How To Lose The Baby Weight: Things You Need To Know

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So, your little one has finally arrived and you are overwhelmed by the amazing feeling of becoming a mother. At the same time, however, you are being thrown into the ruthless cycle of feeding and diaper changing. The first weeks are exhausting and you don’t have time nor power to think about how to lose baby weight.

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how to lose the baby weight

But then, something happens.

You realize you cannot fit into your favorite pre-pregnancy clothes and your wardrobe is significantly limited to pregnancy leggings and your husbands’ t-shirts. You want your pre-baby body back but you might be wondering about how to do it the right way.

During delivery, most women lose approximately one-third of the weight they have gained during pregnancy.

The rest of the gained pounds come from the enlarged uterus, breast and fat tissue, water retention and enlarged blood supply. To get your pre-baby body back, you will be focusing on getting rid of the extra fat tissue your body stored during pregnancy.

But let’s be honest here:

There is no magic pill that will make you shed those extra pounds overnight. It takes 9 months to go through the pregnancy process, so you'll have to expect the same amount of time for your body to return into its pre-pregnancy shape. Click To Tweet

You just have to be realistic when it comes to losing the baby weight.

1. Breastfeeding is not a diet

how to lose the baby weight

Ever heard the breastfeeding will make the extra weight just drop off?

Well, for some lucky moms out there, it sure works. But for most of us, it doesn’t. When my first son was born, I just thought that don’t have to do anything in order to lose weight because I breastfed.

That is what the mighty internet says right? Breastfeeding = fat burning. Oh boy, I was so naive!

The truth is, breastfeeding helps you burn up to an estimated 500-800 calories a day. Breastmilk is a unique mixture full of vitamins, fat and immunity boosters. As your body isn’t used to create this kind of fluid normally, it has to work harder to produce enough for the baby’s needs.

So yes, breastfeeding is a calorie-burner, but it is not a diet. Now the baby is here you will need a lot of energy to keep your milk production flowing. Don’t cut back on your caloric intake too much!

Breastfeeding itself can help you to lose weight provided that you don't overeat. Click To Tweet

However, as a new mother, tired and sleep-deprived, you tend to snack a lot. Sleep deprivation increases junk food cravings, so you are likely to exceed the additional calorie burn that breastfeeding provides.

This is exactly my case.

When I breastfed, I was constantly hungry! All l could think of was what am I going to snack. I tend to look for a healthy snack, but I have to admit – I ate a LOT.

I never had time to sit down and eat a decent food, so I snacked like every hour or two. Also, little did I know about the caloric value of food or how many calories I was consuming.

Later on, I came across an article about the caloric intake for breastfeeding women and I decided to download an app to keep track of my daily intake.

I was shocked when I found out that was eating almost double of what I should be! If you realize those extra 500 calories from breastfeeding equal to e.g. 2 muffins, you binge before you know it.

The total caloric intake of a breastfeeding woman should not go below 1,800 calories per day. If you lower this amount by dieting, it can affect your milk supply. That is why it”s good to keep track of what you’re consuming – and I don’t mean in the obsessed kind of way. Just to get an idea about the caloric value of different kind of foods. Only the way you’ll be able to make savvy substitutions for your snacks.

2. Your pelvic floor needs time to heal

A pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the uterus, bladder and bowel. Pregnancy and childbirth can cause the pelvic floor muscles to weaken. Allow for proper recovery time to eliminate bladder issues and don’t hurry into losing weight after birth.

how to fix mommy tummy belly pouch

You can do Kegel pelvic exercises even a few hours after vaginal birth. Squeeze in the muscles around the front passage and vagina as if trying to stop the flow of urine. Contract these muscles and hold for 5 seconds. Release for 5 seconds. I did this “little workout” during my breastfeeding sessions.

Stick to low-impact exercises for the first 2 months after giving birth, avoid jumping or running until the pelvic floor is healed.

3. Worked out before pregnancy?

Before pregnancy, I’ve worked out at the gym regularly. I even worked out until 7th month of my both pregnancies and I am so happy I did! My body healed from birth quite fast and I didn’t experience any complications at all.

Your pre-baby shape can affect how fast you get your body back after pregnancy. The less weight you gain during pregnancy, the shorter it will take to lose it.

4. You’ve hit the wall. What now?

Many women experience this and I’ve been there too.

You’ve been trying to lose your baby weight and because you have been doing it slowly and wisely, the scales and your measurements start to show some positive results.

You think that you are on the right track to hit your goal but then it happens – the scales stop moving.

First of all, it is normal.

I know it’s annoying and demotivating, but keep calm and don’t give up. When you work out and focus on healthy eating, your body becomes used to this new lifestyle and your metabolism slows down a little. Try not to focus on scales so much, because even if they’re not moving, at this point you might be able to see results in terms of your measurements.

Also, the more fit you get, the more muscle tissue develops. The density of muscle and fat tissue differs, which means that muscle takes up less volume or space than fat. So even if the number on the scales is still the same, your clothes might fit better as the shape of your body changes.

Be patient and persistent, the weight loss usually gets moving again within a few weeks. Just stay focused on healthy eating, and exercising regularly. Remember not to cut your calories too much as it can send your body to starvation mode and if you are breastfeeding, excessive reducing of calories can lead to decreased milk supply.

5. Get moving!

Now that you are realistic about your postpartum weight loss, let’s get you moving! You don’t need a celebrity trainer or a fitness expert to get you back into shape. There’s a lot of things you can do without even going to the gym!

Here are some simple and useful tips and hacks the had worked for me and can help you to burn some extra calories too.

1/ Baby-wearing

My younger son didn’t want to sleep/lay in the stroller at all. I hated the walks around my neighbourhood as he was screaming all the way. Naturally, I started to wear him and we enjoy walks ever since. Plus, it is super-convenient while doing household chores or going to the playground with the older child!

Wearing a baby is like carrying and gym sandbag or a dumbbell. During your walks, do some lunges and squats while carrying the baby. Baby will love the motion and your booty will get a great workout! Also, look for some baby-wearing fitness classes in your neighbourhood. They’re so much fun and you get to meet new mamas like you!

2/ Playtime workout

There are many effective and energizing exercises that you can easily squeeze into the playtime with your baby. Besides, it is so much fun (mostly for the baby, ha-ha) and you’ll feel soooo productive for mastering to tick off two tasks at once. I know what I’m talking about.

Try some crunches with your baby seated just above the pubic bone or push-ups with baby underneath you. Add kisses and funny faces and you’ll be a playtime hero!

3/ Walk it off

Walking is a great cardio exercise the helps you to lose the excess weight. Besides, it takes the stress away and helps you to relax and battle the baby blues. You can add some extra calorie burn by squeezing in some speed-walking intervals or an uphill walk.

Pushing the extra weight up the hills is a great exercise to tone your legs and butt. So hit the roads and get some fresh air, you both need it!

things to know about losing pregnancy weight

The Bottom line

Your body has achieved an amazing thing – it has created a new life. In order to do this, it had to undergo some changes. This transformation took nine months, so be prepared the losing the baby weight might take the same amount of time.

Even when you achieve your weight goals, your body might not look exactly the same as before pregnancy. Embrace your new body, be consistent with your weight loss journey and, what is most important - be kind to yourself. Click To Tweet Give your body the time to handle the postpartum weight loss at its own pace.

What is your biggest postpartum weight loss struggle? Let me know in the comments!

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14 thoughts on “How To Lose The Baby Weight: Things You Need To Know

  1. I didn’t start losing until 4 months PP (previous poster) even though I started working out at 6weeks. At 4 months I cut out junk food, started drinking Mummy magic weight loss tea and did HIIT for 30 min a day/5 days a week. Lost all 40 lbs I gained while preg. I just blow up when preg.

    1. Hi Angela, thank you for your comment! After my first pregnancy, I also started to see results only at a later stage – about 6 months PP. I am currently 3 months after my second delivery, exercising since 4 weeks PP, but so far, the scales don’t move much. Sometimes I get the blues because, despite all my efforts, the fat somehow keeps resisting 🙂 But I am sure that everything, that I do for my body now, will pay off later on.

  2. I don’t have a baby yet, but I’ve always wondered how women can “easily” lose the weight and baby fat right after pregnancy. It always amazes me.
    I know that it takes a while and a lot of work to get back, reading from your post – and I’m one the people that thought breastfeeing will solved everything :/
    I liked that you found the app to track the calories! Would you mind sharing the name of the app with me? Maybe I could share it with a friend of mine who just had a baby 🙂

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Wina, thanks for stopping by. Well, breastfeeding does help to lose weight in some cases, as it burns additional calories. But because most moms are sleep deprived, they tend to reach out for excess carbs to fuel the tired body. This way your caloric intake is higher than what you burn throughout the day, including the additional burn from breastfeeding. My favourite app to keep track of calories is MyFitnessPal. I’m not a huge fan of counting calories but it is good to have an idea about the caloric value of different foods, and this app helps a lot with that.
      all the best to you
      Eva

  3. Hi! Lovely article.
    The practical advice was my favourite part to read.
    My children are 6 and 4, and while I am not overweight, I have lost tone and changed shape a bit. My problem is that I had some pelvic floor damage. I have since had an operation. Things are much better, but I have to be very careful with any impact work, and many standard exercises actually place a lot of stress on the pelvic floor.
    I should be doing modified pilates etc but it can be difficult to get motivated!

    Working on my diet though as have slipped into some bad habits!

    I will certainly recommend the baby wearing to others who have babies in future! Thank you.

    1. Hello Joanne and thanks for those nice words! You are right, pelvic floor damage is definitely an issue that should be treated and healed before we start with more intense exercise. I also had this problem after my second birth, but I managed to tighten my pelvic floor with some Kegel exercises. There are many exercises that are safe even for a weak pelvic floor, I will definitely write a post about it. Thanks for inspiring me!
      best
      Eva

  4. Just had my baby 2 months ago. I was surprised by the ruthless cycle of diaper changes and breastfeeding. My postpartum body is taking some getting used to I have lost all my muscle:(

    1. Hey Bre! The beginnings with a new baby can very challenging. There is a hormone cocktail flowing inside your body, and the exhaustion just adds up. Give your body time to recover. If you worked out before pregnancy, you will return to your previous shape much faster and regain your muscles more easily. Hang in there, mama!
      Best,
      Eva

  5. I dropped my weight pretty quickly after baby and now I am 3 months postpartum and down to my pre-pregnancy weight but I feel as though my body still feel looks weird. It definitely is an adjustment. I was super active before and during pregnancy so I think that helped! I really want to get into baby wearing now that my baby can support her head but my carrier is so complicated!!!

    1. Hey Britanny, you are right, being active before pregnancy definitely helps to recover and return to previous weight faster. I loved working out while wearing my son. I dont know what kind of carrier do you have, but I used Ergo Baby 360 and I couldnt be more happier with it. It was pretty easy to fit – if you’re interested, you can check out the details in my review here: ERGObaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier

  6. I gained 35 pounds with my first pregnancy and have already surpassed this with my 2nd pregnancy, although I’m 38 weeks along anyways. I honestly just had trouble losing the last 10 lbs and once I cut out processed foods and dairy the weight just slipped off and I actually weighed less than before pregnancy. I also breastfed. I quite running for a whole year to heal my pelvic floor and regain strength. My advice is to always listen to your body first. 🙂

    1. Hi Maria, listening to your body is always the beat you can do! The last few pounds are usually hard to lose, it sometimes seems like the body desperately holds on to them, right? Mine came off about 2 months after I quit breastfeeding. I think it happened once my hormone levels returned back to normal levels.
      All the best,
      Eva

  7. This is my life right now. I am four months postpartum and just started working out again. I am trying to maintain 2000 calories a day which is actually not that easy when you are eating healthy. I will start using my fitness pal again. I definitely don’t want to hurt my milk supply and I am not over doing it with my workouts.

    1. You are right Whitney, many healthy foods are actually quite high in calories. I would care about calories that much now, focus more on the nutrients in your food, to keep your milk supply going.
      All my best,
      Eva

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