by Dr. Sarah Winward, ND IBCLC
What’s the biggest mistake to make after giving birth?
Rushing to lose weight.
It is my biggest pet peeve, as a women, that so many of us feel such intense pressure to look model ready 24/7.
If you don’t like the way you look after spending 9 months growing your baby, I get it. Your body has been completely taken over by the process. It’s not just yours anymore. And if you believe what you see in the media, you’d think that you should have your old body back immediately after your baby is born. That plus the lack of sleep of new motherhood can leave anyone feeling like they aren’t adequate.
But what you see in the media is not reality.
Let me break it down:
Your weight gain during pregnancy consists of this:
- Baby ~7lbs
- Uterus 2 1/2 lb gain
- Placenta 1 lb
- Mother’s breasts 3 lb gain
- Mother’s blood 4 lb increase
- Mother’s fat 5 + lb increase
So, most of this weight isn’t even fat! It will come away on its own. You just need to give it time.
Remember too that your core has undergone significant changes. Even if you don’t have a vaginal birth, your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles have a lot of stress just from carrying baby for so long. These muscles and ligaments need time to heal.
Basically, your body needs rest and rehab. I truly believe that every pregnant person should see a pelvic floor physiotherapist.
Rushing into exercise can lead to injury, including pelvic floor complications like incontinence. No physique is worth peeing yourself.
Coming from a kinesiology background and a competitive athlete background I always tell people there is no such thing as over-training its actually under-resting.
Cutting back on calories or “dieting” can be a big problem too. Breast milk production may also be affected, but more often we see exhausted women exhausting themselves even more. Your baby needs you as nourished as possible, that means eating nourishing foods. In nourishing amounts.
Growing your baby took you 9 months, assume it will take at least that long for your body to adjust afterwards.
So, give your body the rest and nourishment it truly needs.
Your body, mind and soul will thank you in the long run.