I'm particularly interested in learning about other women's postpartum weight loss experiences, and researching effective ways to kick the extra pounds.
For me, one of the huge promotions of breastfeeding includes promises of fast weight loss for moms. If that's true, then why is it that I hear that breastfeeding moms are not losing weight until after they wean their baby? My first hand experience was very slow weight loss while breastfeeding my first baby and then as soon as I weaned him I was able to drop 10 pounds in 2-3 months with no great effort. What am I missing? I used to think that other people were just making excuses as to why they weren't losing weight, until I experienced it first hand. Although there may be women out there who lose weight while breastfeeding, it doesn't seem to be the case for most women. While it is true that you use about 500 extra calories per day, it seems like they don't have the same effect as 500 calories burned while exercising.
In my quest for knowledge to blast the pounds I came across this book called, "Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell: After Pregnancy." It's written by a fellow Registered Dietitian. I found it super helpful and research based. She has some other great books depending on the phase of life you're in as a woman.
Some of the take home messages I learned were to chill out and don't go straight to the gym 6 weeks postpartum. Just because we are medically cleared by the doctor at 6 weeks doesn't mean our bodies are completely healed from the trauma of birth. It took 9 months to create the baby, maybe we should give our bodies more than 6 weeks to heal before exercising at the same intensity as before. I'm not saying you shouldn't exercise, just take it slow and pretend like you've never exercised before. Start at square one and build a solid fitness foundation. Something that has been crucial for me is to fix muscle imbalances that occur during pregnancy. All your body weight and balance are thrown off with a huge baby in front. Going back to normal doesn't just happen without some planning. Before I fixed those imbalances my hips, back and let's face it EVERYTHING HURT.
According to the research she provided, women don't enjoy the benefits of breastfeeding weight loss unless they breast feed 6 months plus and usually don't show those benefits until 1 year or more postpartum. That's crazy!!! I wasn't surprised based on my own experienced, but didn't realize I wasn't alone in my dismal weight loss results. In this book there are a lot of other great facts and helpful tips to guide you in the year following birth. It has helped me make realistic goals and allow my body to properly heal.
Do yourself a favor and read this book.