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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I lose weight after my pregnancy?

    I am due in 3 weeks and keep thinking about how this pregnancy will affect the appearance of my body afterward. I see some women who become quite fit immediately after and others who remain chubby for the rest of their life. What are some tips on getting my old body back?
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    Joanne Turner

    Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist, Sports Dietitian

    Joanne Turner MSc, Accredited Practising Dietitian, Sports Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist.Joanne Turner is an award winning, accredited practising dietitian, sports dietitian and exercise physiologist, with a … View Profile

    It is common to gain between 4 and 18kg during pregnancy, depending on your pre pregnancy weight. After the baby is born, your weight usually drops around 5-10kg by the time you have left hospital. The excess weight left is recomended to then lose over the following 6-12 months.

    The best way to do this is follow a healthy balanced diet - slowly reintroducing excercise when you can (delayed if you had a c-section) and continue to breastfeed for the 12 months or longer. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months months means you are providing all the energy the baby needs to grow and develop! Did you know 1 day of breastfeeding is equivelant to nearly 1 hour of jogging. It's just another one of the wonderful benefits of providing your child with the food nature intended. However some Mum's find they have an increased appetitie when breastfeeding, make sure it's not confused with your thirst sensors, as there is a marked increased need for fluid dring breastfeeding.

    Most importantly it's important to be sensible with your weight loss after having a baby, fad and restricted diets are certainly not the way to help your body recover after the roller coaster of pregnancy and childbrith it's just been through. Be patient and aim for about 1-2 kg per month of weight loss and seek assistance from an accredited practising dietitian and exercise physiologist if you need some extra help and guideance.
    Good Luck!


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    Lisa Renn

    Dietitian

    Lisa is an APD with 12 years experience, specialising in helping people identify and change habits that impact negatively on their health. Inspiring change, Lisa … View Profile

    Great advice Joanne!
    I would like to add:
    The important thing to focus on is keeping good eating and exercise routines once the baby is
    born. A lot of mum's forget their own needs as the baby and then children are so demanding on your time and before they know it they have significant weight issues.
    Remember your baby is very important and so are you.
    Eat regular meals and sleep when you can even if it's during the day and this way you will have the energy to walk with the pram or attend exercise classes as part of a healthy lifestyle.
    Getting back into exercise is best done gradually and with expert advice on what type of exercise is best for you post preganacy. There are exercise physiologists and personal trainers who specialise in this type of training.
    All the best.

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