Any woman can return to her pre-pregnancy figure and, more than that, this should be the goal of every mother. “Most women naturally lose a large part of the accumulated weight during pregnancy without making any effort,” SAYS Dr. Emily Oken, a professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, quoted by Agerpres.
Kilograms gained during pregnancy
Therefore, how much weight should a pregnant woman gain? According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM — part of the American National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine), women considered underweight should gain between 12.7 and 18.1 kilograms. Normal-weight women should gain weight by 11.3-15.9 kilograms, overweight women by 6.8-11.3 kg, and obese women between 5 and 9.1 kilograms. For women pregnant with twins, the recommended weight is higher.
According to the IOM, one of the main reasons women should watch how many pounds they gain during pregnancy is related to reducing health risks to the baby. Too many kilograms gained during pregnancy by the mother increase the probability of giving birth to a child with a high weight, which represents a risk of obesity or metabolic syndrome during childhood, according to a study published last year in the journal Expert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism.
An important factor for expectant mothers to keep in mind is that weight gained during pregnancy is associated with weight lost after birth.
Women should lose all excess weight associated with pregnancy by 6 months after giving birth. “We recommend a weight loss of about 0.45 kilograms per week,” Prof. Lovelady told Live Science.
However, not all experts agree that a woman who has given birth should return to her normal weight 6 months after giving birth, but the maximum allowed interval does not exceed 1 year. Also, according to doctors, it is very important for a woman to return to her normal weight before becoming pregnant again.
Diet and physical activities
In an analysis of the main studies in the field that she published in 2013, in the journal Obesity Reviews, Paige van der Pligt came to the conclusion that “overall, weight loss programs that combine proper nutrition with physical activity are more effective than those that are based only on food or only on sports”.
Another review also published in 2013 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews reached similar conclusions. This analysis was carried out on the basis of data collected in 14 studies and the authors emphasized that “diet combined with physical exercises contributes to the loss of extra weight in women who have just given birth”.
In general, according to experts, after giving birth, a mother can follow any healthy diet (such as the Mediterranean diet, etc.) to get rid of extra pounds, and as a physical activity experts encourage walking. A walk of 45 minutes a day, for 5 days a week, can provide very good results when combined with a healthy diet, helping to maintain the figure after losing the extra pounds. Such a program can start approximately 4 weeks after birth, with the doctor’s advice.