|Look for opportunities to be active outside.|
A new study out today found that new moms eat more unhealthy foods and exercise less compared to their childless counterparts.
According to the study, mothers ate more fatty foods and drank about seven sugary drinks weekly, versus about four among childless women. Moms got on average a little more than two hours of at least moderate activity weekly compared to three hours weekly among women without childern. Mothers also had a slightly higher average body-mass index than childless women — 27 versus 26. Healthy BMIs are in the 19-24 range.
"This isn't a study about blame," said co-author Jerica Berge, a University of Minnesota researcher, in an MSNBC article. "This is about identifying ... a very high-risk time period" for parents that doctors should be aware of so they can offer solutions, she said.
Denice Taylor, registered dietitian at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, said although new mothers are extremely busy there are a few things they can do to combat unhealthy habits. When it comes to diet, try to plan in advance. Have food in the fridge and in the pantry for fast and healthy meals and snacks. Keep raw, cut-up fruits and veggies or cheese sticks ready to grab on the go.
Also look for any opportunity to be active with young children, whether that’s stroller walking, going to the park, or any activity that both the mother and child like to do.
“The physical activity part is so important,” Denice said. “Getting out and moving can take the place of mindless eating and constant snacking or grazing.”
Many hospitals offer postpartum fitness classes, including many Texas Health hospitals. Check with the hospital you delivered in for more information.