We’ve decided to change up the “weekend posts” format a little bit. Most people don’t really click on link-only posts because they’re, well, boring. I think there are lots of awesome blog posts out there that you haven’t seen and you’re probably missing out (I always get excited as I’m adding the links!), but I understand. You want to read something valuable now, not go clicking around randomly.
So, in that light, we’re going to feature 1 – 2 reader questions in addition to sharing some fun links with you. We might even post cool tips or pictures of what we’ve been up to all week. You’ll have to read to find out!
Tip of the Week: Choose to be joyful and see the good in situations instead of feeling frustrated. If you’ll laugh about it later…just laugh about it now. 🙂
This Week’s Featured Question
This week’s question comes from an anonymous reader:
“I just gave birth 3 weeks ago, stayed healthy my entire pregnancy and only have about 18 lbs. to lose to be my pre-pregnancy weight. My husband and I have a TV interview that will be filmed in March/April and I need to be at my “tip top shape.” I know what to do nutritionally (my husband is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and I eat about 75% raw.) However – I need to start working out (5th baby!!) but have heard that hard work outs will decrease my milk supply. I EBF for 2 years. Any advice on what to do in this situation?? The importance for me lies in the healthy breast milk … so if I need to just continue to eat healthy and NOT work out, then that is what I’ll do.”
Losing the baby weight is something many women struggle with, and almost all women at least wonder or worry about. We can’t help but gain weight while pregnant, and that leaves us in a position to need to lose it once we have our babies. It can sometimes be harder to lose the weight with later babies than with earlier babies, as well. So what’s the answer?
One reason that women sometimes struggle to lose the baby weight (and I wouldn’t call three weeks postpartum a time to worry too much about this!) is because they have nutritional deficiencies. Making a baby really takes a lot out of you, literally! One major and common deficiency is magnesium. If you are struggling with sleep troubles (and not just because your baby is keeping you up), fatigue, nausea, lack of appetite, constipation, and chocolate cravings, magnesium deficiency might be an issue for you. Another symptom is…the inability to lose weight!
Taking care of any nutritional deficiencies by supplementing with magnesium lotion, a liquid herbal multivitamin, and cod liver oil can go a long way to improving your health and helping you to safely and effectively lose the weight. Make sure that you are not limiting your food intake during this time and especially that you are getting enough fat, so that you continue to provide an abundance of milk for your baby. In fact, nourishing yourself will also nourish and benefit your baby!
But what about exercise?
Vigorous, hard-core exercise (1 – 2 hours per day, 5 – 7 days a week) is not a good idea. It can drop your metabolism because you can’t take in enough calories to sustain such a high activity level while breastfeeding. It can also get any “toxins” moving through your body, which will get dumped into your lymphatic system — which goes into your milk and to your baby. Heavy exercise like this is too much.
Mild to moderate exercise, however, is a good idea. Take a brisk 15 – 20 minute walk everyday (wear your baby or have your husband watch him/her if you prefer). Dance to some exercise videos. Head out to the backyard and play tag with older kids. Basically, stay active, but don’t push it. The physical activity will help you feel better and help your body work more efficiently, but the moderate nature means they shouldn’t hurt your milk supply.
Don’t push the exercise in the early weeks, though. Besides some very light walking, and only if you feel up to it, don’t try to start any exercise programs until your baby is at least 6 weeks old. If you’re still feeling tired or you’re having a rough recovery (after a difficult birth), waiting 12 weeks is even better. 12 weeks is long enough for most things to heal and also for your milk supply to be fully established.
If you are worried, try drinking herbal teas made from nettles, oatstraw, fenugreek, and fennel. These will nourish your body with important trace minerals as well as improving your milk supply.
Finally, give it some time! It took 9 months for you to gain the weight, and it can easily take a few to several months to take it all back off. Don’t rush your recovery; it will come in time.
(In my own personal experience, I had an undiscovered magnesium deficiency during my third pregnancy and postpartum period. This left me unable to lose the last 10 lbs. of baby weight — a first for me — as well as tired, irritable, anxious, and not sleeping well. When I got pregnant with my fourth, I was still over my pre-pregnancy weight. I had learned about magnesium and began supplementing it topically and also using the liquid herbal multivitamin. This not only got rid of nearly all my morning sickness — which had been rough in my third pregnancy — but I didn’t gain any weight until I was about 20 weeks along! Even now, at 30 weeks, I have only gained maybe 15 lbs. My proportions changed as more weight went to my baby belly and came away from my hips and face. Knowing this I anticipate losing the baby weight will be a lot easier next time!)
This Week’s Posts
Check out the cool posts from our sister sites and contributors!
Modern Alternative Kitchen
- 5 Things to Do if you Overeat During the Holidays
- Vogelsberger Rolle: A Traditional New Year’s Dish with Ham and Sauerkraut
- Ingredient Spotlight: Arrowroot Powder
- Meal Plan Monday #25
Modern Alternative Pregnancy
Modern Alternative Health
- Banish Post-Holiday Guilt by Real Whole Health
- Carrot Beet Juice by The Spinach Spot
- My Experience with Adrenal Fatigue by Vibrant Sexy Strong
- Christmas Traditions by Sharing My Simple Dreams
- Foods to Avoid While You Are Sick by The Holistic Mama
What were your favorite posts this week? How did you lose the baby weight?