Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Post Baby Weight Loss: Expectations & Advice

I know, I know... I still have AT LEAST a few weeks before I should even think about losing baby weight. Obviously, my #1 focus right now is simply on staying healthy for our baby boy & giving him everything he needs, even if that means I continue to feel like a whale.  BUT, I just can't help it.  There is a cute skinny mom that keeps jogging by my house (right outside the window where I do my typing), and it's got me dreaming...

Not my belly.
First, I've been preparing to pack my hospital bag.  Baby Chapman has a precious outfit, courtesy of his Granny (my mom still hasn't decided what she's going to be called, but I've decided for her), to wear home from the hospital.  As the mom (a.k.a. the "second" star of the show), I feel like I should have something cute to wear home too - After all, it will be a very photo-worthy day. But the reality is: my mom gained 80 pounds when she was pregnant with me and lost exactly EIGHT when I was born.  Luckily, she's adorable and tiny now... So, I know there's hope.  But, you see what I'm up against. The thought of wearing one of my blah maternity dresses literally makes me throw up a little in my mouth; but, I can't justify spending money on a new dress to wear home that may or may not fit either.

Second, my brother-in-law is getting married in late October, and I'm wearing a cute red one-shoulder number in the wedding.  Maybe I'm crazy, but I keep hearing the term "hot mama" in my head and envisioning Heidi Clum (below) when I imagine it.  Ha!  But in all seriousness, I really want to not only look good, but feel good that weekend - which is approximately three months after my due date.   I keep hearing from women how wonderful breastfeeding is for weight loss; but, I also know in my heart that weight loss has NEVER been easy for me.  (In fact, truth be told, I definitely could have lost twenty or more pounds BEFORE getting pregnant.)  Part of me wants to start training for a half-marathon (as part of my 30 Before 30 list) in the early fall; but the more realistic part of me knows that this isn't exactly a stage of life where I'll have TONS of time and energy.  Perhaps I should start with Zumba a couple times a week and a leisurely walk with my stroller.  I just don't know!
So... to all you moms that have "been there, done that" before... I'd love some advice on post baby weight loss.  What are some realistic expectations/goals to set... And, what are your tips for actually losing the weight?  You can be honest... I need it!


  1. Breast feeding really does help you shed calories but it will also make you verrry hungry! I always said I ate more after I was pregnant than during. The key is to eat as healthily as you can and drink lots of water for weight loss and your milk supply. Let it be known that I HATE excercising, but brisk walking and jogging can really help! Don't be too hard on yourself. It was a year before I felt more like "myself" and I didn't really do anything but light walking here and there to help it along :)

  2. Well, I feel like a broken record. But from a momma who's been there, done that. Weight Watchers Online.

    You don't need to leave your house, you can do it all from your computer or phone, and you can make it compatible to nursing if you breastfeed. It gives you a bunch more points for nursing too, which is AWESOME.

    Also, realistically? by october? I don't think the baby weight will all be gone unless you are REALLY one of those lucky ones. So be realistic about that. But here's what I would honestly do (and will for the next baby)...

    I'll probably give myself one month-6 weeks. Just getting my body back to feeling semi'normalish-the bleeding to stop, and also to get breastfeeding established. Then, I'd start back up on weight watchers online. If I had something special like you have in october? I'd do the 30 day Shred prior to it...because it'll help your arms look and feel toned especially in that hot little dress.

    That's my advice. Give yourself time in the beginning, then hop to it. And I can tell you, honestly? I am not one of the lucky ones. But, by Emeline's 1st birthday I was 25lbs UNDER pre-pregnancy weight. So...I think giving yourself reasonable time is a good expectation.

    Good luck and I'm here if you need help/to chat about it later ;)

  3. hey girl. well, you definitely won't be leaving the hospital in any regular clothes (you-know-who is a freak of nature). just pick your favorite, cutest, and very most comfortable, casual maternity outfit. I think I could SQUEEZE back into one pair of jeans by 2 months out, and could wear pretty much all my old clothes by 3-4 months out, but they didn't fit like they used to. I didn't start hard core exercising until 6mos out, but if you feel great after delivery, you could easily start walking daily and doing some low impact stuff by 4-6wks. No matter what, though, you ARE going to be a HOT MAMA at that wedding!!

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  5. I'm not going to be encouraging, so I am apologizing and warning you ahead of time I'd you don't want to read a downer:
    All we hear about when we are pregnant is how easy it is to lose weight while breastfeeding. We never hear from the moms who don't lose weight breastfeeding. And believe me, there are a lot of them. For some women, like me, breastfeeding seems to tell their bodies to keep the extra weight because hey have little leeches sucking all the calories from their bodies.

    Additionally, focusing on calories and working out, even in healthy amounts can hurt your milk supply, which you definitely don't want. We should talk more about how to avoid this when we get together soon. :o)

    A friend told me to give myself a year. That seemed so discouraging at the time, but she wasn't too far off. I hit my prebaby weight a little before that but I was also very sick for a couple months.

    Last thing: expect to look about 6 months pregnant when you leave the hospital.

    Sorry to be such a downer. Maybe we can walk together with our little ones this summer.

  6. i don't have any kids, but i would start out easy - walking each morning or evening with the little babe then maybe ramp it up to both morning and evening. even through in a run w/o the little guy too?

    also, make sure you take cute pajama's to the hospital and a cute pillowcase too. it will be in all of your pictures!!!

    my friend made her husband (and herself) get dressed up to come home from the hospital. she bought a cute, loose fitting dress that she still wears because of the style of it.

    best of luck!

  7. hey! so, i just had our second baby 4 weeks ago. i had gained 30 lbs during the pregnancy and my little guy weighed a little over 8 lbs. i was thinkings, ok, not too bad, baby weighed 8, placenta and all that other goo had to weigh at least another 8 - so i'm already half way to reaching my pre-pregnancy weight, right? got home from the hospital and the next morning weighed myself. i had lost a whopping 6 lbs! are you kidding me?? truth be told, i retained quite a bit of water at the hospital and was pretty swollen for about a week after getting home from the hospital - which i didnt really deal with during the pregnancy itself...about a week later i was had lost a total of 10 - and 3 weeks later i am down 3 more lbs. just this morning i started weight watchers (i gave myself a month to adjust to life, eat whatever i wanted and enjoy time with my new little one). i have 17 more lbs to lose before getting back to pre-pregnancy weight and i am OK with that. i'm still in maternity jeans and i'm OK with that too - actually they are really cozy and i'm gonna miss them! my GOAL is to lose that weight by the fall - september - when we go to the beach... we'll see!

    you'll do great with whatever regime you choose to do! just remember that God made our bodies specifically for the purpose of having precious children and all the "momma marks" that we get in the process are just signs of His goodness =) yes, stretch marks, flabby skin and varicose veins ---- my new beauty marks!

    love your blog and jealous that my husband is working with yours on a project and i haven't gotten to meet you yet =)

  8. My advice is to expect the worst case scenario and then be pleasantly surprised when things turn out better than anticipated.

    I've never been overweight, but I've never been "oh look how cute and tiny she is" either... I started off at 165 lbs, got preggers, gained 35lbs of baby weight (if you do the math you'll see I hit the 200 lbs mark) and lost 15 lbs within the first week of giving birth.

    Nursing and some walking brought me down to 170 lbs 5 weeks later and I steadily lost a pound or two every month until I found myself celebrating my daughter's 1st birthday at 150 lbs.

    Lots of moms had warned me they never were able to shed their baby weight and since I'm not addicted to cardio and refuse to adopt a restrictive diet, I was kind of resigned to the fact that I might never see 165 lbs again. Imagine my surprise when I shed my pregnancy weight + another 15 lbs within the first year.

    My story is not uncommon either, being a mom is BUSY, somedays you realize it's 5 o'clock and you have only at an apple all day (not recommended, but sometimes the reality). You'll notice that you push yourself to be more active, not because you're trying to lose weight but because you want to be a good role model for your babe and expose them to the big beautiful world. You'll find yourself serving ridiculously healthy homemade meals not because you love cooking or are craving a mean stirfry but because you want what your child to eat wholesome, nutrient rich foods.

    I never realized how much of a lazy couch potato I was until baby arrived... they truly change your world - all that cradling, shifting, stroller pushing, etc. is helping you tone up and keeping your hands out of the "I'm bored so I'll eat" chip bag.

    It's amazing what loving a baby can do to your waistline - one day you'll look down at the scale and not believe the number and then you'll be thinking about doing it all over again with Baby #2.

  9. if you didn't use the excuse of eating for two while you were pregnant and you exercised before and during your pregnancy you should be fine. I gave birth to twins 5 months ago (I delivered at almost 39 weeks and each of my babies was over 6 pounds). By the end of the first week I had lost 30 of the 43 pounds I gained. By three months postpartum I had lost all but 3 pounds. I don't have time for working out with two kids, and I live in Upstate NY, so until recently it wasn't even nice enough to walk with them outside. The key is eating well and staying hydrated. I'm sure breastfeeding twins helped too.

    I have hit my prepregnancy weight, but everything has shifted. And (unfortunately for me) I have diastasis from my pregnancy so even though I'm a skinny minnie I still look knocked up. It's loverly. Really.

    Try not to be too hard on yourself and give yourself at least 4 months. I seriously just started feeling like a human being again in the last two weeks. And that's not saying much...

  10. I had our daughter 6 weeks ago, and will say that my weight is not coming off effortlessly like I had hoped. I had an emergency C-section, which I think is part of it, but I am breastfeeding, and I am still not fitting into my pre-pregnancy shorts or shirts (breastfeeding boobs prevent that!). I was still extremely swollen for the first week or two post partum, and definitely in all of my "coming home" pictures (which make me shudder, to be honest). Additionally, my rib cage has expanded so that I'm actually up a band size in my bra.

    My plan for the rest of the summer is: 30 Day Shred, lots of fruits and veggies, and light on desserts. I've never done this before, so I have no idea how it'll work out!

  11. I forgot to say...I did lose all but 10-12 pounds in the first 3 weeks. And it was really those last few that I had such a problem losing. And even though I'm at my pp weight, I'm not happy with my body at all. My belly still looks 20 weeks pregnant because of the c-section.

  12. I just came across your blog for the first time (now a follower!) and thought I would leave some advice of my own :) I have a 4 month old, so this whole business is fresh in my brain! (disclaimer, I haven't read any of the comments before mine, so if there's a repeat...sorry!)

    #1. You won't be wearing nonmaternity home from the hospital. Its just impossible. Not to mention you probably won't want to anyway because you might not feel too hot anyways. (I don't mean looks-wise). At least I didn't!
    #2. You can so lose the weight by 3 months...I did. And I only breastfed for 3 weeks (it didn't work out for us very well). As soon as I was cleared by my doctor to workout, I started back at it. I just did 30 min Biggest Loser workout DVDs while my daughter napped. Now I do the 30 day shred DVD after she goes to bed (4 days a week). I now weight 8 lbs less than I did when I got pregnant..and I think I'm healthier too! Something about having a child makes me want to be healthier :)

    (oh, I had a c-section, if that matters any! and just know that every person is don't freak out about anything people say. people told me a c-section would ruin me for life, and I look better than I did before I was pregnant. so take everything people say with a grain of salt!)

  13. well, all of us are different and are made differently. I was in stellar shape when I got pregnant, worked out with a trainer 5 days a week, did crossfit, etc. I was on bed rest the last half of my pregnancy. I gained 60 lbs total. GROSS. But, I got a GORGEOUS baby girl, all healthy and pink! I had a csection- the iv bag blew me up a bit, not fun. I spent 4 months eating light ish. We moved so I was overwhelmed, oh and I quit my job to become a stay at home mommy too. Life changes galore. For 9 months I have been working out with a trainer to get it off, things weren't moving- now I'm off to the endocrinologist next week because they think I have a metabolic AND a thyroid issue now. Good times, lol. And all this time I thought I just needed to work out HARDER. PS- the boobs are what really kept me from most of my pre preg clothing. Oh, and I didn't lose ANY weight breastfeeding, did it 5 months, but maybe that was because of my medical issues? GOOD LUCK DOLL! xoxo shel

  14. ps- I'm VERY particular, and I list a lot of my baby must haves (boutique type items that you wont find in big box baby stores) on my blog if you wanna look =) xoxo shel

  15. I don't have a TON to add as I'm only 1 month out; but definitely get used to the idea of going home in maternity clothes (Sorry to be a downer) You'll want them loose fitting, trust me! Esp. if you end up having a c-section and your stomach scar is trying to recover. Just take pictures of your little one in their adorable outfit; I know I wasn't in any "going home" pics and I'm quite alright with that!
    With all the swelling I gained a TON of weight (65 lbs!) - I mean I was on bed rest because of the fluid my body was retaining; it was intense. 4 weeks out, without much trying (Because of the C, I can't do much exercise besides light walking), I'm down 30 of those lbs. Not sure how the rest will come off but I'm trying to stay realistic about it and not set too high of expectations/be disappointed.
    Just try to stay optimistic and enjoy your last few weeks pregnant :)

  16. I'm afraid I'm just going to say what everyone else has probably already said - BREASTFEED! I lost all of my baby weight through breastfeeding. It's definitely the secret weapon for post-baby weight loss.

    And if you find a dress that fit when you were 5-6 months pregnant, it should fit for the way home from the hospital. You'll still look pregnant for several weeks because it takes a while for the skin to go back to normal - I got a workout DVD specifically for abs, and that seemed to help with that.

  17. As many others have said, you probably will not be back to pre-pregancy weight by October. It is definitely possible, but don't expect it to happen. That said, after 3 months after my son was born, I was very close to pre-preg weight. I gained about 40 during the pregnancy and lost 12 when he was born (6.5 lb baby). My appetite changed after he was born, and I was not as hungry as I used to be. I had a "normal" and complication-free delivery, and my OB advised me to work out as soon as I felt comfortable--which was about a week after my son was born. I started just walking about 20 minutes and stretching. It was nice to have the alone time to recenter myself, and it helped tremendously with postpartum "baby blues." Just be sure to drink lots of water, sleep every opportunity you can, and eat healthily / normally. Don't feel like you have to eat a ton to support the breast milk supply--your body will do what it needs as long as you rest, feed frequently, and eat a normal portion.

  18. Hi, I love your post. I'd like to know- how long did it take you to loose the weight? i just had a baby almost 2 months ago and my end weight was 168 and i want to go back to 120. ive already lost some weight i weigh 158 already. its just that i got prgnant real quick with my 2 child my oldest is 1 year old and my 2nd is 2 months. im just getting desperate that i can't loose all this weight. thanks ~Rachel


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