The Performance Mentor
Losing Weight After Having a Baby
Title: Losing Weight After Having a Baby
How long does it usually take for your stomach to go down after having a baby? How easy is it to lose baby weight? Do we lose weight when we’re breastfeeding? How much weight do we lose when we give birth? These are just some of the questions mom usually ask when having a baby. Know that no matter how much pregnancy weight you lose initially, eventually you’ll hit that “Why aren’t my clothes getting any looser?” plateau.
Losing weight after having a baby is really difficult because having a baby changes your life and your body too. One of the few things new moms notice after having a baby is the fact that they still look several months pregnant even though it’s been a while since you gave birth. But hey, that’s just normal since you had that baby inside you for nine whole months. It takes about four weeks for your uterus to contract back to its normal size. Many women would lose about 8 to 20 pounds during that first two weeks as your body gets rid of those extra fluid. It will also take time for your hips and pelvic area to shift back to its pre-pregnancy state, so it’s normal for things to be out of whack after giving birth.
You can read every book but the truth is we are all different and you never know what experience you will have. You may not be able to breastfeed, you may have a Caesarean section (C-Section) which does not allow you to overdo it as it’s a major surgery, you have to stay in the hospital and you have about 6 weeks recovery.
There are actually a lot of things we can do to lose weight but before doing anything, you need to get a clearance first from your doctor. Breastfeeding can actually help you lose weight, requiring an extra 500 calories from you a day and helping reduce some of the fat you gained during pregnancy. If you do breastfeed, we have to make sure you’re giving your body the fuel it needs for the extra energy demand. If you’re still breastfeeding, diet has no time for you yet. Restricting yourself from gaining too much calories may reduce your milk supply and loosing too much weight, let’s say approximately 2 pounds a week, can actually release toxins that winds up in your milk. But the good thing is, you can still exercise even when breastfeeding.
Studies show that moderate exercise can’t affect milk production as long as you’re giving your body enough calories. You may be keen to lose weight by ramping your daily activities, but exercise can be very tough during the first few months after giving birth. So, here are some ways to make it easier to fit exercise into your life:
- Split your workouts: Short workouts spread throughout the day are just as effective as continuous workouts.
- Do things you like and that will relax you, like swimming, sauna and steams.
- See a trainer for prenatal yoga or exercise.
- Do a baby and mommy class. This way you don’t need a babysitter.
- Join a prenatal group, some moms do park sessions for losing weight and also learning activities for the babies on other days.
- Use your baby as a weight. Make sure you swap the arm you carry the baby to balance yourself out. Of course this is not for newborns.
- Keep it simple: Take some laps around the house or trips up and down the stairs.
- Find support: Talk to your friends, family or neighbors about how they’ve handled having a baby and staying up in shape.
- Focus on what’s important: Giving yourself permission to enjoy your baby and your body, even if it’s not what you hoped it would be.