Let’s talk about pregnancy weight. Does this sound familiar to you? – “I gained 70lbs, and the experience of trying to lose it was really interesting, because I’d never been in a situation where I realised I really needed to lose quite a few pounds. So I’d lose 10lbs and then I’d plateau at 150 and stay there forever. It was really discouraging.
But I didn’t change anything – you just have to push through it. Like anything, if you want to be successful you have to put the hours in.” Believe it or not this came from Kate Hudson, who apparently eschewed the intense post-pregnancy workout favoured by so many celebs in favour of a more relaxed, time honoured approach to her post-birth weight loss.
We must say we welcome her move – as a study by the Royal College of Midwives pointed out recently, 6 out of 10 women feel pressured into getting back in shape having witnessed celebrities do just that after giving birth. It’s easy to forget that these mums can A) afford all the nannies, personal trainers and dieticians they need, and B) their careers, for better or worse, often depend on staying slim and conventionally ‘hot’. For us mere mortals, doctors have pointed out that losing weight too rapidly can release toxins into the bloodstream and breast milk supply, so you should approach every post-baby diet with the usual ‘Mum’s Special Common Sense’.
We need all the energy they can get whilst looking after a newborn, so it’s recommended you wait until three months post-partum before beginning exercise and dieting. Foods to focus on include whole grain products like wheat bread and cereals along with fresh fruit and raw vegetables. Simply cutting out one or two snacks a week can make a huge difference, and you needn’t stay away from fat altogether – just go for the mono and polyunsaturated ones found in avocados, olives, nuts, seeds and fatty fish like salmon.
Even breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day, and there are plenty of exercises you can do which incorporate that little bundle of joy. Try going for a walk/jog/run with him or her in their baby stroller, or maybe keep all their changing equipment upstairs, so a quick journey up and down is required whenever they need a new nappy (which may end up being rather more often than you would like).
You can even try dancing around the living room, either whilst carrying your baby or with them watching from the high chair. It’s a great way to get your blood pumping and to lift both of your spirits. So while it is important to lose those excess pounds at some point, it’s equally important not to feel discouraged when the scale needle just won’t budge. It did take 9 months to put the weight on after all – it won’t fall off overnight.
How was your experience losing weight after giving birth? Are you dreading the prospect of squeezing back into your normal clothes? Let us know in the comments below…