Most mothers figure that delivering their child will allow them to drop the bulk of their baby weight right then and there. After all, that baby probably weighed between 5 and 10 pounds, so once he’s out of there, you should look quite a bit lighter right? Unfortunately that is rarely the case. Although you may feel lighter, giving birth does not eradicate baby weight. So here’s the first thing to remember: your body shrunk and expanded to accommodate this tiny living being, and it’s not going to just snap back into place once said little human is no longer there.
Where is hat weight coming from?
Your baby is actually not the only thing contributing to baby weight, when pregnant your body changes quite a bit to accommodate him. So your uterus, your blood supply, your tissue and your fat stores will increase. Because of all these changes, your body may not change drastically after birth. The first step is just to wait six weeks and let it get used to not lodging a small human being anymore. Your uterus will shrink back to its initial size and you will slowly reclaim your body.
But here’s the second thing to remember: give yourself a break. You just grew and then birthed another living being into this world. Don’t focus on getting back to where you were, focus on enjoying where you are now. Getting back to your initial weight can take time, and having a baby will change your life, and your body forever.
Breastfeeding: an easy way to shed those pounds
Shedding the 20 or more pounds you gained during pregnancy may seem like an impossible task, but unlike any other diet there is one easy trick to speed up the process: breastfeeding! Breastfeeding will help you loose that baby weight like nothing else. In fact, depending in how much milk you produce you can burn about 500 calories off just feeding your child. Breastfeeding will also trigger hormones that allow the shrinking of the uterus (and therefore your belly).
Going on a post-baby diet
Breastfeeding will unfortunately not be enough to shed all your extra pounds, and you might be in need of a little dieting. Always remember that your calorie intake when you’re nursing needs to be greater than during the last trimester of pregnancy. That gives you an idea of just how demanding breastfeeding is.
First things first: make sure you consult with your doctor and get his okay. Keep in mind that drastic dieting can be dangerous and counter productive. Not eating enough will actually slow down your metabolism, so it’s important you make sure your calorie deficit per day is 500 or less. Also if you’re still nursing, both you and your baby need strength. When you go on a diet, so does he, so make sure you do it right!
It’s true that taking care of an infant can leave little time for anything else, and like most mothers, when he’s sleeping, so are you! So working out on a regular basis can definitely be a challenge. Just keep in mind that every little things helps, so even if you only get your heart rate up for just five minutes a day, you will be able to see improvements fast.
It’s important to remember that your mental and physical well being are linked, and that moving your body a bit to some loud music can be highly therapeutic. Your child deserves a happy mom, so make sure you don’t abandon all your needs when mothering.
The bottom line
It can be tough to look at the women portrayed in the media and not feel insecure and unattractive after giving birth. It’s normal to feel vulnerable, but you have to remember that they have access to private trainers, nannies and photoshop. Give yourself a break, you have just accomplished the miracle of life, it’s okay if your body looks a little different after. Make sure to stay positive throughout the process, and to not get frustrated. Lastly, don’t be afraid of asking for a little help. It’s not because you carried this child alone for nine months that you have to do it all now! Make sure you tell your partner, family or friends when you need a break, or a little support. This is a new situation for them and they are probably transitioning too!
Get more information on how built-in shapewear can help you look and feel amazing postpartum.