During my pregnancy, I gained a lot of weight.  I knew that I needed to eat more for my baby’s health’s sake and for me, of course.  

At times when I could feel my baby kick, I would be so elated and excited that she’s growing up inside me healthy and strong.  I would sometimes caress my tummy with my hands in front of the mirror and talk to her. I could say that she’s happy inside, too, but as I looked at how I big I got, worry started to peep in, and I got anxious. Will I get back to how I was before?

“As any woman who has ever been pregnant knows, there is an intense focus on weight throughout pregnancy,” clinical psychologist Alexis Conason, Psy.D., wrote. “From the first visit with your OB when you step on the scale and are given a prescription for how much weight to gain, all the way through the postpartum period when your body is scrutinized for how fast you drop the baby weight, pregnancy can be a difficult time for even the most body confident woman.”

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Weight Gain Is Depressing To Childbearing Women

It was not only depressing every time I looked at myself in the mirror, but I was starting to worry about diabetes, heart problems, and other diseases that came with being overweight.  I had fears that I might get obese and it might get worse if I decided to have another child.  

 

Post-Partum Belly Bulge

The day has come when I would finally see my baby.   I was excited and worried about so many things.

My baby was a beautiful, healthy girl.  Mixed emotions overcame me as I cried and laughed.  But the one funny thing was I was more worried about why my tummy was still big – as if I haven’t given birth. I had to ask my doctor about it.

 

“After they have a baby, many women have unrealistic expectations about losing weight,” psychologist Ann Kearney-Cooke, Ph.D. says. My doctor explained to me that it was normal to have post-partum belly bulge, and a new mother’s body will need six to eight weeks to shrink back if not to its usual size, at least a little.   But how fast my body will recover will still depend on me.

 

Give My Body A Break

Pregnancy caused me to gain almost 60 pounds.  I don’t want to get obese because I fear that I might acquire diabetes and hypertension, like most women in our family.   My mother and aunts were never able to gain their healthy body back after giving birth to their first child and even got worse as they gave birth to the next child.    

 

I opened up to my doctor about this matter, and she just told me to give my body enough time to recover.   She said I could start on some mild exercises and that I needed to watch what I ate. I needed to help myself so that I won’t end up like the other women in our family.

 

Nursing Is Effective In Weight Loss

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My doctor encouraged me to breastfeed my baby.  Besides it being beneficial for my baby’s health, it can also keep me healthy and aid in my goal to lose weight.  

 

A mother who breastfeeds her child burns 300 to 500 calories a day, according to Dr. Tanya Zuckerbrot, a known dietitian.  It is one of the most effective weight-loss regimens for new mothers because our body needs the energy to produce breast milk.  

 

My Poor Eating Habit, Lesson Learned

Gaining too much weight was my fault.  I should not have used my pregnancy to put in my mouth whatever I felt like eating.  Getting 60 pounds heavier during my first pregnancy was not healthy according to my doctor.  

Shawn A. Tassone MD, Ph.D., double board-certified physician in OBGYN with an emphasis on Integrative Medicine, wrote, “You are not really eating for two when you are pregnant and you must still be very observant of what goes into your mouth.  Many patients also believe that they have to gain weight during pregnancy and nothing could be farther from the truth.”

I should have watched my diet and my weight since I was aware of my family history of women getting obese after pregnancy and getting diabetes and other diseases.    

 

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This time with my second pregnancy, I have learned my lesson – weight is important for a healthy pregnancy.   Now I know how I should watch my diet, so there’s not much reason for me to worry about gaining too much weight and getting sick.  

 

Loving and caring for the baby inside us is not all about eating anything, but watching our weight and choosing the right food we’re going to feed our baby while they’re growing inside us.