Tips for new mums

During Child Month, LOVING ME will be bringing tips on a range of topics. Today we have some advice for mothers who might have just had a baby.

Losing weight after having a baby can seem impossible. Research from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology demonstrated that women retain an average of 14 pounds eight to 10 years after giving birth.

How can you shed those additional pounds when you’re always exhausted?

Slow and steady is the prescription. Strive to slim back down to your pre-pregnancy weight during the six to 12 months after the birth of your baby. During the first three months, experts recommend focusing on eating healthy foods and starting to be more physically active.

Here are some Quick and Easy Nutrition Tips

Eat small, frequent meals. Make sure to have an afternoon snack.

Watch portion sizes, especially for carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta and rice. Try to keep these to one-half cup and stock up on vegetables instead. Cut down on portions when eating out by sharing a meal, saving half for the next day, or ordering from the appetizer menu as your main course.

Eat five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. They provide essential nutrients for you and your breast milk, but generally are low in calories. One serving of a fruit or vegetable is one-half cup, one piece of medium fruit or one cup of leafy greens.

Keep healthy snacks with you at all times. Keep some in your diaper bag, car, at your desk and next to your nursing chair/station. Good ideas include:

* Nuts and dried fruit

* Natural peanut or almond butter on celery sticks or whole-grain crackers

* Skim-milk mozzarella cheese sticks

* Fresh fruits and vegetables

* Cut-up vegetables with hummus

* A smoothie drink

* Low-fat yogurt with one tablespoon of ground flax seeds

* Hard-boiled egg

* Whole-grain cereal with fresh berries and skim milk or soy milk

Don’t restrict your calories too much if you are breast feeding; your body needs 500 additional calories over your basic energy needs.

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