EXCLUSIVE: Busting Myths: Once you have your baby, you'll never be able to have a flat stomach again

We have Dr Shirin Shikari - Obstetrician & Gynaecologist in Saifee Hospital, busting a few very important myths. Check it out
Busting Myths: Once you have your baby, you'll never be able to have a flat stomach again
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One of the most common myths surrounding motherhood is that a woman will not be able to get back her once slim figure even after delivering the baby. In this fitness and figure-conscious era, many women are apprehensive of getting pregnant for this fear of permanent weight gain. However, these fears are unfounded. If a woman follows proper antenatal exercises and takes a balanced diet, she will be able to maintain her figure.

She must start or continue with her exercise schedule during pregnancy. She can talk to her gynaecologist if she is concerned about any rigorous workout. Antenatal classes are very important to learn about the right exercises to follow. Prenatal and post-delivery exercises, as well as antenatal physiotherapy from the second trimester onwards up to post 3 months of delivery, can be very helpful. Perennial muscle exercises are also very important in this regard. These should continue before and after delivery.

The other aspect is the diet. Many new mothers feel that they should follow a high-calorie diet, such as ghee to build up their strength. This belief is further strengthened by many of our traditional practices where a new mother is fed food that contains a high amount of saturated fats. While some amount of fat is important for our body, too much is neither necessary nor desirable. Instead of excess saturated fats, one can also consider healthier sources of fat, such as fish and dry fruits or nuts which is a source of Omega3 fatty acids.

Instead of focusing on fats, the diet should be nutritious. It should be rich in vitamins, minerals, fruits, and vegetables. There is often a belief that lactating women should avoid eating fruits as it can affect breast milk. But breast milk has no connection with the mother’s diet or the baby’s health. A woman should instead focus on nutritious food she enjoys. She can also take an ice cream if she so wants. It won’t lead to cough and cold for the baby! Only the hygiene of the feeding is important to see that there is no danger of infection.

One should also be cautious about taking this too far. A new mother must give her body time to recover from delivery. It takes almost 40 days for the body to recover. The uterus will also take time to go back to its former size. The size of the uterus is almost 24 weeks immediately after delivery thus, one cannot expect a flat stomach immediately after the delivery. It takes around a month and a half or around two months to go back to shape. One can start gentle exercises such as walking around two days after the delivery. A cesarian birth may require a longer time for recovery, depending on the case. A week or 10 days is usually enough time before one can start with gentle exercises.

 Motherhood does not make a woman gain weight, it is a lack of exercise and improper diet which is more often the culprit. So, eat a nutritious meal, get plenty of rest, and keep up a regular exercise routine.

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: 6 Things about postpartum that will SURPRISE every new mother explains Dr Ruth Fernandez