Pregnancy is one of the most amazing and beautiful times in a woman's life. Let's face it, though, it can be uber tough on your body!
From the stretched ligaments to the crazy symptoms to the weight gain, it can down right wreak havoc on a new mama. Opposed to what some people think, the end of this wild journey does not arrive when baby does either.
No, the pregnancy-related struggle continues for a while. Each woman is different, but it's safe to say that most women are still feeling the pregnancy struggles months after baby is born.
As much as we'd love to rebound like a movie star and walk out of the hospital with nary a belly, it's just not reality. Heck, it's not even reality for celebrities! Remember when Kourtney Kardashian called out OK! Magazine for photoshopping away her post-pregnant belly in a photo that was taken days after she gave birth?
All in all, recovering from the incredible job of growing another human takes time. Many women believe that since it took nine months to change that it should take nine months to recover. Sometimes this time frame is about right. If you ask the experts, though, recovery time is closer to a year.
There are a few things that could stand in the way of you losing the baby fat and bouncing back after pregnancy.
In this post, I'll share 15 ways mom's aren't bouncing back and it's their fault. Enjoy!
15 Overweight Before Or During Pregnancy
Starting out your pregnancy journey being overweight is always tough. Not only do the risks for both mother and baby increase, but it makes the entire process that much more complicated.
For instance, having a BMI of 40 or over increases your health risks three times as much as a women who has a BMI of 30 or below.
On the same note, it makes bouncing back after baby a lot harder. It's better (not always possible) to lose the extra weight before getting pregnant.
Also, gaining too much weight during pregnancy can affect you just as negatively as being overweight before pregnancy. The aftermath of medical complications that can occur during an overweight pregnancy can last for a very long time. It's often a touchy subject, but science backs up popular opinion on this one.
14 Missing Or Skipping Meals
Missing or skipping meals was't generally a practice you followed while you were pregnant. Food is very, very, very important during those nine months. Even if you experienced morning sickness, you still had to nourish yourself somehow.
Now that you have about a million and one things on your plate, it can get a little tough to remember to eat. This could end up hurting you in the long run, though.
You would think that less food would equal more weight loss. Your body is sort of like a business, though. You have to spend money to make money - you have to eat to lose weight.
Your metabolism only works properly if it's activated at the necessary intervals. Skipping meals could easily communicate to your body that it should be functioning in starving mode and stock up on each and every fat cell.
13 Seriously Sleep Deprived
Not getting enough sleep is probably the most notorious part of being a mom. Is it your fault? Seriously doubt it, except that most women willingly choose this sleepless path of motherhood for the good stuff (not the sleep deprivation).
Not getting enough sleep can screw your body up in a number of different ways. It inhibits cell reproduction throughout your body. What this means is that everything heals and functions a lot slower.
Your GI tract will probably have a huge hissy fit and fail to function correctly. This means you don't absorb the nutrients you should be getting.
Plus, sleep deprived humans tend to rely on stimulants like caffeine to keep their bodies in motion. Most of these stimulants also serve as appetite suppressants, so you end up consuming empty calories.
12 Too Impatient
Being impatient is probably one of the biggest downfalls to not bouncing back. We all want to be a real-life photoshopped Kourtney Kardashian. This just isn't possible, though.
Like I mentioned before, most experts recommend a full year of recovery time after giving birth. That number is based on the most recent research, too.
Getting impatient with your body means you are more likely to get frustrated and abandon all your bouncing back efforts. It could also motivate you to try unhealthy or extreme methods of weight loss.
Getting impatient with your post-pregnancy body doesn't do anyone any good. A new mama has to be patient across the boards and this includes behind patient will herself.
11 Netflix And Takeout Is The New Date Night
Before kids, a hot date night was sushi and wine at a cozy restaurant in the city. After kids, date night is takeout and Netflix. Steamy stuff, I know!
This is real life, so although no one is to blame but yourself for your Netflix binge, it's just the way the cookie crumbles. You've got to roll with it and just make the best of it.
Here's the deal, if you are totally serious about your bouncing back goals then make date night work for you. It's not like you have to eat all seven pieces of pizza, but you could eat two and top it off with a plate of veggies or a salad.
Most likely, the reason you're staying in is so you don't have to pay for a sitter. Plus, the couch looks super comfortable and you are beyond exhausted. Last but not least, you are probably over wearing bras all week and want to just chill out at home braless and awesome.
I get it. So, just cut back on your takeout portions and call it a day.
10 Exercising Too Much
To the purely obsessed - there IS such a thing as too much exercise. Yes, I know you moms are in a huge hurry to lose that extra weight and get back into your pre-pregnancy body. This requires a balance between exercising and recovery time, though.
Your body has already been in recovery mode since you gave birth. Exercising only adds to that recovery time. The reason behind this is that exercise is work. It's a stressor on your already stressed body.
When you exercise too much and don't let your body recover in between workout sessions, your body will function as if it's under too much stress. You metabolism will slow and your organs won't work properly. The recovery period in between is slightly different for each woman, so you really have to pay attention to your own body.
9 Have A Thyroid Problem
Thyroid problems can cause super weird symptoms. Sometimes, a malfunctioning thyroid causes your body to do things that don't even seem to tie in with your thyroid, weight loss, or digestive tract. For instance, thinning eyebrows and cold fingers are two odd symptoms of hypothyroidism.
An underachieve thyroid is known as hypothyroidism. Individuals dealing with this issue often have a very low basal metabolic rate, so unfortunately it's incredibly common for weight gain to occur.
Conversely, hyperthyroidism often works just the opposite.Women dealing with this issue tend to have problems keeping on weight in addition to experiencing anxiety, rapid heart rate, and hand tremors.
8 Having No Support System
New moms are often showered with meals after baby is born. Most of the time, these meals are full of comfort foods. Honestly, that's exactly what new moms want at that point. These comfort foods don't bode well on any bouncing back efforts, though.
Aside from the comfort food, a lot of new moms just feel alone. They feel along while they figure out how to take care of new baby. They feel alone as they attempt to understand and accept what's going on with their body. They just plain feel alone!
It's hard to focus on bouncing back and put your best foot forward when you're not even feeling like yourself. It's important for a new mom to have a support system surrounding her. Not only is this good emotional support, but it's good for her bouncing back efforts, as well.
7 Not Eating The Right Foods
This might seem like a no brainer, but it's definitely a huge issue when it comes to losing baby weight. Especially if you had some naughty eating or snacking habits during pregnancy, this is going to be hard to change.
Like most people, you're probably overeating carbs and undereating fresh fruits and veggies. This seems to be a huge problem among new moms (actually among all people) from coast to coast.
If you're not seeing the results you want then take a long, hard look at what you're putting into your body. Maybe your food intake is the real problem. With a few minor tweaks you could very well see the results you want. You've got to know your body, though.
6 Still Wearing Maternity Clothes
Even Joey on the sitcom Friends loved Phoebe's maternity pants while gorging himself with a holiday meal. It's because they're awesome! They stretch and they still sort of look like normal clothes. Here's the thing - they're NOT normal clothes.
Maternity clothes are perfectly fine for a short period of time after birth. You still have a pretty large belly for a while anyway, so what else are you going to do with it?
After the majority of your belly fades away, you are left with awkward bumps and bulges. It's the worst stage, but we all go through it.
If you give in and resort to wearing your comfortable and expandable maternity clothes, you won't be challenged or reminded to work on your bouncing back efforts. You'll be comfortable in your stretchies wondering why you can't lose the baby weight.
5 Having Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome often displays symptoms like food sensitivities, bloating, cramps, aches and pains. It's still somewhat of a medical mystery. We do know, however, that it has a lot to do with diet and lifestyle. The way you live and they way you eat could either help or hurt your gut.
This issue is defined as tight junctions in the gut not working properly leading to substances from your GI tract leak into your bloodstream. This throws your entire body way out of whack. It easily leads to weight gain and organs simply not working properly.
The way to have this diagnosed is simply to go see your doctor for him or her to conduct a specific test to see if you fit the bill. This syndrome is fairly new to the medical community. Many women have taken to alternative medicine because of the lack of knowledge or concern from their regular doctor.
4 Too Stressed
A new mom being stressed? Unheard of! Seriously, though, stress could be keeping you from hitting your fitness goals.
Stress can put a huge damper on your goals to bounce back after baby. Evidently, there is a very scientific relationship between stress and weight loss. In this case stress does include stressing out over your weight loss goals.
Stress can interfere with the normal function of your neuroendocrine system causing the body to overproduce certain hormones that can lead to weight gain.
Your body doesn't recognize the different kinds of stress. It just recognizes stress. So, whether you're running from a wild bear or stressing out over baby's fussiness, your body simply recognizes stress. This will trigger your sympathetic nervous system to function in survival aka "fight or flight" mode.
3 Stopped Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding comes in very handy when we're talking about burning calories. We all know breastfeeding can be a challenge, but did you know that it also burns a mega ton of calories at the same time? It burns 20 calories for your body to produce one ounce of breastmilk. That could be up to 600 calories you burn every day (sometimes even more.
When you wean your baby off the breast, you lose that free calorie-burning exercise. For some women, this process sends their bodies into a plateau mode where their weight sort of remains at a stand still.
If you've recently stopped breastfeeding your baby and have noticed trouble reaching your bouncing back goals then breastfeeding could be to blame...or actually the lack of breastfeeding.
2 Don't Have Time To Exercise
While this is a notorious excuse, sometimes it's just absolutely true. Single moms, moms with no help, or moms of multiples often find themselves not being able to keep up with daily chores let alone fit in a session of exercise.
Often women in this situation manage their lives in survival mode. In this mode, getting the laundry folded is a luxurious accomplishment. Most other days, living out of the clean clothes basket is perfectly acceptable.
These struggling moms are usually working more than one job and doing their best to keep up on things around the home and in their kids' lives. It's tough.
Weight loss and bouncing back require attention. If you simply don't have that attention to give then you don't have that attention to give. Bouncing back will simply have to wait until the dust has settled a little.
1 You're A Nibbler
We all do it. Nibble on dinner as we prepare it. And which mom hasn't prepared her kids dinner before the main meal only to have a few Puffs and some apple slices and maybe a stick of string cheese?
It' easy to nibble on dinner or to snack on the kids' meals, but this does absolutely nothing for your weight loss goals. Bouncing back will only harder the more calories you consume.
The tough thing about this is that most of the time you don't really notice that you're doing it. You just pop some food in your mouth as you go along you business, never thinking that all the little calories add up.
Well, they do. Watch yourself when you make your meals or when you feed your kiddos to see if you actually do sneak in a few bites or not.
Sources: Webmd.com, Fitpregnancy.com, Mayoclinic.org