This article is written in collaboration with Dr Angelia Chua (Consultant, Family Physician, National Healthcare Group Polyclinics).

With some lifestyle changes, achieving your pre-pregnancy weight is not impossible!

Read on for some tips on how to get back to healthy weight!

4 Ways To Manage Your Baby Weight Post-Partum

1) Maintain a Healthy Diet

A simple way to begin your weight loss journey is to keep track of what you eat using a food diary. Choose the healthier alternatives where possible, like the food choices below:

  • Consume foods that are high in fibre. Fruits, vegetables and healthy grains, such as oats, brown rice and quinoa, are soluble fibre foods that help to slow down digestion and make one feel full. It can reduce hunger pangs and the urge to snack.
  • Introduce lean protein at all meals for a sense of fullness. Healthy protein sources include lean meats, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Adopt healthier food alternatives for in-between meals too. Look into cut vegetables, baked/natural nuts and dried fruit or low-fat dairy products whenever you have a craving. Remember to eat in moderation.
  • Drink plain water with your meals to increase the sense of fullness, with a recommended 2 litres of plain water daily.

It is important to have regular meals to prevent yourself from overeating during your next meal. So, amidst your plans for weight loss, remember not to skip meals!

When in doubt, do seek advice from a dietician who can devise a personalised eating plan to suit your needs and help you manage your weight in a safe and effective manner.

2) Keep Moving, Keep Active

Exercise is one of the tried-and-tested solutions towards weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. It is no different when it comes to managing baby weight. As a busy parent, you may find that you do not have as much time for full-fledged gym workouts like you used to. Fret not, we’ve got you covered with these exercises:

Try These in the Comfort of Your Home!

Throw in a mix of cardio, strength training, balance and flexibility into your postnatal workout routine such as

  1. Low impact aerobics workout. Ease back into physical activity with these simple exercises. Regular physical activity will help regain fitness levels, improves overall mood and support weight management.
  2. Modified Pilates. Low intensity exercise helps to improve posture and strengthen pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.
  3. Resistance training. Supports weight management and build muscular strength.
  4. Pelvic floor exercises. Helps to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and reduce the risk incidences of incontinence and prolapse.
  5. Postnatal Yoga. Helps with muscle relaxation, stress management, improves overall mood and muscular strength, balance and flexibility.
Try These for Some Fresh Air!
  1. Take a walk or a jog outdoors. Use a jogging stroller or a baby carrier and bring your little one out to enjoy the nature at our family friendly parks. Once you are ready for moderate intensity exercise, increase your walking speed progressively.
  2. Go for a swim. A relaxing, low impact and light aerobic exercise that helps postpartum mummies to regain fitness and supports weight management. If you brought your baby along, try to have someone else there to mind your baby so you have a chance to swim.

Limit the amount of time spent being sedentary by engaging in physical activities of any intensity. Aim for at least 150 minutes of the recommended amount of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week and incorporate muscle-strengthening and stretching activities. Start slow and gradually increase the duration and frequency. Keep active by incorporating a variety of activities that are fun and easy to adhere to. Involve your family in your routine; make it a sustainable endeavour that is fun and beneficial for all!

To find out more about the physical activity recommendations, check out the Singapore Physical Activity Guidelines (SPAG). 

Remember to listen to your body – you have just been through a period of great change, and your body needs time to go back to its pre-pregnancy condition.

Before the exercise session, consult the doctor if you are:

  • Unsure about starting a new exercise
  • Have medical conditions / is on medication
  • Do not exercise if feeling unwell
  • Ensure surrounding is spacious and free of trip-hazards
  • Have a water bottle nearby / Keep yourself hydrated for the session
  • Wear appropriate attire and footwear (if required)

During the exercise session, stop and alert trainer if feeling unwell. If unsure, check in with your doctor before starting on an exercise regime.

3) Try Breastfeeding And Reap The Benefits For Mother And Baby

The calories burnt while breastfeeding can help you shed some of the weight gained during pregnancy. A weight loss of about 1 to 2kg a month is considered as a healthy amount to lose. Do continue with a balanced diet with sufficient calorie intake and a variety of nutrients as they are important in breast milk production.

Find out more about the benefits of breastfeeding for you and your baby here.     

4) Adopt Healthy Habits, Set Realistic Goals

Weight management is a journey. You may be tempted to source for short cuts, but they may not be safe.

Here’s one short cut that you should NOT try:

  • Steer clear of crash diets. Low-calorie regimens that aim to lose large amounts of weight within a short time may seem like easy methods. However, they impose health risks that can weaken your immune system, among others.

Other unhealthy habits that you should avoid include:

  • Food with added sugar and refined carbohydrates. Sweet treats like sugary drinks, fruit juices, cakes and pastries seem irresistible but are packed with added sugar and carbs. These are associated with weight gain, and often leads to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
  • Processed food. They contain high amounts of sugar, saturated fats, salt, and calories. Fast food, ready-to-eat foods, chips, and candy all fall into this category.
  • Alcohol. This drink is filled with additional calories, limited nutrition and will lead to weight gain.
  • Sedentary behaviours such as prolonged sitting or lying down. Physical activities can help with recovery and weight loss. However, always seek clearance from your gynaecologist before engaging in physical activities of moderate to vigorous intensity.

Be patient, as going back to a healthy weight will take some time and effort. The time needed varies with each person. Set realistic goals for weight loss over a period of one to two years.

Post-Partum Weight Management – A Tricky Business

There are no shortcuts to losing baby weight. Reclaim your body through these 4 healthy ways – maintain a balanced diet, engage in physical activities, try breastfeeding and set realistic goals – for sustainable healthy weight.

If there are any concerns with weight loss, do know that it is okay to reach out to your physician. If you feel like your journey is starting to take a toll on your mental state, do seek professional help for advice on mental wellbeing or speak to your loved ones as they will be there to give you the support you need.

The article has been endorsed by the following representatives, listed in alphabetical order by institutions: A/Prof Daisy Chan (Chairperson, Chapter of Neonatologists, College of Paediatrics and Child Health Singapore), A/Prof Tan Lay Kok (Obstetrics & Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital), Dr Moira Chia Suyin (Consultant, Department of Paediatrics, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital), Ms Adeline Kooh Seok Koon (Asst Director, Nursing (Maternity), Mount Alvernia Hospital), Prof Lee Yung Seng (Group Director, Paediatrics, National University Hospital), Ms Susan Kok (Senior Asst Director, Nursing, Gleneagles Hospital, Parkway Pantai Group), Ms Helen Cruz Espina (Senior Lactation Consultant, Raffles Hospital Pte Ltd), A/Prof Yong Tze Tein (Head & Senior Consultant, O&G, Singapore General Hospital), Ms Fonnie Lo (Formerly Asst Director, ParentCraft Centre (Clinical) and Lactation Consultant, Thomson Medical Pte. Ltd). 

All designations cited were accurate at the time of offering their insights.

Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your baby a healthy start.