Being a new mum brings high and lows but eating well can help smooth the ride.
Becoming a mum for the first time is a life changing event and can seem daunting at times. As well as learning how to be a mother, your body, mood and mind experience changes which can leave you feeling confused, overwhelmed and elated at the same time.
Be Kind to Yourself
Eating the right foods when you're looking after a young baby is important, especially if you are breastfeeding. Even though you may want to get that extra weight off quickly, try to listen to your body and its needs before imposing unnecessary goals which, if not met, may shake your self confidence. Don't scald yourself if you can't shift the pounds as fast as you might like to. Give your body time to readjust as it will still be in recovery mode.
Being a mum can be tiring. Early starts and sleep interruptions can make it difficult to maintain your energy levels. If keeping regular mealtimes is proving too hard, try to keep a supply of nourishing and filling snacks in the fridge which you can grab at anytime.
Yogurts, chopped fresh fruit, muesli bars, low fat houmous, and non sugary cereal will help tide you over until you have some time and energy to make a proper meal for yourself.
Try not to reach for refined carbohydrate snacks like crisps or sweet, high calorie biscuits and chocolate. Even though they might deliver a quick sugar boost, your energy will soon drop again and you'll find you are lagging.
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, choose foods that are nutrient dense, like leafy green veg, and wholegrains (choose brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wholegrain cereals and multigrain breads) and low fat milk and dairy to help give you all the vitamins and minerals you need, as well as keeping up your energy during this new phase.
Remember that your baby will soon grow and become more independent and active. You may have to pace your weight loss and exercising to fit in with the demands of your new role at first, after your doctor says it ok of course. Try snatching short amounts of time for exercise, for example, 10 minutes to do a few gentle sit ups and jog up and down the stairs a few times.
Take time out when you can to pamper yourself, whether it's a walk in the countryside, a swim, or a bubble bath with a good read. Appreciate yourself for all your hard work with your newborn, and congratulate yourself on doing so well.
If you are breastfeeding, Weight Watchers advises a weight loss of no more than 1lb a week.
Anything more than this is too much and could put your health and possibly the quality of your milk at risk.
Non-nursing mothers can aim to lose up to 2lbs a week as normal. For more information, ask your Leader for a Nursing mums leaflet, visit the Science Centre or eatwell.gov.uk.
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