Take it from me, you don’t want to rush losing weight after you’ve had your baby. Not only will it slow down your postpartum weight loss efforts but you can hurt yourself.
My Postpartum Weight Loss Experience
I gained 34 pounds during my pregnancy and I couldn’t wait to get rid of it. As a fitness professional, I felt like I HAD to get to my pre-pregnancy weight as soon as possible…my goal was 2 months. It definitely wasn’t realistic and I knew it but that’s what I am was aiming for. Big mistake!
Three weeks after I had my baby, I subbed a fitness class. In my mind, I was superwoman. I thought I could do anything. Subbing a 30 minute core strengthening class was going to be easy. Boy was I wrong! The day after I subbed I woke up in so much pain. My whole body hurt. I couldn’t even move. It was probably the worst pain I have ever felt. Well…not worse than labor but pretty close. Later that day, my left breast started to hurt and I felt sick. I felt like I had the flu and thought it was the flu until my breast started throbbing.
Lesson NOT Learned
I went in to see my doctor and it turned out I had a breast infection. After taking antibiotics and being in pain for a week, I finally got over it. You would think I would have learned my lesson but I didn’t. Guess what I did five weeks after giving birth? I subbed another class. This time it was a high impact cardio class. Guess what happened
two days later. I got another breast infection. Unfortunately, I got sick on a Saturday so this meant I could not get in to see my doctor. I wasn’t able to take antibiotics during that time so the infection kept getting worse. It was a long, and very painful weekend! I was stuck in bed for over a week! Not only was I not able to move around, but I lost a lot of precious time that I could have spent with my baby.
After speaking to my doctor and doing my own research, I can say with certainty I pushed myself too hard. My body was not ready for the extra stress I forced on it. I was in recovery mode. It was at that point that I decided I would take it easy. I wasn’t going to push myself to lose the weight. It wasn’t worth it. I waited another two months before going back work at the gym. In the meantime, I ate healthy and I created my own workout routine at home. I was able to lose all the extra weight in 4.5 months.
Postpartum Weight Loss do’s and don’ts
- Get your doctors approval before beginning a postpartum exercise routine.
- Wait 6-8 weeks after you’ve given birth vaginally to start exercising. Wait 3 months after a c-section. Give your body time to recover before placing extra stress on it.
- Start slowly. Your body is in recovery mode so don’t push yourself too hard.
- Listen to to your body. If it doesn’t feel right, then stop.
- Start with a low impact exercise routine.
- Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water.
- Push yourself too hard. Give your body time to heal.
- Begin your exercise regime with high impact cardio. Take it slow. Slowly work your way up to where you were.
Set a Postpartum Weight Loss Goal
It takes ONE year for your body to fully recover from pregnancy and giving birth. Set a goal to lose the weight by your baby’s first birthday. Studies show if the weight gained during pregnancy hasn’t been lost one year after giving birth, then you will probably be stuck with it.
One year is a decent amount of time to lose weight. Set a realistic goal (like 1-2 pounds per week) and stick with it. Don’t start until your doctor gives the okay, and it’s at least 6-8 weeks after you gave birth vaginally or 3 months after a c-section. Before then, enjoy yourself. Your body worked hard to make a baby so treat yourself to some relaxation time. You deserve it!