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How I Lost The Postpartum Baby Weight

I gave natural birth to 5 children and breastfed them all into good health. No number on any scale could take that away. 

 I gained 45 pounds during my pregnancy with Noah Jules. During the pregnancy, I chose not to limit myself and ate whatever I wanted. I knew that my body craved what it needed, so I gave in to every craving. I ate lots of Chipotle ( I had ALL of the guac), and I literally drank half a gallon of orange juice a day. I wasn’t concerned with weight gain, because I trusted myself and my body to do what was right for the life growing inside me. 

As of today, it’s been one year and 7 days since I gave birth to my 5th child, and everyone always asks the same questions! They want to know what I did to maintain my size after the 5th pregnancy. I’m sharing how I lost the weight, but I'm sharing it as my personal experience and not as a guide that anyone else should follow. If you’re looking to lose weight after having a baby, please consult your physician and listen to your body. 

1. I Breastfed on demand

 During my pregnancy with Noah, I knew that I would breastfeed only. I knew from experience that if I breastfeed, I would return to my pre-pregnancy weight faster than if I chose to feed the baby with formula. I spoke with a lactation consultant and learned that on average, breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day, and more if I breastfed exclusively. I took advantage of this. I made sure to eat healthily and was very careful not to eat foods that were calorie-dense or fatty. I ate a lot of fruits and veggies and made healthy juices instead of high-calorie meals. It’s important to note that a nursing mother should consume an extra 300 calories per day, and I made sure to do that. However, I chose to select my calories carefully. In the first few months, I nursed exclusively as well as pumped to lose more weight.

2. I drank plenty of water

Drinking water has been proven to boost metabolism and increases the number of calories you burn. It also acts as an appetite suppressant. I chose water over sugary juices and soda to save myself from consuming unnecessary calories. Drinking water also helped me get rid of excess water weight (especially in the first few weeks). I knew that water consumption is associated with significant weight loss and its calorie-free, so I drank plenty of it. I made a habit of having a glass of water every time I sat down to breastfeed Noah. 

3. I slept when the baby slept

 Becoming a mother of 5 was difficult. I had a newborn to care for, a husband and 4 other children who were still dependent on me. There was so much to do! I was often tempted to do chores when Noah would go down for a nap. In the beginning, he would sleep for up to 4 hours at a time and that felt like the perfect time to catch up on laundry or meal prep. But the best thing I could do during those long naps was catch up on sleep. I always remembered a study that I’d read in a psych class that followed 68,000 women. It showed that women who slept less than 6 hours a night were prone to obesity as opposed to those who slept 8 hours. I made sure that I was still getting my 8 hours of sleep within a 24-hour span, even if the 8 hours were broken up into 3 or 4 sleeping sessions.  

4. I wore a waist trainer

Wearing a waist trainer is often a topic of controversy. There are many claims that it has adverse health effects, or that it is ineffective. However, it worked for me. Wearing a waist trainer provided the extra support I needed for my recovering abdominal muscles. It kept my stomach feeling tight and helped with my posture. It also helped mold my belly into a smaller shape and prevented me from over-eating. 

5. I walked a lot

I begin walking 3 weeks after Noah was born. The first week was difficult. My body felt heavy and I was only able to walk for about 10 minutes before I needed a break. I listened to my body and took it slow. After a few weeks, I began walking the track at a nearby park. Noah loved being pushed around in his stroller and I appreciated the sunshine and routine of walking 2- 3 times a day. Walking often kept me from feeling overwhelmed and burned out from parenting 5 children. It kept me in a good mood, and Noah loved it. After a few months, I began walking up to 2 miles per day. Today Noah is a year old, and we walk about 3 –4 miles a day.

6. I wore the baby while I exercised

I began looking for a good baby carrier while I was in the early stages of pregnancy. I wanted one that would be durable and provide multiple ways to wear the baby. I chose the Ergobaby and I loved it. Beginning around 3 weeks postpartum I began to wear baby during every workout. A typical workout while wearing Noah would consist of lunges, squats and of course walking.

7. I ate a healthy diet

No one is perfect and I am the first to admit it. After Noah was born, I enjoyed plenty of Dunkin’ Donuts, chocolate chip cookies, and Chipotle, but for the most part, I ate a healthy diet. I made sure to include lots of leafy greens and vegetation into every meal. I chose whole grains over white processed rice and bread. I juiced my vegetables and drank them with dinner, and I ate little to no meat. I included a variety of wild-caught fish and drank plenty of water. I also continued taking my prenatal vitamins until I was 3 months postpartum. 

8. I was patient with myself

I knew that if I continuously checked the scale, I would become discouraged. Instead of focusing on weight loss I chose to focus on being healthy enough to breastfeed Noah, and care for the rest of the family too. I knew that if I practiced self-care and love that the weight would eventually come off.

So, there you have it. These are the 8 things I did to lose the postpartum baby weight. When I began my postpartum weight loss journey I did it with the intent of being healthy. I didn’t do it to look any particular way or even to return to my pre-pregnancy weight. I made a promise to myself to be loving and accepting of my new body regardless of what it looked it. I knew that no matter how thin or chubby, my body was phenomenal! I had given natural birth to 5 children and breastfed them all into good health. No number on any scale could take that away. 

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