Post Partum Depression and Pregnancy Weight

Post pregnancy problems: weight gain, back pain, lethargy, anxiety

I want to reduce 25 lb. After the birth of my twins I started gaining weight which is now almost stable.

But this post pregnancy weight is giving me lots of problems like back pain, vertigo, lethargic, anxiety etc.

I have no control of my eating. I eat not because I am hungry. I eat whenever I have any problem or anxiety. I eat whenever I don't know what to do.- V.K.

Savvy Vegetarian Advice

Dear V.K.,

Congratulations on being the mother of twins!

Sadly, I don't know your age, if you are vegetarian, when your twins were born, if you were or are breastfeeding, if you have other children, a spouse or someone to help you, etc.

Not knowing much about your circumstances, it's hard for me to give you more than general advice. Plus I'm not a doctor or nutritionist.

Daily Exercise and watching what you eat will help you lose the post pregnancy weight, of course, but I also think it would be good for you to get a handle on the problems that are contributing to your eating.

You'd expect that being a Mom should be all bliss all the time. I mean, look at the twin miracles you brought into being! But the reality of having two babies dependent on you 24/7, being tired, not having time for yourself, or much contact with other adults, not having enough support, hormone imbalance, iron, folic acid, Vit D or B12 deficiencies, being overweight and out of shape, could all be contributing to how you feel.

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Post partum depression (aka the baby blues) is very real and more common than you'd think. Often, women get over it on their own, and sometimes they need help.

A Few Suggestions:

Get a check up including bloodwork for nutritional deficiencies. If you are lacking anything, take the pills or shots and experience a dramatic improvement in your energy and happiness.

Get someone to help you a bit everyday, so you can rest more, or get out and go shopping, visiting friends, or exercising by yourself. Reach out to friends, family, or significant other so you can get this very important mental health break. Hire a babysitter a few times a week if you can afford it, and there's nobody else who can help you out.

Attend to your back pain with massage therapy or chiropractic, or whatever body work you think may help you. One reason you have back pain is that your muscles are weak after the inactivity of pregnancy, so gentle back strengthening exercises might help. I recommend Dr. Jolie Bookspans's article: Fix Your Back Pain Without Drugs or Surgery

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Get some exercise, preferably outdoors. Daily exercise makes you feel better, and takes the focus away from food. Even going for a long walk everyday with your twins in the stroller will do wonders for you (and the twins).

You could also take a yoga or pilates class. Both are helpful for controlling your weight, and strengthening your back and abdominal muscles.

Find other Moms to talk to. Join a women's support group if you can find one, or a mom/baby playgroup. You need to be with people who understand what you're going through with post partum depression and can support you.

If things don't get better quickly from following the above suggestions (not just thinking about them), please see a doctor and deal with your post partum depression. I hope that you feel more like yourself very soon!

Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

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