If you’ve been around here very long, you know that nutrition is something I’ve struggled with for a long time…Before I was expecting my daughter, I’m not sure actual “nutrition” was even on my radar.
Sure, I had read all of the weight loss magazines and blogs about how to eat healthier and lose weight. But for me, it was always about that last piece – what I could do to lose weight.
You see, in middle and high school, I struggled with disordered eating, and while I was able to work through it with the support of my family and an effective workout plan and eating guide, I never really established a healthy relationship with food. I viewed it more as a means to an end rather than a life-giving substance.
But after the birth of my daughter, all of that changed. I knew I needed to learn and do better, not just for me but for her. I knew I needed to learn what nutrition actually looked and felt like so I could (1.) provide her with the nutrition she needed and (2.) help her develop a better understanding of and relationship with food than I had growing up.
The all-too-familiar anxiety started welling up just a couple of months (probably weeks really) into my pregnancy. I saw my body starting to change, and I didn’t know what to do. Or rather, I didn’t know what I was going to be able to do after my daughter was born…
I had heard all of the stories of women who had gained excessive amounts of weight during pregnancy and then struggled to lose it after the births of their children. While I wanted to be one of those mamas with the “perfect little baby bump,” I couldn’t fathom gaining the weight to get that picturesque look.
Adjusting to your new postpartum body can be tough, to say the least. Your body is a different shape, you’re in a process of healing from what is some pretty major trauma to your most delicate parts, and you’re likely carrying a little extra weight compared to your pre-baby body. And, you are dealing with all of that while trying to sustain another life…With those challenges in mind, it’s tempting to want to jump off the deep end and dive right in to trying to lose weight, but that can be pretty detrimental to your health and the health of your little one, especially if you are breastfeeding. So, what can you do? It is possible to lose weight while breastfeeding; however, you need to do it the safe way.
I was fortunate and had a relatively easy time losing weight while breastfeeding; however, I did have to work at it. And, even still, some women who work at losing weight while breastfeeding really struggle. In any case, I’d like to share a few tips that have worked for me to do two things: (1.) to help you lose weight without losing your milk and (2.) to help you develop healthy habits that you can sustain. I’m not going to guarantee that you’ll start losing as soon as you adopt these practices, but I do promise that you’ll be much healthier for them. And, once you have weaned your little one, it should be much easier to continue with a healthy lifestyle.
If you have a little one of your own or have spent any time around babies, you probably know they can be quite unpredictable. One minute they’re napping like champs, eating on a perfect schedule, and as happy as a clam. And the next moment, they refuse to be laid down for even a minute, demand another feeding, and are as unpredictable as you were when you were riding the rollercoaster of pregnancy emotions. As little comfort as it is, that is totally normal, or at least I’ve come to realize it is.
When I first brought my little one home, I had very minimal experience with a newborn and had no idea what to expect. We’re still only five months in, but having been through a few sleepless nights and several growth spurts, I feel like I have a little more experience under my belt. Even with that, though, every time Grace heads into a growth spurt, it completely throws me for a loop, so I figured there are other new mamas out there going through the exact same thing. While I haven’t perfected my approach to getting through growth spurts, I have found a few things that help, so I thought I’d share. So, pour yourself a cup of coffee (or Mother’s Milk tea) and sit for a while. Remember, you’re not in this alone, mama.