How to Lose Weight After Having a Baby

Lose weight after pregnancy

Losing weight after being pregnant

Exercise after having a baby

You just went through hours, maybe days of labor–the last thing on your mind is exercise. Losing the baby weight is a priority for some women though.

Others prefer to wait a month or two.

When you want to start is up to you. How you feel, as well as what your doctor recommends is the deciding factor. The later being the most important.

Let’s say you are ready to start back up. You’ve got questions. That’s normal.

  • How much do I work out?
  • Is this going to effect the breast milk?
  • Do I need to drink more water?

Doctor’s recommend that you keep to two and a half hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. A good 30 minute workout 3-5 days a week is probably going to be a good start for you.

Go for a brisk 30-minute walk with your baby in the stroller. You both will get fresh air, and you can get your heart rate up enough to get a good workout in.

A question that one may not think about is whether this is going to effect the breast milk your baby is getting. The answer is both yes and no. The first 30 minutes after a high-intensity workout can cause lactic acid to accumulate in breast milk and produce a sour taste. Your baby won’t want anything to do with it.

Suggestions would be to do a moderate to light intensity workout, as opposed to high-intensity, and also to rid of the milk produced 30 minutes after your high-intensity workout. As far as the nutritional and composition of the breast milk, this should be unchanged.

Keep hydrated. Your body is going through so many changes, and still recovering from giving birth. Pay attention to the signs of dehydration. Please, please, please, make sure to drink plenty of water. If you are dehydrated, you aren’t doing your baby any favors, especially if you are breast feeding.

Always pay attention to your body’s signals, and any signs it is sending you. Your body has a way of telling you when to stop an activity, and oddly enough what it needs. You just have to stop and listen to what it is telling you.

Nobody knows your body as well as yourself, keep in good health because now you have a baby that is depending on you.

Becca Boyer, CPT

Photo: Guillermo Ossa

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20 Responses to “How to Lose Weight After Having a Baby”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Todd Boyer and Project Swole, Top Sites Fitness. Top Sites Fitness said: How to Lose Weight After Having a Baby: Exercise after having a baby is confusing. Here is the low-down on weigh… http://bit.ly/fuA15P [...]

  2. Anne says:

    I never knew that about the lactic acid in the breast milk. It makes perfect sense though.

  3. Tim says:

    After my wife gave birth to our kiddos, she busted tail to get back into shape. It took time, but she got there… and then we had another. She looks fantastic no matter what.

  4. Peter@BOR says:

    My wife is prego now. She’s concerned by the changes, and how they will make her look after the baby is born. I keep telling her to not worry about it. Of course, that doesn’t help.

    Watch, she’ll be one of those mommies that have the kid on the back of the bike for an afternoon ride, or parked next to her while she runs on the treadmill. :)

  5. Todd says:

    And visit Wii Mommies (the link is in the blog roll over there in the sidebar –> ).

    Seriously, if that’s what you’ve got, go for it. The Wii, and now the Xbox360 with the Kinect, have a wide variety of exercise options.

  6. Todd and Becca, awesome post delivery workout tips. I wonder if it is easier to get back to working out if you had been active for most of the pregnancy?

  7. Todd says:

    @Susan, I’ll take a stab at this one–I would definitely say that it would be easier to get back to working out if a woman is active during pregnancy. With the doc’s permission, and barring them putting the kibosh on it, I say exercise all through pregnancy.

  8. Fit2B Mama says:

    As a fitness instructor who taught through two healthy pregnancies, I can testify to the strength and stamina I had to give birth. My babies were bigger than my non-exercising friends, and my labors were shorter. HOWEVER, even though I was careful to avoid exercising on my back once it started making me dizzy, and even though I modified all my core work, I still ended both my pregnancies with a large diastasis recti (separation of the linea alba connective tissue between the abs). Research is now showing that 98% of women who have been pregnant have a diastasis YEARS after their pregnancies are over! And they will never get their bellies back without going through Ab Rehab and healing their transverse abdominus. The culprit: crunches, planks, crossover crunches and any other motion that puts forward pressure on that sensitive connective tissue. Have a look at http://www.thetummyteam.com and maternalfitness.com … No I don’t work for them. But I’m now a client :)

  9. Todd says:

    @Fit2BMama, Thanks for stopping by Bethany. Great info! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Greg says:

    Interesting post Todd. Seems like conventional wisdom is for women to essentially continue with whatever routine they’ve been doing; at least early in pregnancy, assuming no contraindications… My wife struggled through pregnancy with our kids, so sometimes it just can’t be done. But there are numerous benefits if you can stick with it…

  11. Todd says:

    @Greg, absolutely. It has to be said that exercise while pregnant has to be ok’ed by the doc. Whatever he/she says goes.

  12. Good evening Becca and Todd,

    Very interesting post!

    So many women I talk to are plagued by the belief that having a child has to mean the death of their healthy body (including Jillian Michaels from what I’ve read), despite the fact that there are countless examples of women who prove that fitness is possible before, during, and “YES!” after pregnancy.

    I know a female bodybuilder who’s had 7 kids, and her body is still absolutely amazing! Last November she had lucky number 7, and she managed to lose all of her baby weight in a mere 6 weeks!

    Don’t let anybody tell you it can’t be done, especially when it’s you.

    Rock it! :)

    -Matt

  13. Todd says:

    Hi @Matt. Well, I’ll begin by holding my tongue about one Jillian Michaels. She’s entitled to her opinion, but we all know what those are like.

    That’s absolutely awesome about the bodybuilder. Somebody mentioned to me the other day about a figure competitor that has had a few children, but is still competitive enough to participate in the Olympia weekend.

  14. Great advice from everyone. P90X would also be a good post-pregnancy workout routine to follow for 3-6 months to get back into training. Wearing a girdle immediately after pregnancy goes a long way to restoring the structure of the abdominals. Be sure that all crunches, sit-ups, etc… are done with the abs contracted (pulled in), especially the transverse – in my opinion nearly all abdominal exercises should be executed while holding a vacuum, however difficult that may sound.

    On a similar note, you know who else has diastasis recti? Nearly every overweight middle aged American male with a so-called beer-belly. Not only are they riddled with marbled fat, but they would need a barrel of luck to train those abs back into a perfect 6-pack.

  15. Todd says:

    @Steve, those are all very good points. I hadn’t ever really thought about those guys with a “keg” having a VERY difficult time getting a six-pack.

  16. Awesome info, Todd. I have never had a baby but I know for sure one of the first things I would be thinking about after the birth is getting that extra weight off. The recommendation of 30 mins a few times per week is probably a good start!

  17. Todd says:

    I can’t take credit for this one. My lovely bride, Becca, is the brain child behind this post, and she’s Awesome! :)

  18. Todd:

    It’s so great that you can tap into all aspects of the health and fitness world…especially for expecting mothers. Well done.

    Lisa

  19. Todd says:

    @Lisa, I’m glad that you liked this post. Becca is an awesome writer, if I can get her to sit down long enough to bang away on the keyboard. :)

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