After having my first baby, I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight within a few months. I still felt uncomfortable seeing myself in pictures or wearing a lot of my old clothes, since my weight had apparently shifted around. Here is my story of how I felt like myself again and even saw abs for the first time in my life after having my first baby.
When I had my second baby, I wasn't too worried about losing the baby weight, since I now had the simplified nutrition program and the tools to get back in shape. Again, I hit my pre-pregnancy weight, but this time I had a belly pooch I just couldn't get rid of. Even cleansing when I was done nursing didn't help. After a few Google searches, I realized I probably had diastasis recti, or separated abdominal muscles. I'm short-waisted, and carried a very large baby, so it made sense. Plus, I know I had done push-ups, planks, and other exercises during my pregnancy that put more strain on my already weakened abdominal muscles. Unfortunately, by the time I realized what was going on, we were ready to start trying for Baby #3. I put my dreams of flat abs on hold for awhile longer.
Today I am officially 2 weeks postpartum after having baby #3. I am determined to do everything I can to lose the baby weight in a safe and healthy way without hurting my milk supply, and to heal my diastasis recti in an effort to feel comfortable in my body again.
I know there are those who think it's vain or selfish to be worried about losing weight and my post-baby body so soon after having a baby. However, I have thought long and hard about this, and here's the conclusion I have come to. When I feel healthy, strong, and comfortable in my own skin, I am a better mom to my kids, and a better wife to my husband. When I am frustrated because nothing fits or is flattering, and when I feel like my core is so weak it's affecting my daily tasks, that makes me feel frustrated, and I often take it out on my family.
So in an effort to inspire some other mamas struggling with their new body after having a baby, and to hold myself accountable, I am going to share my journey as I work to safely release the baby weight and heal my core. I am definitely not one of those amazing mamas who has flat abs 8 days after giving birth, so you will see some ups and downs along the way. But that's real life for so many of us, right? The weight doesn't just fall off for everyone, some of us gain more during pregnancy no matter what we do, and that's ok! Each person and each body is different.
So without further ado, here is my plan for losing the baby weight and healing my diastasis recti, 2 weeks postpartum.
+ I am having 2 superfood shakes each day, usually one at breakfast and one at lunch. These shakes are made with 24 grams of high quality whey protein sourced from happy cows in New Zealand. They are loaded with vitamins, trace minerals, and amino acids that our bodies need, but is often missing from our food.
+ I'm stocking my kitchen with plenty of fruit to curb my sweet tooth. Apples, strawberries, and grapes are my go-to fruits!
+ Green smoothies are perfect for getting extra servings of fruits and vegetables (like spinach or cauliflower).
+ I will continue to eat small snacks throughout the day, pairing a carbohydrate with a protein to stay fuller longer.
+ I aim to drink a gallon of water each day. Some days I fall a little short, but having the gallon jug on the counter is a good reminder to keep drinking, especially when I feel the urge to snack, but am not truly hungry.
+ The vitamins I take have a natural base of fruits and vegetables nourish my body, help combat stress and fatigue, and strengthen my immune health.
+ Most nights before bed I will be drinking a Bedtime Belly Buster, which is a combination of high quality whey protein and a powdered fruit supplement. The high quality whey protein boosts metabolism and supports restful sleep (which is hard to come by as a nursing mama!).
+ I love adding fiber, fruits, and greens to my daily superfood shake. The fiber aids in digestion and contains pre and probiotics, and the fruits and greens act as "produce insurance" in case I don't get the daily recommended amount.
Learn more about the high-quality supplements I trust as a nursing mom here.
+ At this stage, rest and healing from my surgery is the most important thing I could be doing.
+ I am starting to incorporate short daily walks.
+ I am focusing on good posture and restorative breathing.
+ The Belly Bandit has been my close companion for the past two weeks. I love how it supports my abdominal muscles and I've heard it's supposed to help close the gap in your abdominal muscles if worn in the weeks post-baby!
+ I'm still breastfeeding, which helps the uterus shrink down to it's original size, and burns extra calories.
+ I'm wearing my baby in the carrier as much as possible (necessary when it's your third child) to burn some extra calories.
So these are the things that have worked for me in the past, and a few new things I hope will help the third time around! Hopefully this gives you some ideas of how you can get started on your journey to feeling comfortable and confident in your body post-baby!
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