Free Press Journal

Mother’s Day Special: Carrying the ‘weight’ of motherhood


‘We are women,’ is a sobriquet that accurately elucidates our dynamism. Imagine the ability of a human body to beget another human being from within it. However, the rising number of cases of women indulging in excessive weight loss fettle is a matter to ponder over. Disha Prashant shares an insight

Rashika is a mother of an adorable daughter. She puts up a brave face and showers unconditional love on her new-born. But something makes her cringe about her existence and that is the fear of not being comfortable in your own skin. What begins with obsessing over celebrity baby bumps eventually ends up on shaming new moms and shoving them into mental regret of not getting back into their super skinny denims. Mothers today are getting hysterical over discarding those extra kilos thereby subjecting their bodies to health risks. The Obsessive Post-Partum Weight Loss Syndrome needs due attention in today’s time, and the new celeb mommies shedding those extra kilos within weeks of their delivery add to the woes of normal gentry.

Time travel 9 to 9

Giving birth is no small feat, feels Yoga Instructor Aditi Manja. Sharing her insights on this soaring caprice she says, “The body takes nine months to create another human being. Give it at least that much time to recover. Once you have the thumbs up from your doctor, start with gentle walking: 15 minutes is good to start, increase it to 30 minutes with 1kg weights for arm exercises, twice a day. Asanas that work the core can help in strengthening the abdominal muscles. Eat wisely. Make sure you get all nutrients in your daily diet. Control the portions and monitor your weight. You will be able to lose weight in a healthy way.”

We are enthralled by listening to stories about storks delivering babies, which is what women desire today. The mounting exposure to media hyped tales about celebrities going for magazine shoots just a few weeks after delivering babies has brought about humongous psychological changes in the way women look at pregnancy. The drastic downfall in the ratio of women breastfeeding babies is a matter of serious concern.

Fat burn the breastfeed way

Life takes a complete u-turn the day you become a mother. It not just changes you emotionally but also brings about multifarious changes in your physical appearance. A little throwback to those times when women aged 19-23 became mother of three to four children and still managed to get svelte. Today however due to lack of physical activity and decline in breast-feed ratio has poked women into facing post-partum depression.

The ideal time to shed those extra kilos is during lactation, feels Dietitian Akshata Balgude. Sharing her expertise she says, “During pregnancy, women gain extra pounds to store energy for producing breast milk. For some women, breastfeeding makes it easier to lose weight, since additional calories are used. Mothers who do not breastfeed will need to rely totally on diet and exercise to burn additional calories.”

She further adds, “Breastfeeding mothers should not consciously try to lose weight during the first two months postpartum. This extra time in the early months allows a mother’s body to recover from childbirth and establish a good milk supply. It’s common for mothers to lose weight during this period by just following a normal diet and eating to hunger.”

Mind games

Body shaming is one of the reasons why there is rising obsession over new mothers indulging in plethoric weight loss regime. Psychologists are of the opinion that one has to feel cozy in one’s own skin. It is only then that you can work towards enhancing and strengthening your body feels Clinical Psychologist Chandan Rathore.

Sharing her acumen she says, “Most women go through the period of emotional adjustment to the changes that are occurring in a woman’s body. In order to perpetuate a woman’s emotional well being, women themselves have to realise that it took nine months for the body to go through all the changes that it did during the pregnancy and realistically it should take them at least nine months for a complete transformation. The sooner women welcome this fact the less likely will they feel the pressure of losing weight in haste.”

Talking about depressive symptoms and psychological distress she says, “Women who are pre-occupied or less satisfied with their body shape are less likely to breastfeed and are more prone to suffer from depression. It is immensely important to educate women about expected post partum weight and body changes and to find ways to enhance their post-partum self esteem and body satisfaction.”

From the horse’s mouth

Obsessive postpartum weight loss is indeed a matter of concern today, feels Dr Arun Nayak, Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician. Sharing his experience he says, “Women prominently belonging to the upper middle class fall into the trap of obsessive weight loss as compared to women belonging to the middle or lower middle class. It is important for women to understand that it will take a good amount of time for a complete body transformation. Thanks to maternity leaves women can completely concentrate on their kids and can later opt for weight loss.”

Highlighting the importance of breastfeed he said, “Women today are quite serious about breast feeding but also are conscious about getting back in shape. In corporate sector women get good amount of maternity leave in which they can cater to baby demands as well as work on losing weight the healthy way.”

Women today have to keenly monitor the rate at which they lose the baby fat as it directly affects your health as well as the lactation process in the body. Obsession over losing weight in a blink might have serious effects mentally and physically. Women must also keep a tab on depression, baby blues and frequent crying spells symptoms and consults a doctor at the earliest.