Reader Question: post baby body

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Hi there – I hope this isn’t a crass question… I’m a soon-to-be first time mom as well, and am curious/fearful about weight loss after. You were very open and vulnerable about weight gain leading up, and look great now; i’m wondering if you’re planning to write at all about your body post-baby?

I haven’t written anything about it because there’s nothing to say so far (and time is at a premium). I haven’t worked out and haven’t lost much until now. A measly half a pound a week or so.
I have resolved to start my work out routine on Monday along with some healthy dieting (good bye cookies with justification of “but I’m breaaaastfeeeeeding”).
I will try to keep a semi-regular feature with the progress, though obviously I can’t promise too much consistency.

To be honest I’m really excited about looking skinny again.

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  • Reply
    April 14, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    You do look skinny already! Oh my gosh, I’ve been losing weight for two years in preparation for a baby and I still don’t have a figure anything as great as yours! 🙂 looking forward to reading your progress posts.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    I have always enjoyed your honesty and am looking forward to your post birth body posts. I agree with you that healthy eating & exercise is the way to go and don’t like hearing excuses by some people about how they can’t do either for whatever reason. I have a ton of food allergies & have to make nearly everything from scratch, this takes a lot of time, obviously. But I eat good food. The issue for most people is deciding what’s important (taking care of their bodies).

    I’m 22 weeks pregnant and weigh the same as I did 6 months before my husband and I met (my heaviest in my adult life). I know I’m going to gain more and knowing the baby is healthy & growing properly makes that easier to swallow (and that I’m gaining the recommended amount). Last night I was feeling fat (a problem not helped by loosing the ability to bend!) and achy. I asked my husband if I looked fat, his response was ‘No, you look pregnant! And I love your belly.’ To which I replied ‘But do I look pregnant AND fat?’ ‘NO! You look pregnant AND hot!’ What a perfect answer! I’ve decided part of my problem is lack of cute & flattering clothing and have decided to bite the bullet and buy some things. I loved all of your maternity style posts and have been watching those sites for sales (along with myhabit & zulily of course!) and my next trip into the city I’m going on a clothes hunt. Nervous and excited!

    • Reply
      April 16, 2012 at 8:14 AM

      Sometimes there really is no time to exercise. Not without sacrificing time with the baby. I do eat healthy the vast majority of the time, but I weigh the same as at my 6 week appointment, and my baby is almost 7 months old. I’m ok with it, but yeah, I’d like my old body back. If I were still at home with him, I’d definitely make the time to work out, but honestly, I just don’t want to give up my limited time with him after I get home from work so that I can work out. And when he is sleeping there is cleaning to be done. My husband helps with cleaning, but he has his own photography business and keeps the baby while I’m at work so he often still has quite a lot of work to do once I get home, or has portrait shoots, which are always in the evening. So I can’t just get him to do all the cleaning as he tries to do some Photoshop work when the baby naps during the day.

      I guess I just feel like there are priorities. I’m healthy enough, not overweight, and I can work out later. Braeden will not be small and will not be in this wonderful stage forever. And I’m determined not to miss any more than I already have to. He is my priority, not my body. That’s not an excuse, it’s just how it is.

      There is rarely a good excuse for not eating healthy, though, I’ll agree with you on that. I do feel it is important to take the time to make our food in a healthy way, and we make his baby food as well.

  • Reply
    Rachel M.
    April 14, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    I haven’t been able to keep up with your posts lately due to my dad moving to Japan for a job! BUT I just got caught up and wanted to say that you are doing a fan-freaking-tastic job at motherhood. I feel like some people get caught up in styles/theories of parenting, but you are honestly doing what is best- listening to your baby and your instinct! She sounds so much like Silas as a newborn! Te newborn pictures, the alert behavior, skin-on–skin needs, etc. He is incredibly advanced physically and emotionally at 2. Our relationship is one with trust and understanding. He is also very attached to his grandparents and daddy. It is very rewarding to see how he has grown and how my AP ways have created a confident, yet understanding toddler. Anyhow, congrats on a job well done!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    You look healthy with a little weight on you. You looked a little unhealthy pre-pregnancy…..(there is a difference between thin and skinny….you were on the skinny side)

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      That’s because you’re used to seeing me with weight on. Those who are very close to me (friends, hubby) can see a bit clearer. I was the healthiest, in the best shape and really good looking (body wise) right before I got pregnant. I carry weight well because I’m tall, so I still look relatively thin but it’s definitely not my optimal weight/shape. My height is also the reason I look “too thin” to some people. There’s nothing optimal about a layer of fat over my abs or thick arms when it comes to my body. That is not what my natural body shape is.
      That being said, I know my legs won’t get much skinnier. That’s just how I am.

      I am VERY curious if there’s a difference in how my body responds to exercise and healthy dieting after pregnancy. Whether its going to be harder to get in shape.

      • Reply
        April 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Elena, I don’t think it will be that much harder for you to get in shape. I’ve commented before asking about your post baby body, because I am also naturally skinny (but short) and had expected the weight to just drop off effortlessly after I had a baby. It didn’t; I had to really work at it. Pre-having kids, I would be able to work out pretty hard and watch what I ate for 1-2 weeks and I’d lose the 3-4 lbs that I had gained over Christmas or holidays or whatever. Post-partum it was definitely a bit more effort. I only lost a pound a week, and I worked out daily and was careful about what I ate. I actually woke up and put on my workout clothes, and the second my son fell asleep, I’d put him in his carseat and go down to the gym in our building and run on the treadmill. Then, later I would go for an hourlong walk with him in the Bjorn. I did this every day and I did lose weight consistently, but it was SLOW. I was 106 lbs pre-pregnancy (I’m 5’3″) and I got to 110 lbs by 3 mths and was wearing all of my clothes. It took a few more months to lose the last 4-5 lbs though. I can understand how some people never lose the last 5 lbs. because those last pounds took a lot of effort. They did come off though. And I can understand what you mean about people saying you look thin now and you not really agreeing. People told me that I looked thin when I weighed 120, but that was 10 pounds more than I had ever weighed and didn’t look good on my frame. I didn’t like the thicker arms and midsection, and just wanted my old body back. Sure, I looked fine, but just not like the “old” me. BTW, I didn’t breastfeed, so I didn’t have that calorie burning advantage going for me. Though, I know some women hold weight from breastfeeding. My sister, who is also very slim (5’4″ 109 lbs, marathon runner and triathlete), breastfed and didn’t lose the last 7-8 pounds until she weaned her daughter at 1 year, even though she was eating very healthy and exercising 5-6x a week. Then, after weaning, she lost those last few pounds easily in a couple of weeks. I’ve heard this tends to happen to thin people whose bodies need the extra fat stores to breastfeed.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          April 14, 2012 at 4:28 PM

          For me breastfeeding is definitely not an advantage when it comes to losing weight. I barely any lost the weight I put on minus the baby. It does make sense what you’re saying about thin people storing fat for breastfeeding.
          Kudos for getting out there and losing your pregnancy weight! I hope I have the same motivation! I primarily want to lose the midsection and arms, which have never been my trouble spots.
          And tone up!!! Omg I feel like such a lame person without defined muscles. All soft and gushy!

          • Rebecca
            April 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM

            I TOTALLY know how you feel. I felt soft and gushy too, and I hated the thicker arms and midsection – never my problem areas either. You really will get back to exactly the way you were before though. It will just take time and patience, and like other commenters have said, it will probably be after you stop breastfeeding. I think the sleep deprivation also causes metabolism to slow down; there have been studies that also have shown that people who are sleep deprived eat more. I know that’s certainly true for me. When my son got onto a more regular schedule I felt MUCH better. Anyway, a lot of people say that your body will never be the same after having kids – and that is technically true; there will be SOMETHING that won’t go back to exactly the way it was before, but if you put in the time/effort you will definitely get back to the weight you were and you’ll be happy with your body again.

      • Reply
        April 14, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        I can tell you from experience that you may want to focus on losing weight after you are done breastfeeding. I have had to come to terms that my body stores fat when breastfeeding. If I don’t consume enough calories every day my supply drops dramatically. I am ten months in, and this has happened throughout my breastfeeding journey. Exercise is good but I have to compensate by eating more to make up for the extra calories burned.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          April 14, 2012 at 4:22 PM

          Thank you for that! I’ve been worried about “dieting” because of breastfeeding. So my plan is to not decrease the amount of calories I consume but maybe just stop the sweets and eat bigger but fresher meals (which is kind of what I’ve been doing).

      • Reply
        April 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

        I totally concur with the person that said that weight comes off painfully slow after after having kids. Im 18 months out of my last pregnancy and it is horrifically slow for me. But to me, you look really REALLY healthy right now….(thin…not skinny). You may never get to your pre-pregnancy body….child bearing changes your body and how it holds onto things and the older we get (not that you are hardly old….you are still quite young) but the older we do get, the harder it is to come off as well.

    • Reply
      Erica Castillo @Mi Todo
      April 14, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      I don’t think you looked unhealthy at all…

    • Reply
      April 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      I don’t think she looked unhealthy. That’s not very nice.

  • Reply
    Erica Castillo @Mi Todo
    April 14, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    To your reader: If you’re interested I’ve been updating about my post-baby body on my blog. The last time I really talked about my body in detail was at 3 weeks pp ( but now I’m 5 weeks and only 2lbs over my pp weight. I’ve lost more muscle and gained fat though so my body is not quite the same yet. I also posted the workout/diet plan I’m using to get there. ( it’s really not as bad/hard as I thought it was going to be.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    I’m curious as to what your typical schedule is. How many days do you work out and what exercises do you do? I find that I get bored easily with certain workouts (especially running).

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 14, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      I haven’t started working out yet. Once I do, it’ll probably be not very intense or long since Lexi is pretty demanding.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    I have a question, and since you’ve been open about this kind of stuff before, I’ll go ahead and ask…
    Your more than 6 weeks post partum, sooo, how is your sex life? Or is there a sex life yet 😉 haha! How does it work with bed sharing? I understand if you don’t want to answer, but I figure you blogged about producing a semen sample in a parking lot so hopefully this isn’t too taboo.

    • Reply
      April 14, 2012 at 8:25 PM

      oops *you’re*

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 14, 2012 at 8:47 PM

      First of all, bed sharing wouldn’t interfere with our sex life since we’ve never been the “go at it in bed before sleep” kind of people. When we go to bed, we go to bed.
      That being said, with the way Alexis has been since birth, eating around the clock and not really sleeping, we have been in survival mode. There has been no time whatsoever to be sexy. Up until a week ago we have both been focused on going to bed the second she does so that her 5-6 wakings wouldn’t mean 2 hours of sleep a night for us.
      Alexis routine is getting better so I see it improving but until she starts having naps and not 20 minutes of rocking every hour, or starts going to bed earlier, sex is going to be the last thing on our minds and continue being a rare occurrence. We have barely been able to even snuggle (which is the side effect of bed sharing).
      Ok, now I’m gonna go and see if hubby put Alexis to bed finally and get some snuggling done, cuz it’s making me feel bad 🙂 lol
      (I’m also a bit scared cuz I hear it’s uncomfortable if you’re breastfeeding)

      • Reply
        April 14, 2012 at 9:44 PM

        Thanks for being honest.That sounds perfectly normal :). I think my son was 14 weeks before we did the deed and I know others who were the same way or felt the need to wait longer. I was also scared, because I was breastfeeding, had a 3rd degree tear and also a fractured tailbone, but it wasn’t too bad. I find it amazing that some people don’t even want to wait 6 weeks before they’re ready to go at it (Tori Spelling just confessed that she got pregnant 2 weeks post partum!!!), but hey to each their own. It is understandable that Lexi is #1 priority right now and “me” or “us” time is few and far between.

      • Reply
        April 15, 2012 at 3:50 AM

        Not necessarily. I breastfed and we were back at it within three weeks, despite me having a lot of stitches. It’s so different from woman to woman that there’s no point borrowing trouble.

        • Reply
          April 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM

          I have never heard of it hurting more because you are breastfeeding, I just don’t see how the two connect. I would think it would hurt more because 1) the entire region has just gone through a pretty traumatic experience and is still healing, moving back into place, etc and 2) The vagina can be really dry post-partum.

          I breastfed (still do) and we did the deed about 6 weeks post-partum (once the doc gave the go-ahead) and it actually didn’t hurt like I thought it would. Just be sure to use lots of lube. Once I got past the initial fear of the first time after having a baby, it feels exactly like it did before.

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            April 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

            What the doc and a few bfing mamas said is that the area is very thin and tender there while you’re breastfeeding because of the hormones.

  • Reply
    Kat H
    April 17, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    you are so beautiful and I know that weight will be easy to lose once you try. I hope to hear some exercise and healthy eating tips soon! yay!

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