Every woman wants to lose their weight and tighten up their body immediately after baby is here, but is this desire really physically, mentally and emotionally safe? There are so many factors involved in any woman’s particular body in recalibrating back to how it was prior to the 9-10 months of metamorphosis that just took place. Yes, metamorphosis! Meaning that, there has just been a very distinct change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means. So, it makes total sense that many studies say that it can take, at MINIMUM, the length of a full-term pregnancy to get a new mom’s body back to its pre-pregnancy size and shape; a MINIMUM….
1. Working out too early and too hard
The typical women who have had vaginal delivery are aggressively recommended to wait 6-10 weeks before beginning any post partum exercise program. Of course, the exception is how well the body handled the term of pregnancy in the first place. If the body held up well, then the 6-10 week period may be shortened, but medical clearance should be sought after before starting back into any exercise routine. If medical clearance isn’t sought out, then working out too early and too hard can cause complications like diastasis recti, which is the separation of the abdominal wall, and can lead to a ton of other complications as well. Please give your body time to adjust back to normal.
2. Calorie intake
This is such a misnomer. Especially if you are breastfeeding, because you want to provide adequate nutrition and calories for baby, but at the same time you may be intaking too many calories, which is causing a major stall in weight loss or even a slight increase. Try to focus on moderation with slight increases in healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil and nuts, whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice, green leafy vegetables, and of course, fresh lean proteins like fish or chicken.
3. Lack of Sleep
Let’s be honest and real here, sleep is hard to come by for at least the first year of baby. Not to mention, if you are a first time mother, or a mother that hasn’t given birth in a long time, there is an added stress of worrying about baby when baby does go to sleep. So sleep is definitely few and far between in the first year or so of post pregnancy. Unfortunately, sleep is a MAJOR factor in WEIGHT LOSS. A restful night sleep decreases, cortisol levels increase, which results in a mom’s INABILITY and anybody else’s INABILITY to burn calories efficiently. During these loving, but trying times, keep your cortisol levels down by trying to keep caffeine consumption to a minimum. Also, try to keep your stress to a minimum and DO NOT overexert yourself in your exercise. This will cause you to stress out even more because you will notice that you can’t exercise like you use to yet.
This isn’t the most popular word, but it has to be taken seriously. You have to be patient with your body. The seemingly quick and easy fix usually isn’t the solution to post partum weight loss. With constantly being inundated with extreme weight loss plans and drugs, it makes being patient, an absolute joke. Please, if you can, consider everything that has just taken place in your body and take a moment to be thankful and know that the same body that you had then, is still in there NOW, but it will just take some time to get it back. Not forever, but just a little time. Start with small goals of walking and trying to lose between 0 – 1.25lbs a week and before you know it, you will be well on your way to being back to your previous self again.