Why it’s so hard to lose weight after pregnancy – and tips for success

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Are you worried about “getting back in shape” after giving birth? You’re not alone. Returning to pre-pregnancy weight is a common and persistent cause of anxiety, but all is not lost.

The keys to successful postpartum weight loss, experts say, are understanding the basics, starting at the end, engaging in a slow, steady exercise program, and maintaining mental resilience.

We break them down and share tips on how you can prepare for success along the way.

THE BASICS

Gaining weight during pregnancy is a natural and necessary phenomenon, said an expert, which contributes to the growth of the baby, the placenta and the amniotic fluid.

Weight gain is also due to changes made by a woman’s body to support pregnancy, such as increased blood supply, growth of the uterus, increased breast tissue and blood stores. fat, said Dr. Ho Xin Yi, associate consultant at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) department of obstetrics and gynecology.

During pregnancy, women can increase their daily calorie intake to support the growth of the baby, which also leads to weight gain, she added.

If you’re thinking about resisting the weight gain, don’t – it’s a crucial part of delivering a healthy baby.

“Gaining the correct amount of weight during pregnancy ensures that your baby has a good birth weight and also means that you don’t have too much extra weight to lose after giving birth,” Dr. Ho said.

And what weight gain is appropriate?

It depends on a variety of factors including your pre-pregnancy weight, health condition, and whether you are carrying a single baby, twins, or triplets.

The recommended weight gain for women with a normal body mass index (BMI) carrying a baby is 11-16 kg throughout pregnancy, with most occurring in the second and third trimesters. said Dr Ho.

“If you have a higher BMI, it is recommended that you gain less weight during pregnancy,” she added.

And once the baby has delivered safely, it is “critical” for the woman to try to regain her pre-pregnancy weight, unless she is underweight, Dr Ho said.

According to Caroline Chua, senior senior physiotherapist at KKH, the target weight loss after childbirth should be 1 kg to 2 kg per month.

“Many studies show that if the excess weight is not lost six to 12 months after childbirth, it can stay with the woman for a long time. The weight gained with each subsequent pregnancy can add up, causing obesity, which poses various health risks such as heart disease and diabetes.

“Going into a future pregnancy with a higher weight is more likely to put the mother and baby at risk for medical complications such as diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy,” she said.

Today, one in four women retain more than 5 kg of their pregnancy weight one year after giving birth, she added. Why is losing weight during pregnancy such a challenge for so many women? These are the most common struggles, experts said, while sharing the best way to overcome them.


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