As a first time mother, I remember walking out of the hospital after giving birth and wondering why I still looked 6 months pregnant. On the other hand, I had friends who walked out 24 hours later looking as though they had only eaten a large meal. That was step number one in the battle of “how long will it take for me to return to my pre-baby weight”. Tip #1 – Don’t set your expectations too high. Remember that everyone and every body is different.
Most information you read will suggest that most women will lose half their baby weight in the first 6 weeks, but most of it should be gone by 6-12 months after delivery. I was lucky enough to be able to breast feed my first child and had again had the expectation that this alone would take care of the extra baby weight I was still carrying. After 6 months I had finally had enough and approached my husband, who is a dietitan, and asked what was I to do. I hadn’t yet returned to my pre-baby weight. Well, his response wasn’t rocket science – it was time to hone in on my nutrition and get back to some consistent exercise. Tip #2 – Keep it simple. Eat good food and move more.
Pregnancy 2 wasn’t too much different. Lucky for me the only craving I had was iced water, but I still managed to put on more weight than last time. I wasn’t able to breast feed so the weight took a little more effort to come off but I was able to start working on my nutrition a lot sooner this time round and I started moving more consistently. Tip #3 – Start to create good habits as quickly as possible.
I often hear people say that they will lose their baby weight after they have finished having all their kids. This brings me to Tip #4 – Try and get back into shape between each pregnancy – it will make each pregnancy and birth a lot easier to cope with physically and mentally.
By the time pregnancy 3 came around, I had things down pat. Whilst I wasn’t able to exercise during this pregnancy, I still kept moving as much as possible. My eating habits were much better, and luckily I still only craved iced water, but I still had to be diligent after the birth to bring that weight back down. Tip #5 – Make realistic goals. This is no time for fad diets. You are not a movie star who can employ a nanny so you can get adequate sleep, or a chef so that you can eat well. However, you can get yourself a coach and a community to support you through the journey.
We have had and still have some amazing mothers in our community at Ariston and we love to watch them travel through their pregnancies by modifying movements to suit their needs. The coaches at Ariston are certainly here to assist them to return to exercise and good nutritional habits post pregnancy.
Written by Coach Kellie Walker