As the adage goes ‘experience is the mother of wisdom’. How true that is! With my first pregnancy, I was completely delusional to the postpartum baby weight struggles. In my mind, I had always been ‘thin’ or ‘average,’ I typically avoided junk foods, and once in a while treated myself to my favourite chocolate cravings.
All in all, I gained 60 pounds with my son and honestly thought that I’d loose the baby weight right away. ‘Baby goes out and so does the weight, since I thought most of it was ‘water’ and ‘baby’.
Boy was I wrong! It took me at least 9 months to look somewhat back to ‘normal’ and after a year I still had my ‘mummy tummy’ and when I didn’t tuck in my tummy, I looked 3-months pregnant and had the dreaded saggy skin. TMI ('too much info'), but for those of you that can relate, I hear your pain!
With my second child, I was ‘smarter’ and tried to eat healthier foods and ignore the poor advice that you often get when you’re pregnant of ‘you can eat anything’. As a caveat: do not follow the 'you can eat anything' advice because you will pay the price later! So in my second time around instead of gaining 60 pounds, I gained 50! This time, I decided to put concerted effort to target my mummy tummy, but was told I had ‘diastasis recti’ - i.e. my abdominal muscle had split due to my large belly as a result of my pregnancies and doing simple exercises like crunches (which is what first comes to mind to flatten your tummy) was out of the question because it would make matters worse. So I still looked pregnant even though the baby was clearly out.
With determination, discipline and self-sacrifice, I was able to loose all 50 pounds and am back to my 120 pounds (more or less), which was my pre-baby weight.
I’m still working on getting that complete flat tummy, but with a 7 month old and a 34 month old, things can get crazy and it’s a struggle finding time to properly exercise.
How did I lose the baby weight? Here are my 10 tips that you can try to assist you in getting back to those skinny jeans!
- H20: replace juices / drinks for good old fashioned H20 - water, it’s the source of life!
- Shake that booty! - dance around the house, with or without your baby. You’ll feel happier and healthier. I don’t like to ‘formally’ exercise because it seems so restrictive and boring. Instead I like to Dance, Zumba or Bellydance - it’s so much fun! The main rule is ‘no jumping’ as this could make things worse, but concentrate on doing pelvic tilts and contracting your abdominal muscles in & back. Think of your bellybutton - pull that bellybutton upwards and to the back of your spine. By working on these contractions you are trying to join the abdominal muscles together and ‘shrink’ the entire saggy belly area back to ‘normal’ or even better, bikini ready flat!
- luvchild’s Body & Bum Spray: use to massage the belly area to reduce stretch marks and spray onto the perineum area for much needed relief. It will really help speed the healing process, especially if you tore or had an episiotomy.
- Get some fresh air by going for walks - this is great for your mind, especially if you’re struggling with postpartum depression and it’s great for baby. Go out and smell the roses for at least half an hour (weather permitting).
- Go barefoot or opt for flat shoes instead of heels - not only will you be more comfortable, but walking barefoot allows your body to have a proper alignment and for your muscles to properly work together, which means your abdominal muscles can go back to ‘normal’ sooner.
- Straighten your back and use good posture - as in point #5, your body is able to heal faster as all its parts work as intended when they are properly placed. Think of how amazing models look, and they have good posture. Be your own model and work it!
- Eat in smaller portions and Eat healthier - eat in smaller portions, and be wiser in your decisions. Instead of indulging in that yummy chocolate cake opt for a dark chocolate square instead. Substitute white rice with brown rice, eat more veggies, etc.. you know what to do.
- Out of sight Out of mind - get your hubby to buy groceries & if you’re going to get something to satisfy your sweet tooth then dark chocolate or fruit covered in dark chocolate does the trick.
- Drink herbal teas - depending on the tea, most are filled with antioxidants. Green tea helps you burn calories as well. We luv: (i) chocolate chai as it indulges your sweet tooth and it’s good for you; (ii) morrocan mint (green tea with spearmint); and (iii) rooibos with anything - its great for stomach issues and filled with antioxidants. Whatever tea you drink, make sure it’s ‘black’ - no sugar or milk/creams added.
- Do 10 minutes of ab toning exercises daily - I don’t like 'formal' exercise, but to get a flat tummy you must do some type of ab work! Our favourite postpartum exercise program is from MutuMama. I’m still working on it, but it has informative video sessions that explain the science behind the exercise and the postpartum belly. Your MutuMama videos and membership will never expire so you have a lifetime of access to amazing exercises that are easy and quick to do. We received many of the above pointers from the MutuMama system. You can check out real life testimonials here. It’s really helped me in not looking pregnant and getting me bikini body ready! Which reminds me that I better get back to doing my ab workouts while the kids are sleeping!*
At the end of the day, remember that you have to take care of yourself first in order to take care of everyone else! Make wise choices, start one day at a time, write your plan of action and keep it in an area visible to you on a daily basis. Put up a picture of your ‘skinny’ you to remind you of what you can look like again to help you achieve your goals. Everything is possible with dedication, commitment and sacrifice! You’re a mom…you already have those qualities.
Keep working it!
luv child team