I’m not sure where the conviction came from, but I really thought dropping the baby pounds would be, well, a cinch. I’d never really had a problem with my weight. Piling on the kilos while cooking the little spud didn’t really bother me.
At the start, I followed pregnancy weight gain charts online but soon clicked out of them with a ‘pfffft’ after I exceeded the recommended total weight gain half way through the whole thing. Apparently you’re only supposed to gain two stone while pregnant. Who knew?
I felt very bloated towards the end and asked the hubby to take the best photos of me in hospital (to hide my chins). On the day I brought home my baby, I bounded up the stairs, C-section and all, and jumped on the scales. A guttural cry echoed through the house. I’d only lost eight pounds. The baby weighed eight-and-a half-at birth. What the bloody hell was going on?
Of course, I couldn’t be too hard on myself. I’d just had a baby for God’s sake. I had a healthy baby; I too was healthy(ish) and I had so much to be thankful for. And I was. But, after a while I just couldn’t be thankful for my fat arse and a wardrobe packed with clothes that looked like they belonged to a child-sized me.
And so, here are my weight journey tips, the ones that may help expectant mums, new mums and those, like me, still waiting to drop those final few pounds:
Try to be kind to yourself in the first few weeks. Accept that you have come through a huge physiological journey and that you will be bloated, carrying extra fluid and sporting a very rounded tummy.
Don’t expect the weight to fall off straight away. For me I dropped weight in a pattern. A bit at the start, another bit after three weeks, static weight where very little changed, then a big dip again.
Put away the maternity clothes as soon as you can. This will help speed up the journey back to your old self.
Buy two pairs of jeans that are stretchy and a size or two bigger than normal. You will need these as you transition back to your old weight.
Long tops are a godsend. Stock up in Penney’s. We spent a day shopping in Blanchardstown with my fly completely open and a long top hiding my modesty.
Don’t believe the hype about breastfeeding. I expected the pounds to melt away and it just didn’t happen. In fact, research shows that some women hold on to an extra ten pounds to ensure they can keep a good milk supply. Women who breastfeed may see an increased weight loss between three and six months, however.
There’s no harm in avoiding photos if they’re going to leave you in tears for two days. What hormones?
Recovery from birth may take a lot longer than expected and this will affect your intended exercise regime. Make sure you rest and recover properly. It was weeks before I could go for a walk longer than ten minutes.
Hang around with people who tell you look great. These can include husbands, best friends and randomers you meet on the street.
When you feel ready, decide on your exercise regime and go for it. For me, it’s the gym and even if the scales haven’t moved much, I feel 100% better about myself because I’M DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Will I ever be skinny again? Probably not. But there’s always hope. Before baby number two.