After a long 9 months of carrying a baby, and all the aches and pains that go along with it, getting your body back to yourself after giving birth feels so good!
Well, except for that extra weight you put on while you were pregnant.
And while that extra weight served you and your baby well, most moms don’t need or want to carry it around for the rest of their lives.
So what’s the best way for new moms to lose that baby weight?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a super fast way to lose that baby weight, especially if you want to stay healthy and maintain a good milk supply.
The best way to lose that extra pregnancy weight is with good old fashioned diet and exercise.
I know, it wasn’t what you wanted to hear.
But the good news is that it CAN come off, and it doesn’t require hours of working out or eating kale salad for every meal 🙂
How much weight do you lose when you give birth?
The only fast weight loss that moms experience after pregnancy is right there in the delivery room.
According to Fitness Magazine, the average mom will lose about 10 pounds when giving birth: 7-8 pounds are from the baby itself, and the rest is blood and amniotic fluid.
You can also expect to lose another few pounds in water weight in the weeks following the birth.
But the rest of the baby weight is going to take a few months to lose.
Can you lose weight when breastfeeding?
The one thing that you want to take into consideration when putting a plan together in order to lose your pregnancy weight is whether or not you are breastfeeding.
You can definitely lose weight while breastfeeding, but you need to be extra careful to watch your calorie intake, and make sure to eat nutritious foods, not easy-to-grab, junk foods.
While breastfeeding can help you burn a lot of extra calories, you have to be cautious about cutting your calorie intake too much, or it can affect your milk supply, meaning there will be less milk for baby.
You’ll also want to make sure that you are eating often. TheBump.com says that if a mom waits too long between meals, her hormone levels can drop, resulting again in lower milk production.
So if you are nursing your new baby, it’s especially important to watch your diet carefully to make sure you are eating enough to provide a good supply of milk, but not so much that you aren’t losing the extra weight.
Diet tips for new moms
There are so many diet plans out there for new moms to follow when they decide it’s time to tackle weight loss.
Which one should you follow?
My advice is to choose a plan that is good for your health, and easy for you to follow.
Don’t try those gimmicky single-food or shakes-only diet plans that promise quick weight loss…they’ll only hurt your health and cause you to put the weight back on again, since you won’t be able to stick to the super-strict “rules” for an extended period of time.
Personally, I have had very good results with the Trim Healthy Mama plan. You can read about my weight loss using this plan, one that I still follow today.
The reason this plan worked for me is that I don’t have to count calories, and I can eat a lot of things that I love, like eggs and bacon for breakfast, and Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole for dinner.
I’ve also lowered my blood pressure and cholesterol count (especially my triglycerides!) while following this plan, meaning that I’m a lot healthier than I used to be!
Trim Healthy Mama is great for both pregnant and nursing moms, and they have a whole section devoted to new moms in their book.
Whatever plan you follow, realize that it’s not easy for a new mom to cook and prep a lot of meals right at first. When your whole life has been turned upside down and you aren’t sleeping a lot, you can’t realistically expect yourself to do a lot!
Ask your friends and family to make you some healthy meals for the freezer instead of turning to fast food all the time.
Make sure you have a lot of healthy snacks on hand, especially if you are nursing. Find pre-cut fruit and veggies in the grocery store, keep containers of healthy nuts on hand, and pre-cook (or buy) hard-boiled eggs for a quick protein.
Take advantage of rotisserie chickens or pre-prepped meals from the deli counter for quick dinners.
And if you do have to eat out, don’t feel guilty! Just find the healthiest option that you can.
Fitness tips for new moms
When it comes to the exercise side of weight loss, you need to make sure you check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you are newly postpartum.
Your body needs at least 6 weeks to recover before you start exercising in earnest, and even more if you’ve had a c-section.
If you haven’t exercised in a long time, you’ll want to start off with some easy walking. Putting baby in a stroller and taking her for a long walk is great for both of you.
Make sure to add in some weight-training when you are ready, in order to build up your muscle mass and keep those bones healthy.
You’ll also want to focus on some core exercises as well. When we are pregnant, our abdominal muscles are so stretched out that they can lose a lot of strength, which can eventually lead to back pain.
Core strength is very important to recover, especially when we are carrying our babies or large diaper bags around. It can also help to flatten that mommy belly over time.
If you don’t know where to start with weight training or core strength, check out some videos on YouTube, stream workouts online, or head to your local gym to meet with a trainer or take a group fitness class.
Joining a gym worked really well for me as my little ones outgrew some of their naps. I was able to take group fitness classes while my kids played in the toddler area under the watch of trained caregivers.
One extra benefit of exercise for new moms is the improvement that exercise can bring to your mood. Working out can be a good source of stress relief, which means that you can be a happier mom to your baby.
I hope these tips for losing the baby weight have inspired you to take some action at becoming a healthier mom! When we eat a better diet and find time to exercise so that we can attain a healthy weight, not only do we become healthier, but we also become good role models for our kids by showing them a healthier way of life!
What do you struggle with the most in trying to lose your baby weight?