The Truth About Postpartum Weight Loss

So, here I am, 15 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, 9 weeks postpartum.  I saw this coming.  First of all, it’s my third baby, so I’m familiar with the postpartum weight loss journey.  But this time, not only am I in my late 30’s, but I also gained more weight with this pregnancy than with my first two.  Sigh.  But I lost all of my baby weight with the first two babies, and I know I can do it again!

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You know how it goes… The first several weeks post-labor and delivery, the excess weight seems to fall off your body like magic.  (Magic, in this case, is defined as a variety of pregnancy-related fluids which are rapidly being released from your body.  Ew.)

Then, it stops.  The weight loss just totally and completely stops!  And that’s when it gets harder. Good sleep aids weight loss, and obviously you’re not getting much of that!  And if you’re breastfeeding, you can’t crash diet, fast or sweat excessively, so how do you lost those pregnancy pounds like a celebrity and fit into your old clothes within a few weeks?  The answer?  You don’t.  It’s just not realistic for most of us.  (The exception being if you were in super awesome toned shape before pregnancy and you’re in your 20’s! You’ve got a good shot at losing the pounds very quickly!)

As much as I’d like to give myself grace and just take my sweet time losing the extra weight slowly, there’s a problem – I literally have NOTHING to wear.  I’m donning a combination of leggings, maternity wear, workout clothes and long sweaters.  And repeating them over and over and over.  I’m tired of feeling frumpy, but I refuse to buy new clothes if I know I will lose the weight.

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So it’s time to get serious.  I’m hitting the gym when I can (albeit yawning all the way there and all the way back because my baby isn’t sleeping through the night yet).  I’m taking the baby for walks outside now that the spring weather has arrived.  And I’m saying no to the over-indulgences I liberally enjoyed during this pregnancy.  (for the most part…)

I could give you advice about how to exercise or what to eat, but there a gazillion websites and articles out there about that, and you should find what works best for you.  I will say this – the minute I started doing cardio and weight machines again, my plateau started to move.  Very slowly, but I’ll take it.  There’s no replacement or better weight loss tool than lifting weights (or other resistance training) and good old fashioned sweating. (Don’t forget that if you’re nursing, you’ll need to drink extra water!)

I’ll leave you with this final thought….

Dear New Mommy,

You are a rock star!  You spent 9 months supporting a growing life inside of you, and subsequently delivered a beautiful baby into this world.  Now, you’re sacrificing your sleep, your sanity and your social life caring for a newborn.  All of this…and you have nothing to wear!  I hear you.  Hang in there.  You’ve got enough on your plate without putting extra pressure on yourself to look pre-baby perfect.  Just enjoy that baby and take care of your emotional and physical well-being.  You will feel like your “old self” again soon.  I promise.

Your friend,
Fellow New Mommy

Daily Momtivity offers tips about Fitness and Nutrition from time to time.  Check out these past posts:  Water WorkoutsSuper Fast Super Simple FitnessFitness Apps, Fitness Finder,

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  • Reply Stacey

    Sometimes people forget that if you're breastfeeding, losing weight might actually be a bad idea. When I lost weight I lost my supply.

    March 27, 2015 at 9:31 pm
  • Reply Jayni

    It can be hard to lose weight after a baby! I didn’t start losing the baby weight from my two children until my youngest was a year old and didn’t need me all the time. Everyone had their own ideas about how to work out, when to work out, what to eat, etc. I finally decided to do what would be best for me in terms of workout time/routine, and then just take it a day at a time.

    A trainer I really like is Lindsay Brin from Moms into Fitness. She has some workouts that I highly recommend when you are starting to get back into exercising. They’re designed specifically for moms by moms, and some of them are free on Youtube.

    The most important thing, I think, is to enjoy your baby! You have a new human being who loves you no matter what you look like!

    June 10, 2015 at 3:57 pm
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