If you are a woman who desires to lose some of the weight she gained during her 9 months of pregnancy, these postpartum weight loss tips are going to be exactly what you need!
While many celebrities propagate just how easy it is to get back in shape, most women don’t have the luxury of going to the gym full time after pregnancy.
After my wife was pregnant with our son Addison, it took months for her to feel comfortable in her body again. Not only are you dealing with a physically different body than before pregnancy, but your hormones are scrambled and life is no longer as simple as it used to be.
However, there are many ways you can avoid gaining additional weight after giving birth, and begin the process of losing the weight you put on while pregnant.
It is important to understand that women who are breastfeeding do have additional nutritional needs after giving birth, but as I will explain more about below, this will also assist with the weight loss process.
Keep reading below to see the best postpartum weight loss tips!
Losing Weight After Pregnancy – The First Steps
After giving birth, it is very common for women to have hormonal swings and emotional changes that make every day a new challenge. However, based on the experience my wife Anna and I had after she gave birth to our son, here are a few of the best tips we found for keeping her mentally focused on getting her pre-pregnancy body back in a healthy manner.
Saying positive affirmations may sound goofy to some women, but they really work.
If you are constantly saying negative things, it will cause you to feel negative each day. Especially when your body is not at its absolute best, positivity is essential to keep your spirits lifted.
Make a list of positive affirmations you believe in or simply find some new ones at the start of each day. However you need to do it, use positive affirmations to keep you focused on your goals!
Set Positive Health Goals
Although the main goal is to lose weight, you should not compromise your health or your child’s health by focusing on your body too much at this time. Weight loss will come as a part of a healthy process, and setting positive health goals for yourself is necessary to keep you focused on improving your overall health, not just your physical image.
Additionally, these goals will provide you with a sense of accomplishment when you successfully complete them.
For example, a goal can be to lose 2 pounds per week, or it can be as simple as exercising for 20 minutes per day. Either way, great!
Avoid Individuals that Make Negative Remarks About Your Physique
This is a huge one!
If you want to lose weight after pregnancy for yourself, that is great. However, don’t let outside influences tell you that you need to lose weight or get “your old body” back right away!
Try to avoid surrounding yourself with negative people. If you have friends that are very obsessed with weight and are constantly making comments about weight, it is wise to avoid spending time with them until you are feeling more comfortable with yourself.
By surrounding yourself with negative people, you will begin to have negative thoughts, which can impact your process in a non-favorable way.
Do Not Compare Yourself to Celebrities or Influencers
During this time, try to avoid looking at celebrities or influencers as much as possible. When looking at thinner women who are celebrities or influencers, remember, you just had a child and they did not.
You invested time and effort into creating a family, which is a different kind of rewarding work. Do not feel that you cannot celebrate this by comparing yourself to how you think you “should” be looking.
Also, if you see celebrities who just had a child and are already looking like they used to, do not spend time comparing yourself to them as well!
They often have an entire team of people working solely on their looks, while also doing a huge amount of work for their child.
Sleep as Much as Possible
Whenever it is possible, sleep!
Sleep is something that new mothers often lack. However, it is essential to enable them to feel their absolute best.
Do your best to nap when your child naps, and try to get enough total rest throughout the day as possible. If you are able to get more rest, you will begin to recover quickly and be a happier parent for your new child.
Refrain from Returning to Work Right Away if Possible
One thing you should certainly do during this time is to make sure you take all the allotted maternity leave time possible. It is becoming increasingly common for new mothers to return to work right away, but this is a serious issue because the new mother does not have time to rest or adjust to their new lifestyle.
One excellent example of this is the paid California Maternity Leave system.
For a new mother, it is important that she understands her rights and abilities to take time off from work, and still receive compensation.
This can drastically reduce stress from the mother, allowing her to maintain health for her and the baby.
If you do not understand your rights as a pregnant mother when it comes to taking time off from work, it is highly advisable that you look at a resource such as this one.
Take as much maternity leave as you are given in order to get the most possible rest before you return to your work.
Go to a Health Spa
Carrying a front-load constantly puts your body under a great deal of physical stress, so moms-to-be often suffer from chronic back pain, and they experience trouble sitting down or finding a comfortable position.
To minimize joint swelling typical for pregnancy, as well as other aches and pains that accompany this blissful time in your life, a stress-relieving pregnancy massage can help with all these and many other issues.
Remember, giving birth and carrying a child for nine months is very hard on your body, so going to a health spa is an excellent way to allow your body to recover.
Just a one hour massage once a month can have a significant impact on reducing chronic pains.
Take Time to Take Care of Your Appearance How You Want
Just because you just had a child, it is still wise to take care of your appearance. If you are able to have a basic yet simple makeup look and casual style build for comfort, you will feel considerably better than if you make no effort in your appearance.
Whether you thought about having breast plastic surgery consultations or you just need to buy a special cream or oil to deal with the stretch marks, there are several things you can do which will improve how you feel about yourself, that will translate into easier postpartum weight loss!
No matter what, you need this time for yourself and you should never put pressure on yourself to return to your previous figure. With the right planning, it will come!
Postpartum Weight Loss Tips – Burning Calories for Weight Loss
If you are truly intent on losing weight after pregnancy, you are going to need to follow the conventional rules for weight loss. Meaning, you need to burn more calories than you consume per day.
It is probably difficult to track your calorie consumption directly after giving birth, so simply do your post to monitor your calorie intake compared to your BMR.
For postpartum weight loss, your goal should be to have a calorie deficit of 200-300 calories per day. Unlike other periods, you shouldn’t aim for 500+ calorie deficits per day because you will need more energy than ever for your child!
Here are some tips which can help you with burning calories each day and losing weight after pregnancy!
Breastfeeding Can Help You Burn Calories
Breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories per day, so women who are breastfeeding may be losing weight by simply feeding their baby. There are tons of additional benefits of breastfeeding for your child as well, as you probably know!
Here’s a visual representation I made of how breastfeeding impacts postpartum weight loss:
Create a Schedule
Sticking with your newly-established resolution to lose weight after being pregnant is more difficult than simply saying you’re going to exercise come Monday. If you want to achieve your goal, you are going to need to set some kind of schedule for yourself.
Of course, a lot of your schedule will be based around your baby and their needs. However, you must incorporate your own needs into your life as well!
Start With Small and Simple Workouts
When it comes to exercising, many new moms immediately think of the gym, and they forget that there are workouts that you can do at home that will help you burn calories without overusing your body.
For example, new moms can simply purchase baby strollers designed for running and go for walks or light-jogs with their newborn for some additional fresh air and exercise.
If you are particularly busy, you can do a house cleaning workout to get your house in order and burn calories!
Another great option is yoga. Yoga is one of the best workouts to do at home. Both my wife and I do yoga nearly every day, and yoga is especially therapeutic after pregnancy! We use YogaDownload.com, which is a subscription service that provides thousands of amazing yoga classes.
You can read my YogaDownload Review to learn more about this service.
Another great yoga program for postpartum weight loss is the 21 Day Yoga Shred Workout Program.
Apart from yoga, you can also do a ton of other bodyweight exercises and at-home workouts.
Also, you can easily make a dip station at home or other workout equipment you need as well, which can help allow you to do multiple different exercises!
Australians have popularized the workout-at-home concept in recent years, which is apparent by the availability and practicality of equipment for fitness in Australia.
If you’d like to follow along with a workout program but you don’t want to hire an online fitness coach or personal trainer, the service BodyFit by Bodybuilding.com has tons of home-workout programs which are perfect for every level of trainee.
This is an affordable subscription service that is great for postpartum weight loss. The Method Makia program is another similar option.
Additionally, you can find postpartum workouts here.
Focus on Pelvic Floor Exercises
The pelvic core is an often overlooked but critical part of our body. It includes our deepest abdominal muscles, specifically the transverse abdominis, the multifidus muscles of our spine, the pelvic floor muscles, and the breathing diaphragm.
The pelvic floor is the most critical part of the pelvic core. It supports the pelvic organs, including the:
- Uterus (In Women)
The muscles extend from back to front (from the coccyx to pubic bone), and from side to side; like a hammock or sling. A strong pelvic floor is essential for basic functions like peeing, childbirth, and sex.
Engaging the pelvic floor muscles keeps the internal organs in their proper place. It also tightens the sphincter muscles which hold the openings to the vagina, anus, and urethra closed.
According to Natalie Padveen, mom, a Physical Therapist, a Fitness Instructor, and the founder of Pelacore, a unique pelvic core workout program that teaches fitness instructors how to train and strengthen their clients’ pelvic core properly,
“The pelvic floor and core muscles play a vital role during pregnancy to support the baby while in the uterus and during the birth itself.”
Since the pelvic floor does not work in isolation, Pelacore takes a holistic and functional approach to strengthen the pelvic core.
As stated by Ms. Padveen,
“As a pelvic floor physical therapist, I meet countless women who don’t realize the importance of the pelvic core until they become pregnant with their first child and start experiencing symptoms that could have been prevented.”
There are a variety of simple pelvic floor exercises that you can do, or you can subscribe to the Pelacore program and learn from Ms. Natalie Padveen!
Do Exercises with Your Baby!
There are many mother and baby combination exercises that can help you burn calories while bonding with your child.
Here is an example of some exercises my wife did with our son just a couple of months after he was born!
How to Maintain a Healthy Diet for Weight Loss After Pregnancy
Maintaining a healthy diet after being pregnant is essential for your health. Pregnancy is an enormous shock for your body, so you want to treat your body as best as possible after you give birth.
Especially for breastfeeding moms, it is important to focus on the quality of foods and the amount of nutrients you are getting through your diet.
Choose nutrient-dense foods which provide adequate carbohydrates, protein, and unsaturated fats, while also providing a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Reducing your intake of added sugar as much as possible is a great way to help avoid unnecessary weight gain as well. Added sugars are one of the biggest causes of weight gain in general, and although your hormones may be desiring sugary foods, avoid them as best as possible!
Concluding Thoughts – Postpartum Weight Loss Tips
It is very challenging for new mothers to feel their absolute best after having a child, but it is certainly not possible for you to get healthy and stay healthy! What is important to realize is that it is normal to not be back to your old self as of yet. The mothers that take an active role in making themselves comfortable, well-rested, and active are the ones that have the best possible experience.
New moms that manage to get back in shape usually do it through a variety of techniques.
While it’s true that exercise can help you a lot, it won’t do you much good if you’re intaking too many calories. One of the best ways to lose weight after the baby is born is to take good care of your body during pregnancy.
This means staying active, doing prenatal exercises, and maintaining a healthy diet.
Make sure to carefully evaluate how you are feeling and which of the aforementioned tips would be most beneficial to you as a new mother. By doing so, you will notice a positive impact on how you are looking and feeling.
Do not compare yourself to other models and celebrities who just had children. Each mother is different in how they look and feel after pregnancy.
Realizing this is important for new mothers who are not feeling their absolute best. It is wise for each new mother to have a support system at home to help with this important transition.
The combination of support and a positive outlook will make a substantial difference in how a new mother is feeling with regards to their postnatal body.