It seems the pressures to loose the excess baby weight are coming from everywhere… Or are they really just coming from yourself? The second the baby is out, we are worried about our bodies bouncing back again and reading all the articles about celebrities and ‘how did she do it.’ Before you worry about the loosing excess baby bulge, let’s look at what’s going on with your body.
For the past 9 or so months your body has been busy growing a human…. growing a human!!! You have been the vessel that supports, grows and nurtures human life. That in itself is a major, major accomplishment, so make sure you celebrate it and thank your body for the amazing achievement it has just accomplished.
Now let’s think about the hormones that are currently going crazy in your system. It’s not enough that your trying to recover from the birth, care for a new born baby and feeling utterly exhausted, but your hormones are going crazy. Your body produces extra oestrogen and progesterone during your pregnancy to ensure a healthy pregnancy, but about a week after the birth those levels drop, leaving you an emotional wreck. During this time its important you concentrate on looking after yourself and your growing family. Don’t dwell on the weightloss, it will just leave you feeling even more emotional and probably looking for the chocolate!
During this time take simple steps to look after yourself. Try to take a shower everyday, drink plenty of fluids (especially if breastfeeding), and don’t be afraid to cry if you need to. Having a baby is a massive adjustment, whether its your first baby or your third.
Once your hormones calm down and you find yourself settling into some kind of routine, now it might be your time to think about the pregnancy weight. It is important to understand that this process isn’t going to happen overnight, pregnancy weight can be tough to move, so again give yourself lets of time, patience and understanding.
Now lets look at the practicalities of what you can do:
- Don’t try diets! Diets are short term plans, often working for a short period and then you either fall off the wagon because its not sustainable or you simply plateau and stop losing weight. Most people who try a fad diet end up putting all of the weight back on, and more.
- Clean out your fridge and pantry. Take a look in your cupboards, fridge, freezer and even the bedroom drawer and take out all of the junk. Being tired, emotional and hungry is a combination for poor food choices. Once you have removed the junk, its time to re-fill the pantry and fridge with fresh produce. Think of this as not only caring for yourself, but your new baby as well. A healthy mum is going to be a happier mum. Stock up on fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, grains and dairy.
- Plan your weekly meals. Before doing the shop think about what you plan to eat for the week. Consider snacks, eating on the go, how much time you will have to cook and making extra portions for the freezer. If you are struggling to find time to cook ordering some healthy pre-made meals for a period of time may be a great option for you. There are some great online companies these days that will deliver fresh meals straight to your door, such as youfoodz (see my blog on nutrition)
- Get moving! After I had my son I realised the importance of having a good pram that I could take on walks to get me out of the house. Just about everyday, rain or shine, I would make sure to leave the house and pound the pavement. I would walk to the shops, to the botanical gardens or just around the block. Not only does it give you a break from the craziness of the house, but it gets your heart rate up and starts to burn calories.
- Workout with bub. If the thought of getting out of the house is all to overwhelming you might like to try working out at home with bub. If you have a carrier you can actually wear baby while you complete some simple at home exercises, or you can have the little one hanging out on the floor or in a bouncer. If you go down this route try to make yourself accountable for your workouts and stick to a plan. The days can get away from you, so try and plan when you can workout and give it as much focus as you can. It might only be 20mins a day, but that is all you need to get you started.
- Head to the gym. If your like me and love the gym or are ready to get started, this might be a good time. Many gyms offer creche services for a weekly fee. Generally they operate 6 mornings a week for about 4-5 hours and you can utilise them as many times a week as you like. That way you are never far from your baby, but you get to enjoy a bit of time all to yourself. My son went into a gym creche from about 6 weeks old and I have never looked back. He is now 2 and a half and he still goes to the gym creche 5 days a week. Its also a great way to meet other parents and develop a support network.
- Ignore the scales! Chances are you don’t weight the same as what you did before becoming pregnant… That’s because you had a baby! Don’t even think about the scales, throw them away. Focus on how you feel.
There is 4 months difference between these 2 pics for me. But remember I was able to workout and continue my gym routine right up until Odin was born and prior to being pregnant I was working out 5 days a week. Not everyone is able to continue their exercise routine while pregnant and you may not have been exercising before falling pregnant. That doesn’t mean you cant achieve great results, it just means you need to take things slow, take care of yourself and appreciate what you have just been through.