Let’s talk about a woman’s body after baby. Yes, the post-pregnancy body. Let me preface this with I’m not a professional trainer or nutritionist. This is what worked for me; however, this may not be the same case for everyone. I’ve learned and heard what may work for you after your first or second child may not work for you after your third. Our bodies vary from person to person and from period to period. I do believe that maintaining a relatively healthy lifestyle (moderate activity and healthy but tasty eating) will always help, during pregnancy, after pregnancy, toddler years, and the future.
I’m proud to say that I lost all my baby weight 6 months after having Eva. I did so by breastfeeding, moderate activity, and eating relatively healthy.
Breastfeeding: If you’re able to, do it! I believed my sister-in-law when she said it helped but didn’t think it would help that much. Honestly, I was shocked by how much weight I lost when I went to my family practitioner for my annual physical, which was 6 months after birth (and by no means am I bragging). I thought I was still carrying a couple more pounds (that baby pooch is deceiving). But breastfeeding also left me RAVENOUS. I was always hungry.
Eating: I ate what I wanted but made sure I was eating healthy and was practicing portion control. I was always hungry when I first started breastfeeding, so I always had (still do) fruits, veggies, crackers, cheese, nuts, etc. on hand to snack on. I found myself eating 2 hours after dinner, which was probably an hour or two before bedtime, which in the dieting books is a no-no. But I ate. I was responsible for nursing another person and needed the nutrients to do so. But when I did eat, I tried to make sure I was making the healthier choice and when I did indulge, it was in moderation. And indulge I did. Especially the sweet tooth I developed during pregnancy, but I was very mindful of my intake. (3 -5 small bites for me usually satisfies my cravings. Mini rant: I absolutely cannot STAND how companies don’t have more snack packs/make smaller portions. I really don’t need THAT much food. I just want a small taste to satisfy my craving. I suppose it’s the American culture. Get more for your money. Then end up paying for it via the waist line.) Moderation. Moderation. Moderation. Make healthier choices over bad ones.
Moderate activity: I thought I’d be that mom who’d bounce right back and workout after pregnancy. I seriously laugh at the things I said I would do pre-Eva/during pregnancy. Clearly, I was delusional. I went to a baby boot camp class 5 weeks after having Eva and didn’t work out again 3 months after that class. At that time, I did some cardio for about 2 weeks and then stopped. I tried, but chose to spend time with Eva instead, especially after work. During the first couple of months after Eva was born, we tried going on daily walks, which helped. During this workout hiatus from birth to 8 months, I tried to make the right choice in terms of activity. As lazy as I can be from time to time, I tried to make an effort and would choose to walk to my destination as opposed to driving (when possible and not completely lazy).
3 months after having Eva and about 5-10 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.
My purposes for working out again are both selfish and unselfish. While I may not need to lose weight at this point, I’d like to tone my body. I didn’t believe my cousin when she said she had lost all her pregnancy weight but everything was in different places. Wait, WHAT?!? Well, it’s true! I’ve lost all this pregnancy weight but my rear has since deflated. I’d like to say I had a decent badonkadonk (Not firm but not flabby. And yes, I’m using that term) pre-pregnancy, but since getting pregnant and having Eva, gravity has not been my friend. We went from fab to flab. Arms, belly, booty, and thighs. All the trouble zones you would expect after pregnancy. I’m trying to work on all that right now. Especially since I’d like to look lean for my big 3-0 this summer (told you it was selfish). But I still haven’t figured out my regimen. 3 days of cardio, 2 days of strength? Vice Versa? Or cardio for 15-20 everyday and targeted strength moves everyday? Currently, I’m doing the couch to 5k (3x a week) plus Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones DVD (1-2x a week). There’s also P90x, Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred, Nike Training Club App, Fitness Blender, etc. I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll be doing for sure. It’s kind of exercise roulette right now.
But seriously, my unselfish reason for working out? Eva. She’s crawling everywhere (pretty fast too), pulling herself up all over the place, and getting into EVERYTHING (it’s pretty exhausting). Soon enough, she’ll be walking and running. I need the stamina to keep up with her and the strength to tow her around (she’s not heavy but I can definitely feel my back ache when carrying her for a period of time). I want to be right there with her rolling around on the floor and running in the grass. I LOVE experiencing life again through her eyes.
Parent or not, what are you fitness tips to staying in shape? Do you follow a certain regimen? If so, what? For moms, what are you doing to get your pre-pregnancy body back?