Patient Education

Becoming a Hot Mum After Giving Birth is not Mission Impossible

Gwyneth Paitrow – thirty-six, married, and still gorgeously gracing the advertisements for Estee Lauder fragrances after giving birth to two kids. Hot mums like her are not alone in Hollywood – think Kate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman and Jessica Alba. How is it possible forfemale celebrities to look utterly ravishing even during pregnancy and after childbirth? While having the cash and contacts to topnotch gym trainers might be of great help in the pursue of a slim and enviable figure, Dr Choo Wan Ling believes that self-discipline is paramount to any weight loss plan.

Currently a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Gleneagles Medical Centre, Dr Choo is pleased with her choice to venture into the obstetrics and gynaecology field in 1994. Equipped with vast medical knowledge pertaining to pregnancy and women, Dr Choo dishes out some useful advises on keeping a shapely silhouette for mothers and pregnant ladies. After all, having the right curves at the right places shouldn”t be exclusive to female celebrities only.

Here are tips and tricks which Dr.Choo share during the interview.

Pregnancy stage
The ideal weight gam during pregnancy should be between 8-12kg. In the first and early second trimester, the weight of the baby is fairly negligible (weight at 20 weeks is only about 300g). Normally, most mothers would put on about 4-5kg during that stage, till about 26 weeks. Thereafter, the weight gain should be about 0.5kg per two weeks.

Due to the rising affluence of our society, many babies born today are much larger in size as compared to the past. What can women do to prevent giving birth to overweight babies?
Diet. Of course pregnant women should never go on diet but they should watch what they eat. Avoid sugary food where possible as these are empty calories, which mean they have no nutritional value for both the mother and the baby. Avoid fatty foods and oily foods. Ideally, food should be steamed (as this method retains the nutrients better], stewed or stir-fried with a little oil.

Exercise. I am no expert on Yoga. Having gone though some antenatal classes myself, I feel that Yoga does help to stretch the muscles and ligaments. It helps to ease the backaches that a pregnant woman generally suffers from. It also helps to keep the pelvic floor toned.This eases the delivery process and helps to prevent urinary incontinence and prolapse.

After pregnancy
What can women do to maintain their figure after childbirth?
To get the tone back, you would need to exercise. If you can”t get out of the house, do some simple exercises at home or get an exercise video. You should get your doctor”s advice as to when you can start exercising again. Hollywood stars look like that (slim and trim) because they watch what they eat and work out with their personal trainers almost daily It helps when you have money and nannies.

Besides the above, Malay postnatal massage is also very popular locally. I feel that besides being relaxing, the binding does help to tone the abdominal muscles a little. Toning of abdominal muscles help to bring in the tummy, as the muscles tend to split during pregnancy.

Generally, how long does it take for a woman to regain her prepregnancy weight?
Normally it takes about 3-9 months. Of course the harder you work (exercise and diet), the faster you see the results.

Why is it that so many women find it hard to get back their figure after pregnancy?
Usually it boils down to discipline. You do get some women who revert back to their figure in 1 -2 months without doing much. Most of us are not so blessed. If you want to regain your figure, you have to work for it. It can be difficult when you are trying to look after the baby, and it is even harder if you have no help at all. Diet is very important. If you eat like a horse, you can be sure that you are not going to lose that weight. Same principle applies – cut down on carbohydrates especially the sugars. Cut down on oil. It can be difficult if you are breastfeeding. Having a low calorie diet is not an option as the milk quality and quantity will be affected. The good news is that whilst you are breastfeeding, the calorie expenditure is equivalent to that of cycling for an hour a day. Hence, it can help you lose weight provided that you don”t eat excessively.

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