Motherhood is far from being an easy job, especially when you’re trying to hold onto your old life. Now, holding on, in this specific context, also means starting a weight loss after pregnancy process to get your pre-baby body back. After all, you can only be a great mom and a good example for your kids if you respect yourself. But how are you supposed to be a fit mommy when you’re battling the dreaded postpartum depression, while trying to lose baby weight at the same time?
Understanding the underlying issue:
1. Postpartum Depression or “Why are you sad? You have such a sweet baby!”
If you’re wondering how to beat postpartum depression while losing baby weight, you must first get acquainted with the enemy. Luckily, this is the easiest thing you can do, as it only involves looking into a mirror. Yep, the enemy is you, whether you like it or not.
You see, when you and your baby become separate beings, there are a lot of changes taking place in your body, mostly on a chemical level. This opens the door towards postnatal or postpartum depression, which is a moderate to severe clinical depression that affects about 14% of women after childbirth.
If you’re wondering what the symptoms of postpartum depression are and if you are suffering from the baby blues, check out this list:
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep issues
- Crying spells
- Mood swings
Of course, these are not the only signs. There are many others, much more relevant, such as difficulty bonding with your baby, suicide thoughts, feelings of shame and guilt towards your inability to embrace motherhood the way you’re expected to and so on. If you have any doubts, you should talk to your physician.
Now, there has been a lot of debate on the exact causes of postpartum depression, but scientists are yet to reach consensus. Still, from the few studies made, the following factors are known to be significant contributors:
- Poor relationship to your spouse or partner
- Substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, smoking)
- Low social support
- History of depression
- Prenatal depression
What about that annoying extra baby weight, you might wonder? Well, fortunately, there is a pertinent explanation for that and it has a lot to do with loss, depression and the way your psyche is connected to your body.
2. Storing Fat As A Coping Mechanism For Loss
Most people are familiar with the expression “psyche-gut connection”. In short, it refers to the way emotions have an impact on the way we process food and on the way we gain or lose weight. This, of course, is backed up by numerous studies that show stress to be a factor that plays a huge role in obesity.
Long story short, it’s not easy to lose baby weight, especially due to postpartum depression. Your body no longer needs to care for a second mouth, but your psyche? Well, that’s a whole different story! The feelings we experience during depression are very similar to those of loss and there is nothing our psyche hates more than that, as it perceives it as a threat!
So, in order to reach a balance, and regain a sense of control, it instructs the body to stock up on anything it can! Naturally, the easiest thing to stock upon is fat! Food intake can be a very ancestral thing as it is intimately linked to our own survival. And what better and more facile way for a new mom to “get her child back” is there, other than eating?
Yes, the way our bodies work and think is a bit primitive, as they have yet to catch up with our minds in terms of evolution. But understanding the mechanism is the very first step in finding how to beat postpartum depression and lose weight after pregnancy!
How To Overcome Postpartum Depression?
Sometimes, it takes a village, but not all of us have that luxury! While a deeper, more meaningful relationship with your spouse or partner can have a great impact in reducing your postpartum depression symptoms, you must take into account the possibility that daddy can also be affected by the baby blues. Either way, your best bet is on the professionals: Psychotherapy and Antidepressants.
However, if you don’t believe you’re that far gone down the rabbit hole or oppose the use of medication, then there are certain steps you can take that might be of great help: Lifestyle Changes!
Lose Baby Weight By Making Some Lifestyle Changes!
Nutritionists and life coaches can swear by the efficacy of The Trifecta. It is a lifestyle change adopted by numerous mommies with postpartum depression worldwide. And with great success, as they report positive results only after a few weeks! Their mood is improved and their scales show less and less pounds!What exactly is The Trifecta? It a powerful combination of three elements: Sports, diet and sleep.
Let’s go through them really quick:
Sports: Provided your doctor gave you the green light, you can start power-walking in the great outdoors, under the sun! Simply walking briskly and exposing yourself to healthy UV light can boost your metabolism and give you enough of a cardio workout to lose baby weight! However, direct sunlight also significantly diminishes postpartum depression symptoms – your mood will improve.
Diet: Again, if your physician believes you are healthy enough, you can start implementing a protein-rich diet. This nutritional change will also take your waist a few numbers down! Also, don’t forget about breakfast! Skipping it can make losing the dreaded baby weight a much bigger challenge!
Sleep: Usually, this is the favorite activity of all fit mommies and it will be yours too – especially if you don’t get enough shut-eye due to a restless baby that cries all night long! Regardless of how you bribe daddy to take care of the crying child at night, you must ensure at least 8 hours of solid sleep, as the lack of it predisposes even those who haven’t had a baby towards obesity and insane weight gain!
In conclusion, there’s a lot more to postpartum depression and weight loss after pregnancy than meets the eye. From the social support you get to your personal lifestyle, all of these things can have an impact on your journey to taking back your life and soaring higher still! Hopefully, this post helped shed a light on your current issues and made you better equipped to tackle postpartum depression and lose baby weight!