This Thursday marks just 6 short weeks since Jordan’s been born! In that time, we have fallen head over heels in love with her. Who am I kidding? I fell in love the instant I saw her for the first time! She’s been giving us big smiles lately and you would think that we’ve never seen a smile before the way we go ga-ga over them! It’s been challenging slowing down from my previous go-go-go lifestyle for the gentle pace of a new baby that needs constant attention, but I’m not complaining. I mean, just look at this bundle of sweetness that I get to cuddle with all day!
Today I’m checking in with you to let you know what’s happening with this post-pregnancy body at the almost 6-week mark. I struggled so much physically with my first pregnancy six years ago (gaining 55 pounds and feeling so miserable) that I vowed to do pregnancy different if ever given the chance again. I was so, so delighted and overjoyed that we got pregnant this time, and at age 40! The goal for a happy, healthy and fit pregnancy was accomplished this time and I’m really proud of how I didn’t fall into the same rut a second time.
If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you may know that I was preparing for a fitness bikini contest when I found out I was pregnant- surprise!! Needless to say, I was very lean and in pretty great shape (if I do say so myself) at the time. I had a rough few weeks in my first trimester, but I continued working out an average of 3 days a week for the entirety of my pregnancy and it made a world of difference!
Although I delivered early at 37 1/2 weeks, I only gained 35 pounds this time. My doctor recommended a weight gain of 25-35 pounds and I may have gone over if I went full-term, but I’ll take that any day over 55 pounds!
6 week postpartum progress
The photo below shows a progression of pre-pregnancy, 36 weeks pregnant, and 3 weeks post-partum (without any exercise).
And now, 6 weeks postpartum (with just walking), we have this progress:
The difference may be hard to see in pictures, but I can really tell in my clothes. Below, at 3 weeks, I was still in maternity jeans. At 6 weeks, I’m back in my bigger pre-pregnancy jeans. They don’t fit quite like before, and I’ve certainly got muffin top happening, but I don’t care! At least I have clothes I can comfortably wear!
After delivery, I had some complications that left me very anemic and weak. I was advised not to workout until possibly my 6-week checkup (which is later this week, so we’ll see what she says).
I was given the go-ahead to start walking at 3 weeks post-partum, so I began walking 40 minutes almost everyday. Most of the time, I’m sitting around my house breast-feeding or cleaning or maybe running a few errands so I need to get moving. I crave it and I feel so much better after getting outside. I’m still breastfeeding, so I normally just walk out my front door so I don’t take up time driving to the gym.
The walking I’m doing wasn’t even originally for the physical benefit, but just to get me moving again so I wouldn’t go crazy mentally. But, physical benefits are bound to happen if you start getting active!
Moving Comfort sports bras are a life-saver for those with large chests, like this nursing mama. They are so supportive and have closures like a regular bra with adjustable, velcro shoulder straps for a perfect fit.
I’m also a huge fan of the Zella Z5 tee (now updated to the Z6). Their pieces are such good quality, I’ll never go back to the lesser-quality workout clothes I always used to wear. It’s worth spending a little more money for things that last and feel good on your body, especially if you wear them often. My Zella pieces have lasted years already and I (used to) workout several times a week. The top below is size XS and still too small for me, I’d probably be in size Small right now.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that I used to only like to workout in sports bras and tank tops. This is the first short sleeve shirt I’ve found comfortable enough to workout in. Regular tee shirts are too baggy and some other shirts I’ve tried don’t feel as good.
If I get the okay to start working out again this week, I plan to start back slowly, just two days a week and keep up the walking and start incorporating jogging.
Since coming home from the hospital, we have been so blessed to have been receiving meals from our friends three times a week. This has been an absolute lifesaver with a new baby and the food everyone has been bringing has been really good! We’ve gotten everything from homemade spaghetti and meatballs, chicken enchiladas, chicken spaghetti, and Zoe’s Kitchen kababs.
People love to also bring dessert and honestly, I have been eating dessert almost everyday for the last 6 weeks! Cookies, brownies, cake, ice cream you name it! I’ve totally enjoyed that, but I’m ready to start limiting it because it’s now becoming a habit to eat dessert after dinner and that can get you into an extra calorie rut real fast. It’s also hard to stop once you start.
My best advice for cutting out sweets is not to bring them into the house. So simple and yet so hard! I’ve told my husband so many times, “Do not buy my ice cream when you go to the grocery store” only to change my mind later and ask him to go get some! He’s probably like, #youcrazylady!
On the other hand, I’ve been so hungry lately and need to eat every few hours. I’m going to have to start doing our meal prep again just to have large quantities of food around that I can just heat up and they’re ready to go.
My typical meals for the day lately are:
1) muscle egg + coffee
2) protein pancake
3) spinach salad with chicken (for iron and because I like it)
4) whatever dinner someone brings
Ideally, I’d have another meal in there and cut out the dessert. I’m aiming to start doing that for the next 6 weeks.
If I get the okay to start working out again this week, I plan to start back slowly, just two days a week and keep up the walking and maybe start incorporating jogging.
accepting your body
A huge change that happened during this pregnancy and afterwards was that I realized I’m okay with my body in all of it’s various sizes. I feel so much more calm and patient about getting “back into shape” and I’m thankful that I don’t feel like I need to rush it. Things take time!
I loved getting pregnant and the tiny baby bump I had when I just started to show. It meant a tiny life was growing inside me!
I also love how our bodies are able to provide nourishment for our babies. I’m thankful that my body is recovering and healing well and I’m feeling pretty much back to my old self, minus the tired (and sometimes grouchy) part.
It’s amazing how quickly our bodies can shed weight after pregnancy and get back to some semblance of it’s pre-pregnancy shape. I’ve lost about 20 pounds so far, and still would like to lose another 10 or so. Clothes can be good camouflage for the soft, pudgy belly hiding underneath!
All in all, 6 weeks postpartum is not that long! Most doctors will tell you that it took 9 months to put on the weight, it can take 9 more to lose it completely. Here are some tips to consider:
– Don’t rush it. First of all, it takes about a month or so just for your uterus to shrink. It’s normal to still look pregnant for awhile after you give birth. In the beginning, it’s better to focus on your health and healing, bonding with your baby and just getting to know each other. You may be in survival mode, doing your best to keep up with feeding/changing your baby, feeding yourself, getting a shower and possibly some sleep.
– Get moving. When you are cleared by your doctor to start moving, do it! Not only because you want to lose weight, but because it will be so good to get out of your house and have some time to yourself without everyone relying on you! You will be less crabby when you get back (okay, maybe that’s just me), but I did find that I was tearful and possibly becoming depressed until I started walking everyday. Getting moving also has the added benefit of usually helping you make better food choices, so it’s doubly good for you.
– Nourish your body. Definitely give yourself plenty of food throughout the day. Don’t forget to eat. How many women I know look up from their day and realize they didn’t eat! I certainly understand how you can be so busy with a newborn that you don’t feel like you have time for yourself, but ladies, put your breathing mask on first! You’ll be much better able to take care of that sweet baby when you do.
– Drink plenty of water. After pregnancy, your body has lots of extra fluid it needs to get rid of (hence the serious night sweats!) but you need to keep hydrated especially if you’re breast feeding.
– Rest as much as you can. This is no-brainer and so hard, right? It’s like you know you need sleep, but you also want to take advantage of the time baby is asleep to get things done that you can’t do while you’re tied to them. Just listen to your body and realize that most things can wait if you really do need a nap, get one while baby naps.
– Enlist help. All of the above are hard to achieve if you don’t have help. Most of us won’t ask for help, but at least, if someone offers to help you out, take them up on it!
In the next 6 weeks, I’m planning to make more of an effort to eat less desserts and start working out (with weights) twice a week and also start jogging. I’ll bring you another body-after-baby update in a month or so.
Until next time . . .
If you have any questions, leave me a comment so I can respond to you!