First of all, I want you to give yourself a minute. You just created a human being for the past 10-months and birthed it into this world. Don’t compare your postpartum journey to anyone else’s, wherever you are right now is perfect! Now that you have given your incredible body some love let’s talk about some simple solutions to get you started toward your goal weight and how to lose pregnancy weight gain.
My body isn’t what I remember it to be.
Losing your pregnancy weight gain postpartum is a little bit different than just dieting (which I don’t believe in).
- You are healing from a trauma.
- If you are nursing, your body is now producing milk.
- You could have DRA, abdominal wall separation.
- A c-section recovery.
- You are now sleep deprived.
All of these major things factor into setting realistic health goals for yourself. Most importantly, you must let your body heal, and this can be quite hard while taking care of a tiny human and possibly other children if you have multiples or older kids. It is possible though!!
Where do I even start?
My favorite place to start is your kitchen. This is something you can control and will not only benefit your healing body but also your baby if you are breastfeeding.
Stock your kitchen with fresh produce. If you are reading this prenatal, prep healthy meals and freeze them for when you come home from the hospital. Some essential healing foods to keep in mind:
Meals rich in iron (repair tissues, support hormones,and rebuild blood): Bison, and beef grass fed organic. Blackstrap Molasses is another great source of iron.
Green leafy vegetables
Mineral broth (my absolute favorite! Recipe is at the bottom)
Eat all the good fats! Nuts, avocado, olive oil, ghee, eggs, coconut milk and oil. Don’t be afraid of good fats, they will keep you satisfied and support nutrient absorption. Not to mention support your mood and brain function. There should be a healthy fat with each meal whether you are cooking with Ghee or Olive oil, or adding avocado to a soup or salad.
Soups, smoothies, saute veggies, and really anything easy to digest is a great place to start with these foods listed above. The truth is your body is working so hard to heal on the inside from childbirth, that giving the digestive system a break with easily digestible healing foods can help speed up recovery.
With that being said… if it is the middle of the summer or you live somewhere warm, soups might not be your number one choice. When you are food prepping and stocking your fridge keep in mind this list:
Anything that grows or lives outside:
- Nuts and seeds (raw is best or salted)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Beans and legumes (these are great for digestion after childbirth)
- Animal protein
- Brown rice and Quinoa
Any real, nutrient dense food will be much easier for your body to digest than processed foods. Check out the book “The First forty days” by Heng Ou. It is full of incredible wisdom to nourish a new mama.
Sleep deprivation and stress
Nothing can really prepare you for motherhood, you don’t know until you know! Sleep deprivation can cause anxiety, stress, anger, pp depression, junk food cravings, and the baby weight to stay put. Your baby waking up in the night is 100% necessary so how do you get around this? As a certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant I can tell that there are ways to start helping your child learn how to sleep right from the first day home from the hospital. They will still need to eat every 3-6 hours until they are at a healthy weight though. I like to tell parents to take shifts at night.
- Split it into 4-6 hours shifts where you will each be able to get consolidated sleep.
- If you are nursing, pump at some point during the day so your partner can feed the baby a bottle.
- Know this is temporary. If children learn independent sleep skills they will gradually wean themselves from nighttime feedings at around 3-months old.
- Remember babies are born built to sleep, but they must learn self-soothing and independent sleep skills on their own.
As I listed above it is NOT good for anybody to be sleep deprived but especially a mom. Sleep is when the body repairs itself, and mama you need a lot of repair after what your body has been through. Sleep is also going to give mental clarity, focus, and mood stabilization. Not to mention give you the energy to make healthy food choices, eventually want to exercise, and of course enjoy your bundle of joy!
Easiest ways to lose the pregnancy weight
- Fill your kitchen with foods that will benefit your body and clean out the pantry getting rid of processed foods and sugary treats.
- Sleep. Take shifts, ask for help! You might not get 8 hours but, try your best during the newborn stage to get some consolidated sleep. Naps count! Bottom line.. if you and your child aren’t sleeping you are going to have a really hard time losing weight and sustaining your health goals.
- Hydrate. Make sure you are drinking enough water (especially if you are nursing). Leave water bottles all over the house!
- Get outside. Vitamin D is going to be your best friend for an energy boost and also to help you sleep at night.
5. Check for DRA. Ask your doctor to check your for Diastasis Recti or you can do it with an at home check found here. Doctors don’t always do this when they clear you to work out at 6-weeks PP. If you start exercising too early you can damage your abdominal muscles more. Most likely you would lose weight but still have a belly pooch. This can be very frustrating and can cause other injuries like back and neck pain.
We can help! Our programs range from newborn to adult sleep, and we also offer full body women’s health programs (sleep, fitness, nutrition). Support and accountability for you, and sleep solutions for the whole family. Find out more information here.
As promised, Mineral Broth Recipe.
This is from the “Rise and Run Cookbook” by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. All of their cookbooks are amazing for athletes or really anyone that wants simple nutrient dense recipes. They claim this mineral broth can heal ALL ailments so why not drink it after having a baby?!
Quick note: This broth is not a meal replacement to lose pregnancy weight gain. You should have it with a healthy meal full of nutrient dense foods.
In a stock pot or crock pot add:
2 sweet potatoes chopped into quarters with skin
1 yellow onion chopped in quarter with skin
1 inch piece of ginger sliced with skin
¼ bunch of flat leafed parsley
Half a heart and stem of celery chopped into quarters
5 cloves of garlic smashed
1 medium beet cut into quarters
3 carrots chopped
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
8-inch strip of kombu seaweed
Sea Salt(to taste)
4-quarts of cold filtered water
I also add: 2 scoops of Vital proteins Collagen peptides and
one scoop of Four Sigmatic Mushroom Blend(optional)
Simmer for 4-6 hours. I like to use the crockpot and just leave it for the day. Some of the ingredients you will need to go to the health food store for, but they last a while and one batch makes about 6-8 mugs of broth.
Please reach out for support. Motherhood is SO hard! Know you are not alone in all of the feelings you are feeling in this new body and life you have just begun. Personally I had such a hard time with sleep and body image postpartum it ultimately led me to become a postpartum coach. Be encouraged, and be patient. Motherhood of course comes with its challenges but it also motivates us to be better, to more than we ever could have imagined, and it is all 100% possible.
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