Don’t hate me. I’m not one of those “skinny girls”–honestly– I’m one of those “average girls.” I’ve never been terribly overweight–but I’ve spent most of my adult life wishing I could lose 10-20 pounds. I’m saying that because I look at blogs a lot of these super skinny, crazy athletic women (go them!) and I think, well THAT’s never gonna happen….But I’m writing to tell you that there’s hope for your postpartum body! Regardless of where you start, having babies does not mean you’re going to frumpy and uncomfortable forever!
While “getting your body back” is not a priority for many–it was for me. I know pregnancy and birth are amazing and creating a human takes work and we need to go easy on ourselves and our bodies–but I wanted to feel like me again! I DID want my body “back!” Pregnancy was HARD and I wanted to feel like myself again, soon!
Everyone’s body is different. Everyone reacts different to pregnancy, and EVERYONE’s body is different after giving birth. Expecting to look/feel/BE exactly the same as you were before is unrealistic for everyone–we’re not the same! Our bodies and lives are
different better now, and it’s all because we GREW A BABY WITH OUR BODIES. So first and foremost, cut yourself some slack. Allow time to heal. Be smart. Go easy.
Here’s some tips that worked for ME, and maybe they’ll work for you too!
- Take pregnancy health seriously. I think this is really basically the ONLY reason I was able to lose my baby weight so soon–because it was just that–BABY weight! So many women take pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever they want and “get fat.” Well…if that’s your mentality, that’s what’s going to happen! And when you gain weight during pregnancy that has nothing do with being pregnant (and has more to do with the gallons of ice cream and dozens of donuts you “treat” yourself with) it doesn’t just fall off once the baby is born. Eat healthy and exercise DURING pregnancy, and you’ll have a much healthier postpartum.
- Watch your pregnancy weight–but not too closely! This might sound hypocritical to what I just said, so let me clarify–I gained weight during my pregnancy!! A LOT actually! I gained somewhere around 40 pounds (I didn’t weigh myself much, so I don’t have an exact number) but the weight was THERE. What I didn’t do was focus on the number. Why? Because I was eating right. I was exercising. I was drinking water. I was taking good care of myself, and not gorging on treats and sweets, which meant that the weight I was gaining was true “baby weight.”
- Breastfeed. Undoubtedly this is what did it for me. Within the first couple weeks–when I was still laying in bed or on the couch all day, eating whatever food people brought us, and I lost about half my “baby weight.” Within the next couple week, another 10 pounds were gone. I had about 10 pounds to go after a month and half or so, and lost that within the next few months. Why did my weight just “melt off?” I have to give all that glory to breastfeeding! I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but given all the other amazing benefits of BF, it’s certainly worth a try!
- Postpartum belly wrapping. Like I said, I did gain a lot of weight while pregnant, but it was baby weight, which for me meant it was BELLY weight. MY. BELLY. WAS. HUGE. After delivering my little guy, my belly felt SO weird, so gross…it was even difficult for me to breath at times because all that weight/pressure was suddenly gone! I started belly wrapping within in a day just because it felt so weird to have my postpartum belly hanging there with no support. I used a Gold’s Gym Waist Trimmer pre-pregnancy when working out, and it was actually perfect for postpartum! It’s completely adjustable, so I could make it as snug or loose at I wanted. I made sure to wear it OVER my shirt for a while, since it is made to make you sweat(dehydrate your skin), which you don’t want while your skin is reshaping! There’s many types of postpartum girdles, so check them out and give one a try!
- Take it easy, and give yourself time! I was given the advice to spend “One week IN bed, one week ON the bed (or couch), and one week NEAR the bed (or couch)” and I followed it! Since we had a home birth, we really didn’t need to leave the house for a few weeks. I DID go places, but I took it easy. I rested. I stopped. I laid in bed. I made sure to NOT over do it or push myself. There are times for that–but the weeks following birth is NOT one of them! Cut yourself some slack. You’ve just done something amazing.