Real talk: how hard will it be to lose weight after pregnancy?

posted 2 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 31
Member
1657 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I think it’s different for everyone… I’m only 5’2 and gained 17kg (37.4lbs) by the time I had my baby. So quite a bit but it was all tummy! Baby weighed 3.5kg at birth. By a week pp I’d dropped 10kg already and it was largely water retention imo! I got very puffy at the end. 

I’m a month post partum today and I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight and actually weight slightly less! This is my first baby and I’ve not had much sleep and only a handful of square meals where possible. I’ve been so busy with the baby and so physically active with all the rocking and burping lol that I’ve lost a lot. I had a c section so I’m not exercising obviously. 

This was me at 38w. I had baby at 39w

This was the morning i had her 😍 an hour later I was a mom! 

And this is me now

Post # 32
Member
783 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

As lots of other people have said, it really depends. I never felt hungrier during pregnancy, gained about 22 lb, and was down to normal weight by a month post partum. No stretch marks. I’d say my proportions aren’t quite normal, my jeans feel a little tight, and the boobs are bigger, and I probably lost muscle and gained some fat. I didn’t try to do anything, but my son was in the hospital for a couple weeks and when I am stressed I don’t have any appetite, so that may be why I lost weight so quickly, as I was still pumping/breastfeeding. But now I feel like I am eating constantly and it has stayed off, so who knows  

I have friends who have gained much more than recommended (50-60lb), also without drastically changing their diet during pregnancy, and they have managed to lose the weight by about a year. I think that while you can control things to a point with diet and exercise, your body will also do what it needs to do to sustain a pregnancy/breastfeeding, which is different for everyone.

Post # 33
Member
1892 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Totally depends on the person! I was one of those women who gained 60 pounds during my first pregnancy (and am on track to gain the same for this second one). I started off both pregnancies categorized as “underweight”, and while I wasn’t super careful with what I ate during pregnancy, I was shocked with how much weight I gained. I’m now convinced that this is just what my body needs in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy. I also had a large baby. I was in some of my pre-pregnancy clothes by 3ish weeks post-partum (with the help of a girdle) and I had lost all the weight I gained by about 4 months post-partum. I exclusively breastfed, but didn’t actively try to lose any weight. 

Post # 34
Member
9226 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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hemiandhighheels :  A lot of it will also depend on your motivation to lose the weight. I know plenty of moms that really dedicate themselves to being hot mom and if they overdo it and can’t make enough milk then they use formula. Personally breastfeeding was really important to me so I just accepted that I had to wait to try and lose weight. Neither approach is better than the other – it’s just different priorities. You need to put on your oxygen mask first, whatever that means for YOU. 

Post # 35
Member
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I’ve had to excessive regularily and eat well my whole life to stay in good shape.. I did NOT win the genetic gene pool. My mom was never able to lose her pregnancy weight, no matter what she did. And I mean she went on some Intense diets, worked out.. everything! So with that in mind I knew I’d likely have the same issues. 

 

I gained almost 70 pounds while pregnant.. it was awful! The first half of the pregnancy I was on track for normal weight gain, then I was hit with intense water retention. I worked in an office so I was sitting all day, didn’t get the exercise I needed, and by the end of the pregnancy I was putting on 10 pounds a week.. my doctor confirmed with me that there wasn’t really much I could do to prevent it because it was obviously water weight. I was at risk for preeclampsia and it felt like there was nothing I could do. 

 

Im currently 3 months PP. I lost 30 pounds within the first three weeks after childbirth (got rid of a lot of the water weight pretty fast). I’ve been exercising daily and eating very ealthy since having my baby. I’m figuring it will take at least another 9 months before I’m back in my pre-pregnancy clothes, but keeping in mind that every woman is different. Some never fit in their old clothes no matter how hard they try, and knowing my genetic history, that’s a likely option. 

Post # 36
Member
558 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I was around 175 when I got pregnant with my son, and gained a solid 40 pounds.  After he was born, I think I got down to maybe 190/195, and then we got pregnant again.  With my second pregnancy, I only gained 12 pounds (basically ended the same weight as with my first), and 2 weeks PP I was already down to 180.  I haven’t stepped on a scale lately, but I can tell you I now fit into pants that I wore before I was pregnant with my son.  So, how hard is it? It’s a little hard, and you probably (unless you’re a genetic rockstar) have to work at it.  I have mostly just not had time to eat (or drink), so that’s likely contributing to my weight loss (and chasing a toddler is no joke).  I’d love to start “working out” to get down to 150, but I don’t currently have a baby who sleeps throught he night so that’s out.  One thing you can do, is try to be conservative with your weight gain during pregnancy (keep to a fitness routine if you can, eat healthy, try not to indulge in ice cream every night, etc)- but even that sometimes is just luck of the draw. 

With regard to post baby body- it’s different.  My hips are wider, my stomach has a different curve to it, and my post breastfeeding boobs look like something from a national geographic magazine.  My husband says I’ve never looked better- and reminds me regularly that I grew two tiny humans- in my body, all by myself.  That in itself is amazing and it feels good.  This morning, my 2.5 year old said, “Mama your dress is pretty. You pretty”. So, I’d say it’s all in how you look at it 🙂 

Post # 37
Member
688 posts
Busy bee

Personally, I think it mostly has to do with how you treat your body during pregnancy. If you are normal weight you are expected to gain 25-35 pounds. If you exceed that number losing weight will probably be harder. If you are overweight to begin with you are expected to gain less than the recommended amount than normal weight people. Likewise if you gain more while you are already overweight, losing the weight will be harder. I think if you focus on having a healthy pregnancy which includes regular low-impact exercise and eating healthy (fruit and veg, whole grains, lean meats, etc) you will be fine. If you are sedentary and eat crappy (tons of sweets, fast food, etc) you will probably have a harder time losing weight. 

Post # 39
Member
688 posts
Busy bee

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hemiandhighheels :  Absoutely! And everyone is different. I just know from my personal experience with myself and others in my life, the people that didn’t gain excess weight and ate healthy and exercised were able to lose the pregnancy weight quickly while the ones who indulged a lot and were sedentary are still stuggling to lose the weight. That being said, your body does change though regardless if you get back to your pre preg weight and there’s not really much you can do to prevent that. 

Post # 40
Member
2331 posts
Buzzing bee

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hemiandhighheels :  I’m so glad you asked this question because I’m been ruminating over the same question/concern.

I will say that I had an accidental CP years back, and the ONLY way I knew I was pregant (otherwise it would have just seemed like a slightly late period) was a DRAMATIC shift in pretty much everything about me.

I typically:

-Crave and eat mainly lean meats, with fruits and salads
-HATE carbs, and don’t really ever crave or want to eat much dairy
-Work out at the gym after work 2-4 times a week, and one weekend day

All of a sudden, I pulled a 180 and:

-CRAVED all things bread and dairy. Like, more than I’ve ever craveed anything in life
-even the thought of eating meat made me feel sick
-I was so exhausted after work that I had gone directly home every day that week and laid in bed

All that to say…

BEFORE that experience, I was pretty confident I’d be able to carry my healthy, exercising ways all the way full term into any future pregnancies.

I thought, this will be easy – I  naturally like healthy foods, I’m naturally petite, and I exercise hard and frequently.

Now. I’m not so confident. 

As pp have said, you can never know HOW your body will react to being pregnant, and you can never know if you’ll be able to carry your normal way of being into your pregnancy.

I might sit on my butt and eat nothing but cheetos for 9 months!?!? lol

Another anecdote… I’ve also been trying to “reassure” myself (we are thinking of TTC next Spring, and I’ll be 34) that “I’m petite and lean with a normal BMI, so I’ll likely only gain the 25-30 lbs.”

However, I asked my mom last night about her 3 pregnancies, and I was devastated to learn that she went from a teeny tiny pre-pregnancy 90 lbs to 170 lbs with her first born!!! And that wasn’t an anomaly!! She gained 75 lbs with her second, and 65 lbs with me!

She tried to reassure me that she got back down to her pre-pregnancy weight easily after each one of us, but I can’t ignore the fact she was also in her late teens and early 20’s, while I will be over a decade older.

But, as DH and every PP have pointed out, you really can’t compare yourself to others. There are just too many variables. I understand the impulse – pregnancy is such a huge unknown, and there’s this need to try to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible to mentally prepare.

My own way of coping is to follow the IG fitness models who have just had babies and see what they did to stay healthy and eat right, how much weight they gain, etc. Katy Hearn is my exact build, so it’s been fascinating watching her belly grow, and I’m excited to see how she handles things post partum.

Thanks to everyone sharing their own experience!

Post # 41
Member
9388 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

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tillymac :  congratulations! I was just thinking you were due 3 weeks abo and wondering how it was going.

Post # 42
Member
9795 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I have 2 kids.  I am 6′ tall so I think my body naturally wanted to gain more.  With my first (I was 29) I gained 42-43lbs.  I lost it all without any real issue by about 4-5mo pp.  And then I could eat whatever I wanted without gaining until she was bout 9-10 mo old.  With my second I gained around 50-52lbs and most of it came off.  It took maybe 4 months for me to be up 10lbs.  My second is 20mo and I’m still up 5lbs.  Doesn’t want to come off as easy.  Otherwise, both babies were similar.  I EBF both (which helps usually) and I was active before pregnancy so I worked out again after delivery (earlier with my first, started again around 4mo pp with my second due to the season and he had colic).  I am still breastfeeding a few times a day so not sure if it will fall off after or not (the 5lbs).  I actually had a large oversupply with #2 for the first 5-6 months so you think I would have lost more making all that milk but I didn’t!  I didn’t get stretch marks with either kid though I have some on my hips and thighs from puberty.  I have a long torso and being tall I think that helped.  Plenty of room to carry without getting huge.  Biggest thing to me (mostly after #2) is that your stomach muscles really struggle with being as tight as they used to be.  So if I’m not standing up straight and slouch I look like 16 w pregnant lol. Mine’s not really a pooch, but my stomach in general has more of a curve to it after 2 kids.

Overall, most of it came off fairly easily (all things considered).  Also, I did eat more while pregnant but I didn’t go off the handle eating everything and I was still active (working out) through at least half of my pregnancy.  My body still gained all that weight- shrug.  Just don’t expect to leave the hospital looking not pregnant or expect to be back at a normal weight two weeks later.  You took 9 months to put it on, give yourself 9 months to get it off at least.  You need more calories breastfeeding full time than you do being pregnant.  I don’t know if I have DR (if I do it’s not super significant, I am between 1-2 fingers) but there is definitely some separation that probably wasn’t there before. There are workouts to help close it but some need surgery to actually fix it.  I started around 160, up to ~200 (202 probably, I quit looking at the very end lol) with #1, back down to 159lb eventually, up to 210lb with #2, currently 165lbs (20mo old in a few days).

Post # 43
Member
9519 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I was back under my pre-preg weight in a few weeks and I’d like to eventually lose some more bc I feel like I’m fluffier now, but I’m breastfeeding and it’s hard to. I don’t mind waiting though… weight loss fell to just about the last thing on my mind since having a baby.

Post # 45
Member
274 posts
Helper bee

And by the way – I am only 5’3” so that 45 pounds made me look like a bowling ball (or a weeble if you know what that is lol). But with the three unbelievable humans I get to have in my life – every pound was worth it. 

Post # 46
Member
274 posts
Helper bee

I started at different weights and ate differently with each of my three children but gained exactly 45 pounds each time. My body seemed to have an amount it believed I needed to gain regardless of how unhealthy or healthy I was eating! 🙂 Breastfeeding helped most of the weight fly off in two months – but I hung onto about 5 pounds until I stopped breastfeeding (I breast fed until 15 months with each). I also walked 2 miles most days of my pregnancies and I think that helped. I had three c – sections but started doing nightly crunches as soon as I was cleared because I have always had a fear of a big belly. Now in my 50s, I am still doing crunches (now to avoid the dreaded “menopot”), started weight training in January, weigh about 5 more pounds than I did in my 20s, and am fighting aging daily. Lol. The most important advice – be kind to yourself. You will look different at different points in your life – and that is okay (I have to tell myself this as each new wrinkle forms lol). One bonus – I have always been very hard on myself – but my body issues lessened significantly after the birth of my first. I figured – if my body could produce that incredible human being – maybe I should celebrate its power rather than criticize its imperfections. Good luck!

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