Gaining weight during pregnancy is inevitable, and it’s actually of the strongest signs of a healthy pregnancy. Thankfully, there’s a few things you can do during and after your pregnancy to help you return to your tip-top shape in no time.

Diet During Pregnancy
What you eat during your pregnancy and how much weight you put on will affect your weight loss after you’ve given birth. If you were eating nutritious foods your body will use those nutrients to recover faster. If you were in the healthy weight range before getting pregnant, you should gain 11-15 kilograms throughout the course of your pregnancy and post-pregnancy should be a breeze.

Diet After Birth
Upping your intake of fibre and protein in your postnatal diet will help you lose the baby weight faster. Fibre will stabilize your blood sugar levels, thus stabilizing your mood and helping you combat any cravings. You will have more energy to take care of yourself and your baby. Protein will help with recovery and will keep you fuller for longer, so you won’t feel like you need a snack every 20 minutes.

Giving birth and taking care of a newborn can be scary, stressful and beautiful all at the same time – there’s no doubt it’s quite the emotional roller coaster. A lot of first time moms will turn to food for comfort, trapping themselves in a circle of emotional eating without even noticing. Try to be as conscious as possible when thinking about what you are going to eat and find other ways to comfort yourself and express your emotions.

Exercise
Prenatal and postnatal exercise play a really big role in how much weight you gain during pregnancy, and also how fast you lose it after you have given birth. We can’t express enough how important it is to take some time out for you no matter how busy you are. You can join a number of pre- and post-natal fitness classes such as Mommy Moves, My Fitness Scout’s Fit Mommy program and classes at the Nun Centre. After all, if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to care after your baby no matter how hard you try.

Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can burn from 500 to 850 calories per day, and it releases hormones within your body that make recovery faster and more efficient.

Sleep
Sleepless nights are inevitable when you’re a new mom, but sharing duties is really important for your own sanity. Take some time off for you – there will always be people willing to help so take them up on their offer and take some time out alone to pamper yourself or just sleep. Sleeping directly boosts fat loss and reduces irrational food cravings. Not to mention it gives you more energy to brave the day and do your super-mom duties.

Our final tip is to be realistic. Don’t expect yourself to be fitting into your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans right away. Don’t try them on either – it’s just discouraging. Be patient with yourself, take care of your body as much as you can, keep at it, and the results will follow.