They way society perceives postpartum bodies has been making headlines recently. Whether it's "fit moms" claiming moms still carrying weight from their pregnancy are lazy, or magazine covers beckoning new moms to "get their body back," a conversation has begun about they ways in which body shaming effects women who have just given birth. Some women are fine with the way their body has changed, post child, while other may want to shed some pounds. But what your doctor really wants you to know about losing baby weight is that there is no one size fits all plan, prescription, or expectation.
It's no secret that everyone's body is different, but keeping this in mind when talking about baby weight is key. To gauge how your body might respond postpartum, you'll have to consider what your body was like before you became pregnant. As OB-GYN Dr. Sheryl Ross explained to Cosmopolitan magazine, there is no timetable for losing baby weight; the largest fact effecting your weight loss is what kind of shape you were in pre-baby. Don't compare yourself to others — friends, coworkers, and family members may lose weight faster than you based solely on their DNA. There is no foolproof formula for drooping the extra pounds.
Even though there is no magic bullet for postpartum weight loss, there are a few things any mom (no matter her shape or size) can do to get the process moving in the right direction. Just walking around your block for 20 to 30 minutes a few times a week is enough to get you going, according to fitness expert Renee M. Jeffreys, who suggested this workout for new moms to Fit Pregnancy magazine. Getting your body up and moving gets your blood flowing and some cardio pumping.
Working in movement is great, but it's also wise to consider your food. Some women think they need to cut their calories after they stop eating for two, but it turns out the opposite is true. As Dr. Oz told Today Health and Wellness, “the baby weight gain, in particular, it's driven by hormones and when you have this growling in your stomach, you have to have snacks.” Oz suggested adding three snacks a day to your diet, aiming for a total calorie count of 250. Permission to snack, granted — who can be mad at that?
Overall, you need to be kind to yourself when approaching weight loss. As the website for What To Expect reminded, your whole body contributes to baby weight: increased breast tissue, blood supply, fat stores, and enlarged uterus. It may take more time than you want, but loosing the baby weight is a process and one that is different for each mother.