Post Pregnancy Minimized by Light Exercise
Overweight and obesity affect approximately one half of the U.S. adult population,and the proportion of those with obesity, defined as a body-mass index (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) of 30 or more, has increased by 50 percent during the past decade.
Because obesity, once established, is difficult to reverse, the development of effective strategies for prevention is imperative. Understanding times when people are more likely to gain weight throughout the life cycle is important for the development of such strategies. Several periods, including adolescence, pregnancy, and midlife in women and the period after marriage in men, appear to be times of particular susceptibility to weight gain. Behavioral or environmental changes, such as quitting smoking or emigrating to a more highly urbanized culture, can also be associated with weight gain.
Many obstetric complications can be prevented by appropriate pregnancy management. However, should complications occur, they must be detected early and dealt with promptly and effectively. Generally, a pregnancy diet only requires an extra 200-300 calories a day during the last six months of pregnancy to achieve adequate weight gain.Pregnancy weight gain is probably one of the least endearing of all pregnancy symptoms. Of course, a certain amount of weight gain is necessary to ensure proper development of the baby.
After your baby arrives, you'll notice some changes — both physical and emotional.Your body's adjustment to new hormone and blood flow levels can wreak havoc on your internal thermostat. Your postpartum weight will probably be about 10 pounds (the weight of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid) below your full-term weight, before additional water weight drops off within the first week as your body regains its sodium balance.
Many new moms experience the baby blues — a mild, short-lived depression — for a few days or weeks after childbirth. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, about 10 percent of new moms experience postpartum depression — a more severe form of depression that can develop within the first six months after giving birth. For women with postpartum depression, feelings such as sadness, anxiety and restlessness can be so strong that they interfere with daily tasks. Rarely, a more extreme form of depression known as postpartum psychosis can develop.Community education seems particularly important to contribute to better care-seeking behaviour for prenatal and postpartum care.
After having a baby, many couples find themselves focusing all of their emotional energy on the baby. They have trouble remembering their life as a couple.Moreover ,whether feeding your newborn by breast or a bottle, you may be stumped as to how often to do so. As each partner focuses their attention on the baby and their own needs, you may drift apart. So, you both need to work at maintaining your own relationship as a couple. Sit down together and talk about what has changed in your lives.Find friends who also have small children. Playgroups for babies are a good place to meet other moms and dads.
Physical fitness has been linked to everything from cancer prevention to improved mental health and energy levels. And mothers need regular exercise as much as anyone else — maybe even more, given the challenges of being a parent. If you're a new mom, getting in shape will help you regain a sense of control over your body and your life. For experienced moms, exercise can provide an outlet from the ongoing pressures of parenthood.
Movement is perfect and should begin within hours after you give birth, even if you required surgery. We know that moms who move after birth do tend to heal more quickly and feel better sooner than their less active counterparts. This doesn’t mean jog around the block, but it does mean getting up and moving around your hospital room or in your home. Even after surgery or after an epidural, you can begin to walk with assistance in just a few hours. Though the first few attempts may be painful – overall, the movement is good.
The following strengthening and stretching exercises can be done after delivery right away provided you get the okay from your provider and carefully follow any precautions:
- Pelvic tilt
- Side-lying leg lifts
- Side-lying leg lifts (cross over)
- Quadriped Arm/Leg Raises
- Wall Squats
Natal means birth. Postnatal means after birth. Postpartum is same as Postnatal.Postnatal exercises are essential for a variety of reasons. For instance, they will prevent circulatory problems, help to avoid perineal discomfort and oedema and strengthen abdominal and perineal muscles, and can help to prevent problems in future pregnancies and labour. The exercises should be started the day after the baby is born and continued until the baby is at least three months old.
Abdominal exercises can be started a few days after delivery. They should be practised twice a day for approximately five minutes. The mother should: lie supine with knees slightly bent; contract and tighten anterior abdominal wall muscles; rotate pelvis by lowering knees slowly to the left and then to the right; then in the same position, contract and tighten anterior abdominal wall muscles, lift head and put chin on chest, extending arm and sliding hand towards the knee.
New moms who take walks instead of watching TV may lose those post-pregnancy pounds more easily, according to researchers.
In a study that followed 900 women for a year after childbirth, researchers found that those who regularly walked were less likely to retain their extra pregnancy weight. The same was true of women who watched TV less often and those who ate less trans fat -- artery-clogging fats found in a range of packaged snack foods and commercial baked goods.
What's more, the study found, the benefits of walking, limiting TV and shunning trans fats were cumulative -- suggesting that women who do all of these things may get back in pre-baby form more easily.
Dr. Emily Oken and colleagues at Harvard Medical School in Boston report the findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
"The childbearing years are a time of particular risk for weight gain in women," Oken said in a statement. "Modifiable behaviors in that early postpartum period -- such as diet, television viewing and walking -- can influence a woman's risk of retaining weight."
The study included 902 women who reported on their diet, exercise habits and TV viewing 6 months after giving birth. In general, Oken's team found, women who walked at least 30 minutes a day, watched TV less than 2 hours a day and ate relatively little trans fat were least likely to still have their pregnancy pounds one year after giving birth.
Compared with women who favored TV over walking, they were 77 percent less likely to retain 12 pounds or more.
The results are good news, according to Oken's team, because they suggest that busy new mothers need not work out for hours to shed their pregnancy pounds. A daily walk, whether on the treadmill or outside pushing a baby stroller, might be enough.
"Our findings aren't that you need to run marathons or be at the gym six hours a day," Oken said. "These behaviors are attainable for a lot of people, especially walking."
So the rules of postpartum exercise are:
- wait until you’re given the go ahead
- start with small bits of exercise
- slowly work your way back into a fitness routine
- stop exercising if you have pain, increased bleeding or other negative signs
- think slow and gentle at first