After 9 long months of pregnancy, I couldn’t wait to get my body back in shape after a 25 pound weight gain, mostly in the final month. I had a detailed plan to exercise and eat healthy right after the birth. I really thought losing the weight would be a piece of cake…even if I had a few too many pieces of cake throughout the pregnancy! The sweet tooth was real!
When I found out that the baby was breach and would need to schedule a c-section, I learned that this also meant a longer recovery time and no working out for six weeks. I tried everything to move my baby boy into the head down direction. I made an appointment for moxibustion, a chinese medicine involving practically burning your toes off, accupuncture, chiropractic techniques (including the Webster Technique), massage, inversions (basically standing on my head!), meditation, yoga, and the medical procedure called a version. Ultimately, none of these panned out, I scheduled my c-section, and gave birth to my beautiful baby boy.During my recovery, the doctor had me on a strict order to not work out for six weeks. I was also eating SO much. Let me tell you, breastfeeding made me ravenous. This was a recipe for a BIG FAT disaster. My optimistic weight loss plans were looking bleak and I realized if I didn’t take action, I would just gain more during the postpartum eating frenzy. I put a plan together and stuck to it and I am now happy to say I am rocking my skinny jeans again!
So, I will share some of my tips for you lovely mamas out there who may be wondering how to achieve the seemingly impossible.
- Avoid sugar! Breastfeeding makes me so ravenous….3 times hungrier than when I was pregnant. I had such a sweet tooth during pregnancy and knew that if I kept it up during my post-partum days, my body would hold on to any and all fat cells for dear life!
- Get moving! Even if it’s for 5 minutes, 5 times a day. After my c-section, I was exhausted for weeks. I felt like I couldn’t move a muscle. My biggest piece of advice is to let someone else do the tough stuff like cooking, cleaning and laundry. You should focus on caring for your baby and going on at least one walk a day! It’s sooo important to get moving and get some fresh air. At first, I could only walk for 15 minutes and I built up to an hour. Now, I am taking my baby on jogs through our very ‘hilly’ neighborhood and my body has completely adjusted. It just takes TIME! You can also sign up for a local postnatal yoga class or baby/mama jogging group. You and your baby will both benefit from the fresh air and the new friendships you will make.
- Meditate and Breathe! A calm mama is a happy mama and with the lack of sleep and exhaustion your body is going through, it can be tough to lose weight. The increase of cortisol, the stress hormone that encourages fat cells to produce, is silently making us gain weight. Take 5-10 minutes a day to meditate and deeply breathe. I lay my yoga mat out and my baby does a little yoga and meditation with me. We both absolutely love it…I catch him smiling at all of my zen poses!
- Don’t weigh yourself daily! It’s just too depressing. Step on the scale once a week. Pick the same day, same time of day (preferably first thing in the morning), and wear the same attire. Soon, you will begin to see the number drop and it will feel like you’ve won the lottery! Don’t expect it to all drop at once. Have patience and the rest will follow.
- Get ‘ready’ every morning! As new mamas, we all know it’s easy to get into the rut of staying in our pj’s or sweats all day with our newborns. By the end of the day, our husbands come home to a hot mess with spit up in the hair and breast milk dried up on our tops. It’s not cute, and certainly not sexy. Getting pretty in the morning will inspire you to get your body back in shape sooner. I don’t mean you have to do full hair and makeup, but if you feel good about yourself and happy when you look in the mirror, you will have more confidence. You may even start to feel excited to return to romance with your partner. The inspiration will really go a long way during the day and help you reach for healthier foods, more protein and veggies and tons of water! You will see the pounds drop…especially if you are breastfeeding and already burning those extra 500 calories.
I wish you all tons of good luck…and can’t wait to hear success stories from ya’ll!