How To Get Back Into Shape After Birth

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During pregnancy, you can crave all kinds of foods, sometimes in odd combinations. There are other changes too, all because of a significant surge in hormones.

Women can feel pressured to snap back into shape as soon after birth as possible. We see pictures of post-partum celebrities who within days of giving birth seem to have lost every ounce of ‘baby weight’ they gained.

Articles on celebrity diets and tips on post-pregnancy weight loss litter the pages of women’s magazines.

Start when you are pregnant

It is perfectly natural to gain weight during pregnancy. And we all do it differently. Some women seem to blossom and balloon, whilst other pregnant ladies maintain their lithe shape and enjoy a pert bump.

Some of us gain weight right at the start, others gain it in the final trimester… we could go on but the point is this, just as you probably wouldn’t eat a family sized chocolate cake for breakfast when you are not pregnant, throwing caution to the wind and eating what you want when pregnant is not a wise choice.

Maintain the healthy lifestyle you followed pre-pregnancy but enjoy the odd treat or two.

A helping hand from nature

Once the baby is born, you can drop between 11 and 13lbs of weight instantly. Breastfeeding also helps with the calorie control as feeding your baby uses up over 800 calories a day.

Rest and recuperation is essential but once you have the all clear from the midwife, get back to walking or your gym routine, or whatever exercise you did pre-pregnancy – and start gently.

Rest and sleep

Babies don’t have a set sleep pattern, although others may boast that their little one is sleeping through the night. The point is, their sleep cycle changes and as mum, when baby sleeps, you need to be resting or sleeping too.

Odd sleep patterns cause chaos with the metabolism, making shifting baby weight a little tough. Rest and sleep when you can.

Look at Exercise – enlist a personal trainer

A personal trainer used to be the confines of the rich, but these days most gyms allow you to work one to one with a trainer in order to establish an exercise plan that is perfect for you and your body needs. A personal exercise plan can work within your limitations, can address your personal needs, and can help you to lose weight and get in shape in your own time.

Make sure your personal trainer has the best personal trainer certification that will ensure you are getting the correct, safe advice when it comes to exercise plans – you do not want to be putting your body into any harm as you are getting fit and active again.

Nature’s weight loss remedies

Nature, as you would expect, has many helping hands when it comes to helping your body recuperate post-birth. Many of these remedies, however, are not suitable during pregnancy but once baby is here, why not try;

  • A dash of lime or lemon juice in water, sweetened with honey a couple of times a day can help to lose weight, especially if you have water retention
  • Green tea has excellent weight loss properties
  • Munch of negative calorie snacks such as celery, tomatoes and cucumbers

If you are breastfeeding, remember what you eat passes on to baby so don’t go overboard otherwise you will be battling colic!

Join other mums

Having a baby is an exciting, thrilling time but when reality sets in, you need the support and encouragement, as well as company of other mums. Getting out and about, being part of a group is excellent for focusing on other things other than your weight.

Calorie counting is the answer

You can sup as much green tea as you like but, if your calorie intake is way ahead of your calorie expenditure, shifting the extra lbs you have gained is not going to happen.

Calorie counting is boring, no doubt about it but, with all kinds of calorie counting and fitness apps available, it can be slightly more fun and easier to manage.

Changing attitude to food

You’ve enjoyed pregnancy and your little bundle of joy is here – and you need to get back into a healthy eating routine – and this not only means the food and drink you consume, but when you consume it.

During pregnancy, attitude to food does change. In late pregnancy, portion sizes would have been smaller because you felt ‘full’ and cumbersome with a full-term baby. Now that you can eat normally again, portion sizes increase. It is amazing how many not-so-good habits stay with us.

Eat well at breakfast, get back to eating fish three times a week and opt for lean cuts of meat again. Space your meals over the day so that your calorie intake is evenly spread.

In summary

Your post-pregnancy body can feel very different, certainly for the first few weeks or even months after giving birth. You need to give it chance to heal but you also need to be mindful of making changes that will help you get back into shape both physically and mentally so that you can look forward to the challenges of parenthood.

 

Is Egg Donation Right for You? An Explanation and Guide to Choosing a Donor

Couples struggling with infertility often find themselves in a perpetual cycle of grief and loss. Every negative pregnancy test and monthly period is a reminder of the child they do not have and a dream that is going unfulfilled.

For a woman, having low-quality eggs or a small egg reserve can feel like the greatest disappointment of all.

Donor egg IVF is an alternative fertility treatment that often offers the ideal solution to this situation. Serving as a guide to egg donation, allow this text to help better explain the ways that this revolutionary process can help you create the family of your dreams.

Deciding Whether Donor Eggs are the Right Choice

As a woman, accepting that you may never carry your own child is not easily achieved.

Laura Bush once said – “For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent, ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?”

Providing yourself with the time and energy needed to overcome this loss is the first step in a successful donor egg process. Whether it’s a day, a week, or a month, you will only feel confident about your decision to use an egg donor if you’ve come to terms with your situation.

Compared to alternatives like adoption, egg donation provides a unique opportunity for women who are unable to conceive through traditional methods. While your baby may not have the genetic connection you’d always hoped for, you will still have the chance to carry and nourish their little bodies throughout gestation. The bonds formed between mother and child throughout pregnancy are undeniable and everlasting.

Pregnant woman carrying her child’s ultrasound picture.

Finding an Egg Donor

Deciding to choose a frozen donor egg, as opposed to a fresh cycle, provides a much larger selection of possible donors.

Various online databases offer hopeful parents a wide range of donors to search through. During your quest to find that perfect person for you and your family, you can find confidence in the fact that each potential donor has undergone an extensive pre-donation screening process.

Not only do clinics test for various sexually transmitted diseases, donor egg bank storage facilities also give potential donors background checks, psychological evaluations, and full medical history screenings. Online profiles will even contain a potential donor’s education and career experience.

Frozen donor eggs offer options in terms of choosing an egg. Whether a couple is interested in a child with similar physical characteristics or personality traits – they will have a large pool to choose from.

Understanding the Donor Egg IVF Process

After you’ve decided to grow your family with donated eggs and have found the perfect donor, the next step is to prepare the woman’s body for implantation.

Most IVF cycles will begin with a few weeks of birth control pills to regulate your menstrual cycle. During this time, you will also undergo some initial screening tests, such as blood work and ultrasounds that provide your fertility specialist with information on your current reproductive condition.

Once you’ve completed these tests and cycled through your birth control pills, you will begin taking various medications and hormones to support your body during the process. Drugs like estrogen and progesterone work to thicken a woman’s endometrial lining and make it a more accepting environment for an embryo.

When your body has been successfully prepared and is almost ready for the embryo transfer, the donor egg storage facility will ship your chosen eggs to the fertility clinic for thawing and fertilization. An advanced flash-freezing process called vitrification now helps to ensure that eggs will survive the thawing stage and removes the risk ice crystal formation during freezing and storage.

After fertilization, your specialist and their team will watch the embryo develop until it’s ready for transfer into the woman’s uterus.

Two weeks after the embryo transfer has been completed, you will return to the clinic for a blood pregnancy test to confirm that the cycle was successful.

Growing Your Family with Donor Egg IVF

When infertility is the reality for you and your spouse, the battle can seem impossible to overcome. Pregnancy announcements on Facebook and baby showers for friends become the salt in your never-healing wound and the baby section in stores is your enemy.

When all feels lost, however, draw confidence from the fact that there are other options. Becoming a parent with donor eggs not only offers the gift of a child but also the pregnancy experience a woman may be dreaming of.

Taking the first step and looking into egg donors could be a simple task that will change your life forever.

Receiving The Care You Need Both Before And After The Birth Of Your Baby

According to research undertaken by Your Legal Friend, having a baby is the most common reason for a hospital admission in the UK, with 1.3 births every minute. Yet for some, the time that should be the most happiest and exciting as they finally meet their new son or daughter, can actually be a time of pain, stress and fear. It is no surprise that when it comes to the NHS compensation budget, 41% of it is being used in claims relating to obstetrics. I have experience of poor care both before and after the birth of my son Joe that illustrates that there are real issues in this area.

My maternity and delivery were not easy, they were fraught with problems from the beginning, I have type two diabetes and suffer with high blood pressure, both of which made me a higher risk pregnancy. I also lived on a border between two authorities. This meant I had to have two midwives. This sounds like double the care, but in actual fact was just double the stress. My main midwife was the one I saw at my surgery. She did not fill in my book properly, leaving major gaps in the records, she did not inform me about the risks of my pregnancy, the real chance it wouldn’t go to term, or the fact it would probably be a caesarean section. In short, she was severely lacking in all areas and left me very uninformed about my pregnancy and my risks. My second midwife was so much better, and was left to fill in these gaps during home visits, but because I saw her so much less, this really added to my worries. What was I not being told when I visited my surgery midwife?

 

As I got nearer to my time more things happened to fill me with dread of the birth. What should have been a routine blood test saw me pass out after six nurses had tried, unsuccessfully, for more than 20 minutes to get a blood sample in a tiny, hot room. I had informed them I was hard to bleed (I know this well from frequent diabetes fasting tests) and that they would be better to transfer me to the Path lab for the test, but they persisted in trying to get the sample, making me ill.

Two weeks before Joe was delivered (at 7 and a half months) I was admitted with suspected preeclampsia. I was also feeling unwell due to a sore and watery eye. I mentioned this in my examination, but it was dismissed as unimportant – it wasn’t even looked at. Within an hour, the whole of the left side of my face had sunk and stopped moving. I was told I’d had a stroke by the doctor examining me. It turned out to be Bells Palsy, but the fear I’d had a stroke and that the paralysis was permanent was devastating for both me and my family.

Even finally being admitted proved to be a nightmare. I had not eaten since lunchtime, and with diabetes, need to eat at regular intervals. I kept mentioning this, but was still not fed. When I was finally taken to my room I was told the kitchen was closed, but that they might be able to find a sandwich from somewhere. I was advised by my nurse to take a whirlpool bath to ‘relax’. I decided against it as I was so tired, which was lucky, as a nurse nearly battered the bathroom door down telling me not to take a bath as it was used to induce labour, not something you want to do at 7 months pregnant.

After the birth of Joe two weeks later, I struggled to get pain relief when needed, particularly when I was not sleeping at night due to stress headaches that were actually reducing me to tears. I eventually signed myself out of hospital in the early hours of Christmas Eve – I just wanted to get home and away from that place.

I suffered terrible post natal depression in the months after Joe’s birth, I think that my treatment and experiences during my maternity and in my care after it certainly contributed to my mental condition. I did not pursue a claim, but I truly wish that I had, sometimes the only thing that brings real change is the threat of litigation, and if it stops other people from receiving poor care and treatment, then that can only be a good thing. Companies like Your Legal Friend can offer free advice if you think you may have a case for a claim, you were entitled to good levels of care, if you didn’t receive it, you should act.