A lot of mothers want to take on post-partum dieting in an effort to quickly get back to their pre-baby weight. But did you know that post-partum dieting could hurt your self-esteem, rather than restore it? It’s true!
POST-PARTUM DIETING: THE RUSH TO LOSE THE WEIGHT
Did you know that 63% of women want to get back to their pre-pregnancy body a mere two weeks after they have given birth? That’s according to The Conversation, which also says that a mother can have reduced self-esteem and greater body image dissatisfaction after giving birth.
What’s the big deal about all of this? Well, when you are a new mother and you are unhappy with your body, you increase the risk of developing body image disturbance, anxiety, depression, and unhealthy eating patterns. These issues with your body can also lead to reduced psychological well-being, as well as impaired breast milk production, both of which can adversely impact your family and your new baby.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING AWARE OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Postpartum depression is a serious problem that affects moms, and it can come on unexpectedly. According to FamilyDoctor.org, there are many symptoms that are associated with postpartum depression, which is characterized by feelings like loneliness, restlessness, anxiety, and worthlessness.
Symptoms might include:
- Frequently crying
- Losing interest in the things that used to bring you pleasure
- Having less motivation and less energy
- Losing your appetite
- Not showing much interest in your own baby
In addition to all of those symptoms, however, when it comes to your weight, if you notice that you are experiencing unexplained weight gain or weight loss, that is yet another symptom of postpartum depression. So, if you aren’t really feeling like yourself, and you are losing weight without really trying, or you are extremely focused on dieting because you are gaining weight and you don’t know why, consider talking to your doctor about whether or not postpartum depression might be to blame.
Remember, a lot of moms experience postpartum depression after giving birth, so if you have developed symptoms, there is absolutely no need to feel ashamed! Rather than letting it take over, and potentially send you on a path towards unhealthy post-partum dieting, talk to your doctor for help and advice.
WHAT CAN YOU DO INSTEAD OF POST-PARTUM DIETING?
Rather than restricting what you love to eat, try to implement other measures that are healthier for you when you want to get your pre-pregnancy body back. So, rather than post-partum dieting, listen to your body. It will give you cues that signal when you are actually hungry, and when you are starting to feel full. Mindful eating is a great way to enjoy the flavors in your food without rushing through a meal, and it can help you recognize the subtle signals that your body is sending out in order to tell you that you should stop eating because you’re full.
Another way to avoid post-partum dieting while still achieving your goal of slimming down is by getting more physical activity into your daily life. If exercise routines are too tough and/or boring for you, be kind, take a step back, and focus on other fun activities, such as going for a stroll with your baby every day.
By following a weight loss system that does not involve restrictive dieting, you might find that your psychological health, as well as your physical health, become more stable and positive. You might even find that you’re able to lose more weight while maintaining a greater amount of self-esteem. Who wouldn’t want that?!
Ultimately, eating nutritious foods will benefit you and your baby, and being active while enjoying yourself will help burn calories and get you to your pre-baby weight before you know it. So, rather than hating your post-baby body, embrace it and be patient, as the excess pounds will go away in time.