If you’re a new mom, you’re probably eager to lose the baby weight. Let me tell you there’s no quick and easy way to do it, but it’s certainly possible. This is how I fit back into my skinny jeans after having a baby!
Follow my blog and join me on a health and fitness journey!
I have plenty of personal experience on post-baby weight.
I had my first baby through natural childbirth when I was in my 20s. Recovery was quick and easy. I had no problems at all shedding the baby weight.
I had my second baby when I was in my 30s. I gained a lot more weight during that pregnancy, and then I ended up having an emergency C-section. After the birth, I was left with a huge, vertical scar and big mommy belly. It was also a lot more difficult to fit back into my pants this time around.
Finally, I had my third baby right before I turned 40. I gained 50 pounds and had another C-section, and this was the hardest, most painful recovery of all. I had to work extremely hard and really concentrate on the goal to lose the extra weight. Not easy and quick at all.
And by the way, breastfeeding alone didn’t help me lose any fat. I know many moms out there swear all they had to do was breastfeed and the weight fell right off but sadly, I’m not one of them.
I lost weight through honest, hard work and effort. It took me 18 months, but I did it. I lost all the baby weight and then some. And if I could do it, I think you can too.
It doesn’t matter how impossible it seems, you should never lose hope, ladies!
Here’s the best advice I can give you on how to lose the baby weight, no matter if you’ve been through a natural birth or a C-section.
How to Lose Weight After Having a Baby
1. Listen to your doctor
There’s a lot of old wive’s tales about how to slim down after having a baby, but be careful which ones you try. Your doctor is the one who can best tell you how to eat a healthy diet and when to start exercising. He or she might even recommend taking things slow, and you should listen to this advice. Don’t put yourself at risk by dieting or trying crazy workouts. Listen to your doctor!
2. Go at your own pace
It can be maddening to watch all those celebrity moms who got a flat stomach only days after having a baby. But that might not be realistic for you. Your body works at its own pace and you can’t torture it to make it go faster.
Don’t compare yourself to other moms. Everyone’s body is different. Some moms are able to jump right back on the treadmill and others take a long time before they feel ready to start working out again. Listen to your body and take your time.
Being a mom is hard enough. Don’t make it harder by putting so much pressure on yourself.
3. Stand up straight
Good posture is crucial to flattening your mommy abs.
Pregnancy and childbirth do a number on your core muscles and leave you with a jiggling belly and a weak back. Poor posture is a consequence of this, but it’s also a problem. Slouching will further weaken your core and make it harder for you to flatten your belly. It will also give you back pain for years to come.
So remember to stand up straight!
If you would like more support, try wearing a girdle. Personally, I found wearing one helped me maintain good posture, even while breastfeeding, and therefore helped to strengthen my core.
The girdle also helped control my fear that my C-section stitches would suddenly burst open. I know there wasn’t any real chance of that happening, but the fear gave me nightmares. And the girdle helped. A lot.
4. Don’t eat junk
You probably gave in to a lot of cravings when you were pregnant, but now is the time to stop. You don’t need ice cream and chips to breastfeed properly, believe me.
What you do need is lots of water, veggies, fruits, lean protein, and healthy fats. Forget about burgers, pizza, takeout, chips, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, donuts, and lattes.
I know that stuff is delicious, but it won’t help your body at all. Throw out the junk and start eating real food. Your body and your baby will thank you for it.
5. Don’t go on a crazy diet
It’s one thing to stop eating junk, but it’s quite another to stop eating altogether. It’s never a good idea to go on a crazy diet, much less after having a baby. You need to eat nutritious food for your body to recover and make breastmilk, so please forget about dieting.
Perhaps eating healthy food with a newborn in your hands is practically impossible, so just do what you can. Start by avoiding junk food and you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor. When the baby is a little older and you have settled into a routine, you can start eating healthier food.
6. Drink water
Did I say that already? I’ll say it again. You need to drink lots of water to fight inflammation and make breastmilk.
You can make infused water or drink ice water, but you have to drink up.
Forget about soda, juice, and lattes. Drink water and you’ll be doing your body a huge favor.
7. Go for walks
I know you’re probably tired and about to have a breakdown from the lack of sleep, but you have to get some physical activity into your day.
Walking isn’t easy because having a newborn is physically and mentally exhausting, but setting time aside for a daily walk should be as much a priority as eating. Walking is one of the best ways to help your body recover from natural childbirth or a C-section.
On the plus side, you could also use this time to take your baby out for a stroll. And don’t forget to stand up straight!
I started going out for daily walks 10 days after my C-section, and it was truly difficult for me. Recovery was extremely painful and simply moving about was excruciating, but I kept at it. No matter how hard walking can be, it’s even worse not to move your body.
You can start with a short, 5-minute walk and work up from there. Go at your own pace and listen to your body, but get moving.
8. Start doing low-impact exercises
When your doctor gives you the green light, start doing low-impact workouts.
Low-impact means there’s no jumping or pounding the floor. These kind of workouts are easier on your joints, which are still loose from the pregnancy and sensitive for carrying around extra weight.
But don’t be fooled! Just because a workout is low-impact doesn’t mean it’s not challenging. Again, go at your own pace. If you feel like you can’t go on or if you’re in pain, stop and see your doctor.
From personal experience, I can tell you it’s totally possible to breastfeed and exercise. I did both for more than a year without a problem. Just make sure you breastfeed before your workout, drink plenty of water during exercise, and take a shower before you breastfeed again. And get a good sports bra, or wear two if you have to.
Make sure you feel ready to start exercising. I started doing low-impact workouts two months after my C-section, but everyone’s body is different. Listen to yours.
9. Tone your abs and pelvic floor
The worst part about a post-partum body is the huge, flabby belly. Am I right?
As unpleasant as this belly can be, it should be comforting to know it’s just temporary. Your muscles, skin, and uterus are all stretched out and it takes time for them to get back to normal.
Of course, you can help your body recover by eating healthy food, drinking lots of water, going out for walks, and checking your posture. And also by working on your core and pelvic muscles.
To start toning your abs, do this simple exercise as soon as you feel able. Lie down on your back and bend your knees. Inhale slowly and deeply and let your chest and abdomen fill up with air. Next, exhale slowly as you pull in your navel towards your spine. Do at least 10 reps every day and work up to more.
Eventually, you’ll want to start doing “belly-flattening” exercises like crunches and sit-ups but don’t. Doing planks is a much better way to tone your post-partum abs and core. Planks are the way to go even if you’ve had a C-section or if you have diastasis recti.
Your pelvic floor is also stretched out during pregnancy, and you should work to make sure it gets back in shape if you don’t want to pee every time you sneeze.
Kegels are the best way to tone your pelvic floor. Sit or lie down with your knees bent. Inhale slowly and then exhale as you tighten your pelvic floor muscles like you’re trying to keep from peeing. Hold it for a few seconds and then inhale again. Do 10 reps at first and work up to more. You can even do 10 reps three times a day.
As always, check with your doctor before you try any kind of workout.
10. Be patient
Like I said, losing the baby weight takes plenty of time and effort, but it’s certainly not impossible.
However, you have to be patient with your body. Changes won’t happen overnight, but if you’re consistent you’ll see results after a while. How long will it take you to fit back into your pants? That depends on your genes, on the weight you gained, and on how consistent you are with your efforts.
It took me 18 months to lose the baby weight and fit back into my skinny jeans. Perhaps you’ll be able to shed the weight faster. Who knows?
But whatever you do, don’t give up. You might have a hard time getting rid of the baby fat, but you shouldn’t quit just because the weight doesn’t melt right off. I know it can be frustrating to hear Kim Kardashian was prancing around in a bikini 3 months after she gave birth, but give your body time to recover and you’ll be able to get back into shape.
After all, your body just grew and popped out another human being. How amazing is that? If your body can do that, it can certainly fit back into those skinny jeans. All it needs is a little healthy TLC.
Be healthy, be happy, and enjoy your beautiful baby!