Moms young and old will be showered with gifts as Sunday marks Mother’s Day.
But for many moms, especially new mothers, the one gift they would be most grateful for is the one they can return: the extra weight from childbirth.
During pregnancy, women at normal weight can gain an extra 25 to 35 pounds, even more for women who are overweight before pregnancy. Getting rid of those extra pounds can be an enormous challenge, especially when added to the priority list of caring for a newborn. But according to experts, making time to shed that baby weight soon after childbirth is critical.
“If you don’t lose the extra weight within six months of delivery, you are statistically likely to carry an extra 20 pounds, 10 years later,” said Dr. Judith Reichman, a Los Angeles- based obstetrician and contributor to NBC’s ‘Today’ show. “If you are overweight to begin with, that number is even higher.”
Among the recommendations for new mothers includes eating well-balanced meals, as opposed to strict dieting. Deprivation of calories, added to the stress of early motherhood, can actually lead to unhealthy eating habits and weight gain.