While you’re pregnant you’re always thinking about your baby and eating healthy. Then, the hunger and the cravings kick in and all you want to do is eat, eat, and eat! Before you know it, you’ve gained more weight than you had anticipated, and even though everyone is telling you not to worry about it, you know you’ll have some sit-ups in your future.
Then, the big day comes and your baby has arrived more beautiful than you could have ever imagined. Your whole world is about your little bundle of joy, and you don’t even take time to look in the mirror and get a good look at what is going on. Finally, you take that first glimpse and you get a little freaked out and wonder how fast you can take all the extra pounds off! Yikes! Are those jeans in your closet ever going to fit again?
The answer? Probably. But, they may not fit right away. The problem after pregnancy is not just that you’ve gained some weight, but that your hips have widened, your skin has stretched, and things just don’t look like they used to! The experience can be very overwhelming and crash diets are a major temptation.
Crash diets are not a good idea for a new mom, especially if you are breastfeeding. From a strictly hormonal stand point; a crash diet is just a disaster waiting to happen! You need to eat well to maintain the energy your baby will require you to have over the coming weeks and months. And, the good news is that for most women who have gained a reasonable amount of weight, they don’t actually need a diet to lose the weight.
The healthy way to look at the weight loss is in terms of months. If it took you about nine months to put the weight on, it should take you about nine months to take it off. Sure, it may come off faster, or it may take you a little bit longer, but this is a general guideline. If you eat healthily and are moderately active, the baby weight should come off with little or no effort within nine months.
Of course, if you gained more than the recommended weight, you may have to work a bit harder and it may take a little bit longer, but you’ll get there. The weight may not be distributed exactly the way it was before, but you’ll eventually get back down to your pre-pregnancy size.
The weight will come off even more easily if you get involved in a post-partum workout. These classes are designed for women who have just had babies and they are appropriately paced for the stretched skin and muscles that must be worked gently at first. Of course, you shouldn’t get involved with any of these activities until your doctor decides you are ready to do so.
Weight gain during pregnancy shouldn’t be a huge stressor. You have to gain weight for the well being of your baby, and you can lose weight! You just have to be patient!