First of all, new mothers need to take some time to adjust before they start worrying about their weight. Secondly and most importantly, you have to accept that no matter what your current weight and no matter how old your children are, it’s never too late to take control of your weight and your health. You have to believe in yourself. Anyone can regain their pre-pregnancy fitness levels; it just takes a little time, a little patience and a little self-compassion.
Every new mother struggles with different obstacles during their transition to motherhood. For some new mothers, baby weight gain melts away as soon as the baby is born. For others, they continue to struggle with weight loss up to a year or more later. Factors that influence post-pregnancy weight loss include; the choice to breast or bottle feed, method of delivery (c-section vs. vaginal), whether or not you’re afflicted by post partum depression, what your support structure at home is like and how many kids you’ve had. There are also genetic influences at play, as well as pre-pregnancy exercise and eating habits.
Women who breast feed tend to lose weight faster than those who bottle feed because lactation requires calories. Women who have a c-section may take longer to begin an exercise program since their childbirth entailed major surgery. Many women who struggle with depression have a difficult time just getting dressed in the mornings, much less worrying about weight loss. Those new moms who lack an adequate support structure at home may take longer to adjust to the demands of motherhood or to create a schedule that allows them time to diet and exercise. Women who’ve been active all of their lives will enjoy the benefits of muscle memory, which will probably lead to faster pregnancy weight loss. You can see why post-pregnancy weight loss is such an individual process for every new mother. Too many factors come into play to be able to say that all new moms should be back in shape within a set time after having their babies.
Most of us are familiar with new celebrity mom Jennifer Lopez. She truly understands the Power of being a Mom in Motion! At 39, she’s an athletic full time mom, with a husband frequently away on tour, a major singing and acting career, and global corporate brand.
So how was “Jenny from the block” able to remain hot, healthy and shed the excess pounds and abdominal baby fat after having twins?
She was smart. She started with a total fitness program that worked for her. J. Lo’s plan included swimming, jogging and cycling to get into shape. She also found time in her busy schedule to go to the gym to combine stretching and strength training into her routine. What’s more, she kept to a strictly balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy high protein low carb meals.
While we’re not all celebrities with the resources of Jennifer Lopez, we can all be inspired by her commitment to make the time and develop a plan to stay fit, healthy, and maximize her Momness (Mom + Hotness). As a rule, it takes nine months to gain weight during pregnancy, and it should take at least nine months to lose it in a healthy and sustainable manner. Don’t sabotage yourself and what should be the happiest time of your life by stressing out about your pregnancy weight gain. Once you’ve adjusted to motherhood, gradually begin to make changes that will help you lose weight and get back to your pre-pregnancy condition. Cut yourself some slack though. Take the time that you need to adjust and don’t ever play the comparison game (remember, all moms have unique experiences and obstacles to overcome). Make a promise to yourself that when you are good and ready, you’ll prioritize your own health and fitness in order to lose weight and get back in shape. With time, as you pour yourself into the new life you’ve just brought into the world, you’ll begin to see that you have the strength and power to accomplish anything you set your mind to.