Losing the Baby Fat! Can You Be “Runway Ready” 3 Months After Giving Birth?

Losing the fat after having a baby is a cinch!

Look at all the celebrities. They’re doing it and so can you!

Don’t believe it.

They have publicists which is another word for people whose job is to make celebrities seem to be superhuman. They are responsible for creating an image and getting stories published that convince us that celebrities are better than the rest of the population. Don’t believe everything you read and see. The stories and the images are “edited for effect.”

I’m writing this for the women whose bodies are not their full-time jobs.

We all “know” that supermodels are back to pre pregnancy size soon after delivery. They’re back to sashaying down the runway looking as skeletal as ever. They’re getting their pics taken by the paparazzi looking toned, with a concave belly, in their bikinis at some ritzy beachside resort. That’s nice for them, but it’s not a goal normal women should worry about replicating!

Weight Watchers hired Jessica Simpson to be a role model for women who have recently delivered a baby. I will not disparage anybody’s weight loss success. Even with lots of money as an incentive and lots of help in the form of personal trainers and personal chefs, Jessica had to do the work herself.  Congratulations to her, but let’s be real – she had advantages that you and I don’t have.

Don’t waste your time envying the “super moms” or hating them. Their bodies are their jobs! They don’t have the kind of life you or I have. There’s simply no comparison.

A lot of celebrities had a lot of advantages, and they didn’t keep off their weight – Kirstie Alley, Valerie Bertinelli, and Carnie WIlson. (And although I’m not betting against Jessica, let’s see what happens after she marries her baby daddy!) This shows us that ultimately it’s a personal endeavor and every woman has to accept responsibility for herself.

Losing and maintaining weight takes work – period! Advantages help, but it still comes down to the owner/operator of the body.

Let’s talk about us, the women whose bodies are simply our containers for life and not our jobs!

Moms who can't lose the baby fat after the babies aren't babies anymore know the tricks. We use the babies to hide our bodies that never got back to the size they used to be!

Moms who didn’t lose the baby fat after the babies aren’t “babies anymore” learn the tricks. Some use the kids to hide their body that never got back to the size it used to be! Others would rather lose weight to get back to the size they used to be!

I was not one of those women who left the hospital in her pre pregnant jeans!

I was the woman who had her baby in mid-November, left the hospital in her hideous maternity pants and went to a New Year’s Eve party still wearing them.

I lost 7 pounds immediately after delivery. Compared to the 60+ I gained during pregnancy, that was not very gratifying.  By the time this baby was three-months-old that 7 pound weight loss was back again!

I gained 60 pounds with this pregnancy.  The baby is 3 days old here. I still looked like this when she was 3 months old!

I was the woman who was asked at that NYE party, “when is your baby due?”

“Uhhh… Two-and-a-half months ago!”

There are some common misconceptions about losing weight gained during pregnancy.

  • It’s not real fat.

Yes, I know this sounds crazy but since the weight gain was rapid and part of a pregnancy, some people think it’s not real fat. Of course it’s real fat and for some it’s real hard to take off.

A study that tracked a group of women after giving birth found that those who had not lost their baby weight after one year were more likely to be overweight 15 years later. This highlights the importance of losing the baby weight to help prevent weight gain later on in life.*

  • Get used to it; it’s impossible to lose. You have a beautiful baby to show for your weight gain and there’s no better excuse than that!

    The baby fat is here to stay so just make sure you position the baby in front of your body in photos and nobody will ever be the wiser!

    “Don’t look at me! I don’t matter anymore! Look at my beautiful baby!”

You don’t have to get used to it, you can get it off and you can keep it off.

Achieving a healthy weight is a matter of making wise food choices and getting plenty of exercise in the months following delivery.  As in any stage of life, eating well and staying active are useful strategies for maintaining a healthy weight throughout life.

  • You’ll get your figure back faster if you breastfeed.

There are many good reasons for breastfeeding but rapid post pregnancy weight loss isn’t one of them. (Nor is “natural form of birth control” a good reason because it’s not true!)

A 2011 study found that nursing and non-nursing mothers lost weight at the same rate.** Regardless of the decision to breastfeed, following a healthy lifestyle is important for losing weight.

A healthy lifestyle is important for women who want to achieve a healthy weight post-pregnancy. It’s important for her family too! As the first and most important teacher your children will ever have, what you do is what you will teach your kids. If you’re concerned about the increasing rate of childhood obesity, this is the most effective way to keep your kids from being a statistic.

If you need help and support making healthy changes to your eating and exercising habits, Weight Watchers meetings can help! Weight Watchers excludes women from active participation during pregnancy, but women can join immediately after delivery. Weight Watchers offers nursing women an adjustment to the program to ensure adequate nutrition for mother and baby and a safe and healthy rate of weight loss for the new mom.

Back to goal 7 1/2 months after the baby was born.

This baby isn’t hiding the weight I gained while pregnant with her. It’s gone! Back to goal 8 months after the baby was born. The first 30 pounds were lost with an unhealthy starvation diet I devised as a teenager. When my five-year-old questioned my eating habits I realized I modeling very unhealthy behaviors for my three daughters, so I joined Weight Watchers. (in case you’re wondering, the baby is drinking apple juice)

* Linne Y, Dye L, Barkeling B, Rossner S. Weight development over time in parous women-the SPAWN study—15 years follow-up. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2003 Dec;27(12):1516-22.

** Onyango AW, Nommsen-Rivers L, Siyam A, Borghi E, de Onis M, Garza C, Lartey A, Baerug A, Bhandari N, Dewey KG, Araújo CL, Mohamed AJ, Van den Broeck J; for the WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study Group. Post-partum weight change patterns in the WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study. Matern Child Nutr. 2011 Feb 22. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8709.2010.00295.x. [Epub ahead of print].

 

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is the general manager of Weight Watchers of Maine. She is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. Her experience with her own weight management journey and raising girls has given her insight into the struggles families face with weight, healthy body image, food and physical activity. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news for more than ten years and appears monthly as a guest on FOX network morning program Good Day Maine.