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NO KIDDING Postpartum weight retention is a common problem
NO KIDDING Postpartum weight retention is a common problem

Postpartum weight gain can be treated by mild exercises

Postpartum weight retention is a common problem. One of the un-aired fears of women is that they will never lose all the weight they put on during pregnancy. Women who do not return to their pre-pregnancy weight by six months are likely to remain overweight long-term.Pre-pregnancy weight, gestational weight gain, parity, and ante-partum exercise are the most important predictors of postpartum weight gain. `Primiparas' lose more weight than `multigravidas' at each postpartum interval. Women who return to work sooner tend to lose more weight than those who take a long maternity leave. Mothers who bottle-feed their babies tend to retain more weight postpartum than breastfeeding mothers.

Roadblocks

Deconditioning and physical changes: Women find it difficult to achieve pre-partum fitness in the months after delivery. Months of decreased activity decondition the body and the ligaments are loose for months postpartum thanks to the relaxin hormone secreted during pregnancy. Starting exercise from scratch is the only realistic option. The physiologic changes associated with pregnancy persist for up to six weeks post partum, and gentle conditioning exercise like walking is best during this period. Complicated pregnancies involving caesarean section, pre-eclampsia and severe tears to the birth canal require a more gradual return to exercise. Pelvic exercises, including consciously contracting one's pelvic muscles for a few seconds a few times every day, can reduce the incidence of incontinence postpartum. Some breastfeeding women think they do not need to exercise, that breastfeeding burn up calories. Wrong. Breastfeeding and increased calorie intake go together and lactation is not enough to promote sustained weight loss. Besides, breastfeeding does not give lax muscles and ligaments a workout. Finding the time to exercise is not easy when you have a baby and a career to deal with. Family support that takes the baby off your hand for a few minutes, strollers, treadmills, and aerobic exercises at home can help. Exercise does not affect lactation. However, it is better if women nurse or express breast milk with a pump before exercise: lactic acid levels tend to rise in milk, and some babies tend to refuse breast milk with high lactic acid content.RAJIV. M

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