You just had your baby, your feeling mentally whipped out and looking around you see the latest celebrity who had a baby the same time as you already has a six-pack and looks amazing. You're human so you can't help but feel like ish. I know I'm not alone in this. Postpartum weight loss is searched hundreds of times a day.
Most women lose 13lbs right after childbirth which consists of the baby, amniotic fluid and the placenta. The next line I read via a health website many women lose half their baby weight by six weeks postpartum. I than made the mistake of reading various how to lose the baby weight articles. Ladies most are pure trash.
There are so many conflicting studies and antecedal evidence that breastfeeding either helps or not to lose baby weight. I've had clients on both ends of this spectrum. I for one am the latter. I struggle to lose the last bit of weight while breastfeeding. My body clings to the extra calories. Again I've seen both sides of the fence on this one. It really will be your own bodies needs as to what it does.
What are the hormones doing?
Hormones right after birth
Both progesterone and estrogen decline almost immediately after giving birth. Prolactin increases to aid in milk production. Postpartum hormones 3-6 weeks postpartum are on a roller coaster ride, along with lack of sleep.
Hormones 3 Months Postpartum
Hormones are still working to get back to a baseline. Cortisol usually increases due to stress of having a new baby, and lack of sleep.
Hormones 6 Months Postpartum
Around this time hormones will be back around the pre-pregnancy stage. This might vary depending if you breastfeed, if you have your period back etc.
Getting your hormones checked
Again all of this is on average and we can always be outside of the norm for these things. Getting your thyroid checked and hormonal panel is a great idea six months postpartum or anytime you experience symptoms that are concerning for you.
After having my first son seven years ago I for sure struggled to lose the weight. I gained 60lbs with both boys. I had to work my booty off to lose the weight after my first son. I stopped breastfeeding around 4 months as my supply stopped once I was back to work. That's when I started to lose the weight. This time around I'm still breastfeeding and 12lbs away from pre-pregnancy weight which is still another 35lbs higher than where I want to be so it's going to be a journey that will be at least a year. Both times I got my period back within 8 weeks of being postpartum. This time though I had no period pain the first time I had way more intense cramping and pain.
This time around my breasts grew three sizes larger and are huge. They are uncomfortably large. To the point of potentially needing a breast reduction. I had a cousin who lost 100lbs and still needed a breast reduction. So I might be in the same boat. As it's genetics for us that we are working with, we are just large chested women in our family.
Should weight loss be a goal?
I used to be very against having weight loss as a goal and told people they are fine just as they are and learn to accept yourself. I feel like that was doing a huge disservice because I’m not even listening to what the client was trying to tell me.
They don’t feel good about their bodies, and they want something to change. I personally did not have a lot of clients who were underweight, so we are taking that caveat out of this scenario. Yes, you can talk about mindset and all the things but sometimes it does come down to I need the scale to move down so clothes fit me better.
If we are talking postpartum time period in particular we can say f* the bounce back culture but I still do have weight loss goals. I think it can be both.
At the end of the day it’s your body you’re living in and you know what feels best for you. For myself I do have weight loss goals and hopefully it will reduce breast size as it feels awkward to run, I want to play tennis again and my breasts are in my way from a proper swing. I also know this is in my genes and I might need a reduction surgery if weight loss doesn’t work. That’s my own navigation at the moment. Sometimes weight loss goals are meaningful and deeper than people let on so making sure as a trainer, coach or practitioner you dig deep with your clients to get to the root cause of their why and not your own layered experience on top of theirs.
How are you feeling?
Most of us don't feel great in our postpartum bodies that is why we want something to change. Honestly for myself I feel pretty good minus the large breasts. I still have weight I want to lose but fit into my clothes minus shirts that no longer fit across my chest. I personally am against telling people that weight loss doesn't need to happen. When it does for health reasons, for feeling better in your body, and for doing things like playing tennis, climbing up a rock wall with your kids or whatever goal you might have.
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