Despite what you’ve heard or may expect, some moms gain weight after pregnancy instead of losing. It may seem obvious that the number on your bathroom scale will fall after you’ve given birth, but this is not always the case. There are many reasons that this can happen.
Why Do Some Moms Gain Weight After Pregnancy?
Once you really think about it, it makes sense that some moms gain weight after pregnancy. After all, carrying a baby isn’t the only reason that the body will increase its fat storage. When you take a closer look at what many new mothers go through after they’ve given birth, it starts becoming much more obvious why it can happen at this moment in a woman’s life.
Three of the main reasons that some moms gain weight after pregnancy include:
- Thyroid issues
- Lack of sleep
Let’s take a closer look.
It’s quite common for women to experience low thyroid function after they’ve given birth. Therefore, if you feel you’re one of the many new mothers gain extra weight postpartum, talk to your doctor to see if it’s a good idea to have a simple thyroid test.
Lack of Sleep
Even more common than thyroid imbalances following childbirth are struggles with a lack of sleep. Sleeplessness – with or without a new baby in your life – is a major contributor to weight challenges. Research has shown that women who get under five hours of sleep per night, six months postpartum had a likelihood of keeping baby weight (or gaining even more) that was three times higher than women who got a restful night of sleep on a regular basis.
Even when you’re thrilled to be a new mother and everything is going well, it is still stressful. Your body has gone through a lot, and you’re experiencing a range of important changes in your life – not to mention everything you’re doing to make sure your little one is healthy and happy. This is stressful! When you’re stressed, stress hormones such as cortisol are released. This can be a major contributor to why women gain weight after giving birth.
Stress hormones can be harmful to your sleep – compounding the problem – and can make you more inclined to eat more than you need. Moreover, stress hormones like cortisol also make you more likely to experience cravings for sugary, fatty, or salty foods.
Moms Who Gain Weight After Pregnancy Should Talk to Their Doctors if Concerned
If you’re one of the many moms who gain weight after pregnancy, talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about this trend. They will offer you some helpful advice to promote better postpartum weight control.