The ideal age for couples to have children is between 20 and 35. In preparation, they should take regular exercise to keep fit – walking, swimming and squash. They should also choose their diet carefully.
A nutritious diet is imperative for women’s health before, during and after pregnancy. The diet should contain a good portion of protein such as meat or fish a day, roughage, vitamins in fruit and vegetables, fat and not too much carbohydrate.
You have to do whatever it takes to be healthy and fit for your baby’s sake. Believe it or not, there are some surprisingly simple techniques to get back into shape and to be healthy and fit while still being happy and cheerful for your tiny cherub.
Get Creative about Losing Weight
Yes, of course you’ll lose weight after pregnancy – by giving birth you’re ‘getting rid of’ the baby, placenta and amniotic fluid. However, evidence shows that physical activity and nutrition play an important role in the weight-loss process for post-partum women attempting to lose weight. Being creative about losing those extra post-natal kilograms removes the drudgery from what becomes a struggle for so many new moms.
Healthy childbirth has so many wonderful benefits for both mums and babies. As an expectant mother getting close to your due date, you’ll start wondering about getting rid of that baby flab and returning to your slim and trim state. We look at ways to fight some of that post-partum flab –
- get physical – even after the birth of your baby, it takes a while to start losing kilograms. Avoid discouragement, and consequent backsliding by weighing yourself only once a week instead of every day. Rather judge the success of your diet by the way your clothes fit.
Exercise is a key to fitness
Rather use this time to build up a tight bond with your baby. When your baby is sleeping, use your imagination a bit to do ordinary jobs. Even routine household chores such as making beds and sweeping increase energy expenditure by more than 1000 kilo joules a week. When you are lucky enough to take care of your baby for an hour or so. Try to get away and do some swimming, cycling, dancing, hiking – any physical activity helps shed excess weight.
- Don’t skip breakfast – a key for a second or third time mum. Set a model for your other children by creating a healthy lifestyle. Women who return to work after the baby’s birth know too well that they can’t afford to be skipping breakfast because of the morning rush. Working women need to get up earlier to ensure breakfast before leaving for work. Greek yogurt on oats is a wholesome, rich-in-protein choice which will sustain you during the morning. If you eat packaged foods during the day, be sure to read the labels and avoid those that provide little or no information.
- fight inflammation – remember that stress to the body causes the immune systems to respond through internal inflammation. You need to fight this inflammation by consuming anti-inflammatory foods of which turmeric is one. Steer clear of processed sugar as this increases inflammation and also raises blood sugar.
- when you’ve got a crying baby, you shouldn’t think about losing weight until about 8 weeks after your baby’s birth. You need to recover from childbirth and to also build up a good milk supply for your newborn. If you’re breastfeeding, drink plenty of water, rest, eat fibrous foods and avoid drinking too much alcohol. At about 30 kilo joules per gram, alcohol is fattening, but worse, after a drink or two, you’ve dulled your appetite for healthy food, but you’ve already put on a meal’s worth of kilo joules.
Avoid Unhealthy Foods
- remember that snacking isn’t a vice and if you snack wisely it can actually help you keep your weight down. Delaying eating until you’re famished makes it harder to resist bingeing on unhealthy foods such as bread, sugary pastries and crisps. A delicious snack is popcorn and you can sprinkle it with paprika and a shake of Parmesan cheese.
To work or not to work is a dilemma many new moms face. Working women don’t always have a choice about going back to work after having their baby. It all depends on the needs of the family, and breastfeeding can also be an issue for those working women returning to work.
For the sake of your baby’s health, you will need to ensure you are fit and healthy so that you can express nutritional breast milk for the caregiver to feed your precious bundle with. Focus on nurturing your new baby.
The Road to Health and Fitness
New mums must take special care of themselves after giving birth and while breastfeeding. Doing so makes you a healthy woman full of energy – fit enough to take care of yourself and to thoroughly enjoy your baby’s first precious months.