Strict post-partum diet leaves mother hospitalized

By Thuy Quynh   June 22, 2023 | 03:28 pm PT
A 31-year-old woman followed a no-carb diet and intensive exercise plan aiming to lose weight three months after childbirth, which led to her being hospitalized.

According to Associate Professors Doctor Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the Gastroenterology Department at the National Military Hospital 108, the patient suffered from fatigue and gastric antrum when she was admitted to the hospital. In addition, her blood pressure fluctuated and her heartbeat was fast.

The patient said she weighed 45 kg before child delivery. She tried to lose weight after gaining 22 kilograms because of childbirth, and followed a no-carb diet, as well as jogging and skipping rope for five hours a day.

Two weeks later, her health witnessed some unusual symptoms, as she passed out several times while jogging, due to low blood pressure.

Tuan requested the patient stay at the hospital due to fatigue. She then said she wanted to have gastric sleeve surgery, to which Tuan refused as she was still breastfeeding and suffering from nutritional deficiency. He then put her on a healthy diet and weight loss plan.

Tuan said pregnant women gain weight because of changes in their hormones. New mothers also face more difficulties in losing weight compared to normal people, as they must guarantee that they have enough nutrients and can provide milk for their children. Also, many suffer postpartum depression.

"People should be patient and not follow unhealthy methods that may cause long-term damage if they want to lose weight," Tuan said.

To lose weight after pregnancy, it is recommended women eat lots of vegetables and protein. New mothers should reduce their sugar and fat intake.

They should start with doing light physical activities, such as walking or cycling, then slowly increase the intensity and exercise time. Yoga, deep breathing, or any other activities of their choice are also recommended as they help new mothers to relieve stress.

It is also advised to drink between eight and ten cups of water a day and get enough sleep.

Breastfeeding mothers should carefully consider the effects of losing weight on their milk quality.

They should make sure that they provide their children with an abundance of calories as well. The best solution is to discuss the matter with their doctor.

Dr. Doan Thu Hong

Vietnam Institute of Applied Medicine - VIAM

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