Picture of a mom with a lovely postpartum belly and a sweet squishy baby

Let’s talk about “losing the baby weight”.

This is something that, for better or worse, comes up in nearly every postnatal intake that I do.

And it’s close to my least favorite thing to talk about. Because holy moly it’s a loaded topic.

People use weight loss as a proxy for so many deeper pain points. And thanks to a very pervasive diet culture, a lot of folks think that losing the baby weight is just a matter of exercising a few times a week. Eating a “clean” diet. Or even breastfeeding/chestfeeding their baby.

New parents often cling so tightly to the idea that if they can just get their pre-baby body back, they’ll feel good again. They’ll recognize their life again. They’ll feel like themselves again.

If this is you, I want to validate that it can be TOUGH to get used to or accept a changing body. But I challenge you to consider that what you might be seeking is control over SOMETHING, during a time when you are in control of so little. That what you’re really seeking is comfort in your own skin.

A little truth bomb… a little uncomfortable reality:

Your “pre-baby body” isn’t a destination that is available to you.

And the feeling you’re striving for doesn’t come from getting smaller.

We’re always moving forward in life. Never backwards.

The goal needs to be working with the post-baby body you live in now.

(–> The remarkable, resilient, strong AF body you live in now.)

Body composition is SO complicated in the first year postpartum. You’re hormones are the running the show, and you LITERALLY have no control over them.

And, if you aren’t sleeping well, if your stress is high, if you aren’t getting a ton of non-exercise movement- a few workouts a week won’t have an enourmous impact on your wasitline.

Here are 5 habits I encourage you to work on:

1) Have patience. Allow your body time to rest and heal from pregnancy and delivery. Understand that your body will continue to change shape for months, and maybe years, after you have your baby.

2) Work towards sleeping 7-8 hours each night. Yup, I know that’s nearly impossible when you have an infant.

3) Remove as many stressors from your life as is realistic.

4) Increase your daily step count. Get more non-exercise movement.

5) Lift weights. Build muscle.

Notice what’s not on the list?

Nutrition.

If you have a new baby- I’m thrilled if you are managing to feed yourself 3 square meals.

If you aren’t sleeping and you aren’t moving, you can’t devote energy to managing your diet. Nutrition is something you can worry about, if you choose to, once the rest of your life is in order.

These habits are the foundations of a sustainable fat loss strategy. But more importantly, they also happen to be the foundations of a great self-care strategy.

The remarkable thing is… if you start sleeping better, managing your stress and moving more- you’re going to feel better. If you lift weights, you’re going to feel stronger and more agile.

If you take care of these BIG ROCK habits, you’re going to feel good again. You’ll feel more in control of your life again. You’ll feel more like yourself again.

With or without visible changes to your body.

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Redmond, WA-based Seattle birth doula Laura Jawad, headshot

My mission is to make sure that having a baby is not a reason why you can’t do all the things.

Contact me if you have questions about exercise or pelvic health pertaining to pregnancy or postpartum. I also offer personal training services and consultations to folks locally (Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland) and online.

Certified Prenatal & Postnatal Coach, Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism Coach and Postnatal Fitnesses Specialist.