It’s absolutely normal to gain weight during pregnancy, as these extra pounds are necessary to support your growing baby and the demands it puts on your body. On average, most moms-to-be gain upwards of 30 pounds through the gestational period. That said, a growing number of Canadian women have been gaining more than the usual weight during pregnancy. As per a 2021 study, about a third of all pregnant women surveyed had excessive gestational weight.

Over time, carrying this extra weight post-childbirth can result in higher chances of developing issues like obesity and postpartum depression. Obesity on its own can lead to serious problems like heart disease, certain cancers, and more. While moms shouldn’t overly fixate on losing weight for the sake of societal pressures or appearances alone, losing excess pounds is a wise health investment you and your body will appreciate. Here are a few ways to lose weight safely as a new mom:

Join a weight loss group

Both pregnancy and weight loss can be extremely isolating, as only you can fully understand the unique experiences your body is going through. In both cases, this can lead to feelings of discouragement and loneliness. Having said that, it’s important to find people who can empathize with your situation.

This community may not undergo the exact same things you do, but being in the same boat, they can offer compassion, insights, and motivation. For new moms, a quick online search for “weight loss groups near me” can suggest expert-led communities of like-minded people. Through these, you can connect with others, including moms, who can guide you through the process of weight loss while taking your personal circumstances into account. This includes helping you plot a holistic weight loss plan, including diet, fitness, and mood. Since the first few months of a newborn’s life are some of the busiest for new parents, you can also opt for the virtual versions of these groups available via apps and platforms like Zoom. Because these groups include both coaches and community support, you can feel inspired and guided every step of the way.

Sign up for workout classes

Of course, eating well needs to be complemented with regular exercise. Aside from helping you burn more calories and improving your metabolism, working out has the added bonus of strengthening your body. This is crucial, given the physical burden that pregnancy and delivery can bring about. In fact, this is also why healthcare experts suggest pregnant women exercise while carrying. Researchers recommend looking for fitness opportunities around you that can offer up to 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise. This can include a variety of accessible low-impact options such as cycling or brisk walking. Now, while the abovementioned groups can offer fitness advice, new moms may want to take this to the next level by joining actual workout classes.

Evidence suggests that working out with others not only makes it more enjoyable but also improves your accountability. This means you’re more inclined to keep going, even if you experience some hurdles here and there. Since weight loss is reliant on consistency over intensity, workout classes that engage you are, thus, invaluable. Because some new moms may feel self-conscious at your average gyms, more specialized classes may be better. These can include classes that focus on a particular workout or target specific outcomes. Going to such targeted classes can help you feel more at ease and confident in your body. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you are to make friends, which can include other moms who can offer advice.

Make time for rest

Understandably, most new parents find that rest is a precious commodity with a newborn. This is especially true for many moms who are breastfeeding while still healing from childbirth. However, finding time to rest is a must. Apart from improving your mental health, giving yourself the opportunity to relax is essential for weight loss.

According to a report on Grow, moms who slept five hours or less per night had a harder time shedding weight. At the same time, sleep deprivation can cause spikes in stress hormones, like cortisol, which can lead to more weight gain. So how can you find sleep with a baby? Try matching their sleep cycle and finding ways to help them sleep better. This can include offering soothing items like pacifiers, avoiding overstimulation, and keeping their nap times consistent. Doing so will help create sleep patterns for your baby. During this downtime, you can either snooze yourself or even just take a few minutes to unwind and do something that relaxes your body and mind.

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