It is said that 13% of new mums suffer from postpartum depression. Not only does postpartum depression (PPD) affect your overall happiness and prevents you from fully enjoying your experience as a new mum, it also drastically affects your weight loss plans.
Unhealthy weight gain is a common side effect of PPD and a 2009 study from the University of Alabama reported that depression causes fat to concentrate around the waist area, thus rapidly increasing the size of your belly.
To prevent postpartum depression, it is important to understand how your body works. The combination of the right diet plan and exercise can help balance the levels of “feel good” hormones such as estrogen and progesterone to help you feel brand new!
Make sure that your body is sufficiently supplied with protein, carbohydrates, and fibre. Protein enables the regulation of hormones in the post pregnancy body and some sources of protein also help to increase the brains production of chemicals that make you cheerful, primarily norepinephrine and dopamine.
Instead of totally cutting out carbs from your diet, opt for healthy carbs instead. Although you want to lose baby weight and get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans, it is vital that you consume carbs to make up for the energy that you have spent on taking care of your new born. Carbs break down into glucose in your blood stream during digestion and feeds your muscles and cells to keep you energised throughout the day. Also, carbs contain the amino acids which act as precursors that amalgamate into dopamine and serotonin. Healthy carbs can be found in food such as whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, vegetables, and fresh fruits.
Dietary fibre is also very essential in battling weight gain and postpartum depression. It is shown that fibre gives you the energy to cope with daily activities and helps clear your bowels to keep your colons healthy. A healthier colon allows your body to optimise its absorption of nutrients such as Vitamin B6 that elevates the serotonin levels in your body. In addition, a study from the US Department of Agriculture showed two groups of women eating the same amount of food and women who increased their daily fibre intake from 12 to 24 grams absorbed 377 fewer kilojoules per day compared to women who didn’t.
Also, remember to get plenty of rest for yourself and tune your mind set into a positive one. Think of motherhood as a career change with boundless opportunities for the future!