Postpartum weight loss : Priyadharshini | Hear it from a mom who lost 40kgs! - House Of Zelena

Postpartum weight loss : Priyadharshini | Hear it from a mom who lost 40kgs!

*This is a podcast interview in the series - Regular Moms | Regular Birthing Stories* 

Note : This is a Tamil podcast.

This is a special episode of Hand that Rocks the cradle. Our outstanding mother Priyadharshini Shaktivel talks about healthy weight gain in pregnancy. Many women end up putting on too much weight in pregnancy that increases their chances of a C-section delivery and complications like high blood pressure. Priyadharshini experienced this and fought her way back to healthy weight postpartum.

Watch her entire video interview here :

 Priyadharshini explains how her weight reached 105kgs by the end of her pregnancy. Her gynecologist called this "unhealthy" as it gave rise to high blood pressure and a C-section delivery due to complications. Her doctor advised her to loose weight if she wants to stay healthy. Priyadharshini narrates how she faced difficulties in moving around due to her weight and C-section surgery and needed to be assisted by two people. She faced difficulties in breastfeeding her infant and resorted to loosing weight and getting fit. She researched and figured out how eating a healthy diet goes a long way in loosing and maintaining weight. Priyadharshini shares tips, recipes and very practical advice to mothers to loose postpartum weight in a healthy way. She also advices women who are pregnant/ planning a pregnancy to eat healthy and consult the gynecologist on how much weight gain is advised for them. This interview is a must watch!

You can also hear it in podcast (audio only) here :

“If you have discipline, drive, and determination… nothing is impossible.”– Dana Linn Bailey

Are you struggling to loose weight after pregnancy? Read on!

“You didn’t gain all your weight in one day; you won’t lose it in one day. Be patient with yourself.”– Jenna Wolfe

The Importance of Healthy Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey that comes with significant physical changes. While weight gain is a normal and essential part of pregnancy, excessive weight gain can have adverse effects on both the mother and the baby. In this blog, we will explore why excessive weight gain during pregnancy is not ideal and provide practical tips for losing weight in a healthy manner after giving birth. By maintaining a balanced approach to weight gain and postpartum weight loss, you can support your own well-being and long-term health. 

According to a study cited by Centre for Disease control and prevention (CDC), only one third women gained the recommended amount of weight in pregnancy, 48% women gained too much weight.

Top 5 risks associated with excessive weight gain:

1) Gestational diabetes: A study published in NCBI has found a relation between high weight gain and occurrence of gestational diabetes, abnormal glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity which can again give rise to greater fat deposition.

2) High Blood pressure: Numerous studies done have found a co-relation between high weight gain and gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and eclampsia. A study done in 1999 has shown that increased weight gain in pregnancy is associated with increase in cholesterol and high blood pressure. Likewise, preeclampsia is about twice as prevalent among overweight and about three times as prevalent among obese women and severity of the disease increases as BMI increases.

3) Delivery Complications: Excessive weight gain increases the chances of the baby being born too large and the risk of vaginal tears and increased need for a Cesarian birth.

4) Difficulty in postpartum weight loss: The more you gain the more you need to loose. 

 Once that baby's out, you'll notice an immediate drop in weight – about 11 pounds, which accounts for your new little one, the amniotic, and the no-longer-essential placenta. The rest of the weight can take months to lose – longer if you gain a significant amount.

5) Long term consequences: Research has shown that mothers with excessive weight gain in pregnancy are more likely to develop metabolic disorders, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders later in life.

How much weight gain is advised in pregnancy?

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), How much weight you should gain during pregnancy is based on your body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy. BMI is a measure of body fat calculated from weight and height. 

Postpartum Weight Loss Tips:

  1. The Role of Nutrition and Exercise in Healthy Weight Gain: Balanced nutrition is vital during pregnancy. Focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals for both you and your baby's growth. Engage in regular, moderate-intensity exercise as recommended by your healthcare provider. This combination of a healthy diet and appropriate physical activity will support healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

  2. Loose weight gradually: After giving birth, it's essential to approach weight loss in a gradual and healthy manner. Remember that your body needs time to recover from childbirth. Avoid crash diets or extreme weight loss programs, as they can negatively impact your overall well-being and milk supply if you're breastfeeding. Focus on nurturing your body and making sustainable lifestyle changes.

  3. Breastfeeding and Weight Loss: Breastfeeding can support postpartum weight loss. It helps your uterus contract and burns additional calories. Ensure you're consuming a balanced diet that provides adequate nutrition for both you and your baby. Consult with a lactation specialist or healthcare provider for guidance on maintaining a healthy diet while breastfeeding.

  4. Balanced Nutrition and Portion Control: Emphasize a well-balanced diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Opt for nutrient-dense foods that provide essential nutrients without excessive calories. Practice portion control and be mindful of your hunger and fullness cues. Avoid skipping meals and prioritize regular, balanced eating throughout the day.

  5. Incorporate Physical Activity: Gradually incorporate physical activity into your routine after getting clearance from your healthcare provider. Start with gentle exercises such as walking, pelvic floor exercises, and postnatal yoga. Gradually increase intensity and duration as your body heals. Consider joining postnatal exercise classes or engaging in activities that you enjoy and can easily integrate into your new routine.

  6. Seek Support and Practice Self-Care: Adjusting to motherhood can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. Surround yourself with a support network of family, friends, and fellow new mothers. Seek guidance from healthcare professionals, such as dietitians or postnatal fitness experts. Practice self-care by prioritizing rest, managing stress, and making time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Healthy foods to swap for your postpartum cravings:

  1. Instead of sugary snacks:

    • Fresh fruits: Satisfy your sweet tooth with nature's candy. Opt for fruits like berries, oranges, or sliced melons.
    • Dried fruit: Enjoy dried fruits like raisins, apricots, or dates for a natural, sweet treat.
    • Dark chocolate: Choose dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage to satisfy your chocolate cravings while providing antioxidants.
  2. Instead of processed snacks:

    • Nuts and seeds: Reach for a handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds for a crunchy and nutritious snack.
    • Homemade popcorn: Make air-popped popcorn and season it with herbs or spices for a satisfying, low-calorie snack.
    • Veggie sticks and hummus: Slice carrots, cucumbers, or bell peppers and dip them in hummus for a nutritious and flavorful snack.
  3. Instead of high-fat desserts:

    • Greek yogurt: Opt for plain Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruits and a drizzle of honey for a creamy and protein-rich dessert alternative.
    • Chia seed pudding: Make a delicious and nutritious chia seed pudding with almond milk, chia seeds, and natural sweeteners like maple syrup or mashed fruits.
    • Frozen yogurt: Choose low-fat or non-fat frozen yogurt with fresh fruit toppings instead of high-fat ice creams.
  4. Instead of sugary beverages:

    • Infused water: Add slices of citrus fruits, berries, or herbs like mint or basil to your water for a refreshing and flavorful twist.
    • Herbal tea: Sip on herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, or ginger for a soothing and hydrating alternative to sugary drinks.
    • Sparkling water: Choose unsweetened sparkling water with a splash of fresh lemon or lime juice for a fizzy and flavorful beverage.
  5. Instead of processed carbohydrates:

    • Whole grains: Opt for whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat bread instead of refined grains for added fiber and nutrients.
    • Sweet potatoes: Swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes, which are rich in vitamins and fiber, and can be prepared in various delicious ways.
    • Zucchini noodles: Use spiralized zucchini instead of traditional pasta to enjoy a lighter and nutrient-packed alternative.

Some more birthing stories to read!

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