Most women lose about 10 kg when giving birth. This is often not sufficient for those individuals who get more and more frantic about losing their figures as pregnancy progresses.
These are also the mothers who start dieting rigidly from the day the baby is born. If such women would relax and breastfeed their babies, they would lose 0.5 to 1kg per month while they are lactating.
Let’s take the example of a mother who has gained the maximum amount of weight during her pregnancy. Of 18kg gained, she will lose 10 kg during, or immediately after birth.
If she breastfeeds for six months, she could well lose up to six more kilograms. In other words, within six months of giving birth, this mother would only be 2kg heavier than when she fell pregnant, and her baby would have had the immeasurable advantage of breastfeeding.
For those of you who are determined to lose weight as soon as possible after giving birth, please eat a balanced low-fat, high-fibre diet and breastfeed your baby.
Don’t starve yourself and start popping those diet pills, as this will undermine your health which has already been put under strain by the pregnancy.
Take it easy, enjoy your baby, breastfeed, go for long walks in the fresh air with your baby, and take care of yourself and your child. It really is worth it. - (Dr Ingrid van Heerden, registered dietician)