I was always one of those women who thought I’d bounce right back into shape after having a baby. With my first one, I was right. Within a year, I weighed less than I did before I got pregnant and felt the best I had in my whole life. With my second baby, I wasn’t so lucky. Although I ate super healthy throughout my pregnancy and worked up until the day before I had my son, I packed on a lot of weight. I found it difficult to lose the weight after delivery until I implemented some of these tips. If you’re struggling with baby bulge, you’re not alone, and there are things you can do to help.
If You Can (and Want To), Breastfeed
Breastfeeding is one of the most natural ways to lost weight after a pregnancy. You don’t even have to do much of the work because your baby and body do it for you. Breastfeeding burns calories like crazy because your body continuously burns them as it works to replenish your milk supply. I wasn’t able to breastfeed either one of my children for longer than a month due to complications, unfortunately. But, I know several moms who swear that doing so has helped them get their bodies back quicker. While it’s not plausible for every woman, it’s something to consider if you can and want to.
Diet the Right Way
Crash dieting is the wrong way to go for anyone, but it’s especially harmful to women after giving birth. Your body heals for weeks to months after having a baby. You need plenty of calories and nutrients to let it do that. Depriving yourself of food isn’t going to help anything besides make you irritable and slower to heal. If you want to diet, opt for a healthy diet. Counting calories shouldn’t be your number one priority. But, if you want to do it, you should do so only under the direction and opinion of your doctor. Add healthy fruits, vegetables, fiber, and protein to your meals to provide the balance your body needs.
Listen to Your Body
Your doc might also tell you not to engage in a fitness routine until after your 6-week checkup (and maybe even longer). However, most will say that very light exercise, like short walks or light yoga, can help you stay active and help the healing process even before that checkup. Never start any exercise before consulting with your doctor though. And, when you do, listen to what your body says. There’s no reason to push yourself past your limits, which can interfere with healing. Your well-being comes first, and your weight loss needs to follow your body’s healing process.
Don’t Have Ridiculous Expectations
No two women will lose weight the same way after having a baby. And, no two pregnancies are the same, even if they’re both yours! Just because your friend can fit into her size 4 jeans within three months after delivering doesn’t mean you will. Just because you lost 20 pounds in a month with your first pregnancy doesn’t you’re your second will be the same. Remember that your body is doing what it needs to do for you and your baby. I realized that, with my second baby, my body wasn’t acting the same after at all. I was in intense pain, so much so that it hurt to walk even three months later. Once I realized this pregnancy wasn’t the same as my first, it was easier for me to accept that my weight loss wouldn’t be the same either. So, forget about the weight loss and bond with your baby. Your body will do what it needs to do in its own time.