I was recently introduced to the Instagram page of a model who, at six months of pregnancy, has a six-pack on her belly. I could literally count the abs, and I will not lie, I was floored. I wondered what she will look like when she gives birth. She’s a very good example of how to build castles in the clouds, where this baby weight business is concerned.
Then there is socialite and TV presenter, Eku Edewor, who is a new mom and was back to her pre-pregnancy weight like a dream. I saw pictures of her weeks before the news broke that she had become a momma, and she didn’t look pregnant one bit or that she was even that far along.
These days, she doesn’t look like someone who has ever seen the four walls of a labour room, not to talk of having a child who is almost one year old. Honestly, some people are just blessed with loads of good genes.
Moving on, let’s talk Beyoncé and her hot postpartum body, just one month after giving birth. How many of us can show off our bodies in such tight fitting ensembles, just one month after giving birth. Let’s not even talk about showing off our flat stomachs. Not me, I still had a bulge and was a belly binding faithful at one month postpartum.
It’s all so beautiful to see these celebs, who magically spring back to shape after giving birth. It’s so sweet, but it’s also pressure-inducing for many women, who long to imitate them. For everyone, who wants to do a Beyoncé entry, one month after giving birth, please take into consideration the fact that we don’t all have Queen Bey’s body, genetic, metabolism or even the resources that are available to her, which helps in a long way to get her looking so radiant, just weeks after childbirth.
Now, here’s the real deal about how the average woman loses weight after birth. According to my research, a pregnant woman will, on the average, gain close to 34kg while pregnant. I actually gained exactly 26 kg while pregnant the second time, as I went from 54kg pre pregnancy to 80kg by the time I gave birth. However, how much you weigh after giving birth and how fast you lose the weight are factors of whether or not you’re breastfeeding, your diet and exercise habits. Let’s not forget that your genes play a major role in this respect.
We will walk through it from the days after birth to nine months after birth:
24 hours after birth
Yes, most of us still have a noticeable paunch after birth but we all lose weight immediately after birth, thanks to the baby coming out, blood, and amniotic fluid.
In this 24-hour period, the postpartum “pooch” is already starting to go down. In other words, a lot of that baby weight was… actually, the baby.
A week after birth
For me, I had started to see a noticeable drop in my weight. At least, I could see my feet without toppling over, but I was still mostly swollen all over.
A friend of mine, whose son is now five years old, was so particular about fitting into her old clothes days after birth, that she kept on trying her clothes whenever she had a moment.
She nearly fainted when the tailor took her statistics to sew the clothes she and her husband would wear for the christening ceremony of their son. “I have never been this size in my life oh,” she wailed that day.
It took lots of cajoling and even scolding from her mom, to get her out of her sulky mood.
She didn’t fit into her old clothes a week after birth, but she can conveniently do that now.
The truth is, a week after childbirth is not a good time to be jumping on the scales.
Breastfeeding plays a role in weight loss for some women, and some women just pile on the weight because of it. Our bodies are just different and you can never tell until you’re in that phase, so comparison won’t work, not even when you’re sisters.
For instance, my second sister gains weight while breastfeeding. I tend to look gaunt.
A month later
A month after childbirth is a good time to be expecting some noticeable changes, if you’re looking oh.
It almost sounds too good to be true, but it’s not uncommon for some women (read: Beyoncé) to be back at their pre-pregnancy weight, just one month after childbirth.
So, it’s actually doable, if your body is programmed that way.
Six weeks later
The enlarged uterus will, by this week, have completely returned to the pelvis, so your belly is looking flatter and smaller. This is something that your doctor will even check for during the six weeks postpartum visit.
It’s a major improvement. Most moms even say they lost half of their pregnancy weight by the time they were six weeks postpartum.
Something to be happy about, but it’s definitely not bikini times.
Three months later
According to experts, if you keep up healthy eating habits you began during pregnancy, you will be close to your normal weight within a few months of giving birth. Getting some exercise when you can will also help you get fitter, faster, too.
Six months later
By this time, you should definitely have lost more weight and returned to your pre-pregnancy weight, or at least, be very close.
By six months, I’m pretty sure I was weighing less than my pre-pregnancy weight, thanks to my metabolism and the stress of new motherhood.
Nine months later
This is the truest time to determine if you’re losing weight, as you should after all. It took nine months to pile on the weight, so if you still have some bits hanging on after nine months, most likely you should check your lifestyle.
That fact that each woman loses postpartum weight at her own pace needs to be reiterated, so stop the comparison and do what works for you.
Doctors and health experts advise against fad diets, claiming they don’t help in the long run, but I have seen amazing results from some diets but I should mention that if you’re breast feeding, then it is important to eat right, not just for your sake but also for the baby’s.
Last word: a healthy diet and moderate exercise go a long way in getting you back to your pre-pregnancy weight…not necessarily shape.
Cheers to your new body.
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