Pregnancy is a wonderful phase in the life of every woman. Something that most women long to experience and enjoy.
At the same time, it comes with a lot of unwanted symptoms and extras on your body – one of the main things being the weight.
Many women struggle a lot to get back to pre-pregnancy weight and shape.
I share what helped me to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight in under 3 weeks – 18 days to be precise!
I am sure these tips will help most women who are eagerly looking to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight.
Pregnancy and weight gain
Before diving into the details of this post, let me talk about a few crucial things regarding pregnancy weight gain.
First of all it is unavoidable and totally natural to gain weight during pregnancy. You should not be worried about your weight gain.
I personally know many women who are not at all happy with their pregnancy weight gain – and it is totally understandable.
What is not acceptable is this – to go on a diet or restrict yourself on your intake to control the weight gain.
Remember, when you are pregnant, your baby is totally dependent on you for its nutritional needs – so it is highly crucial that you eat healthy and eat enough.
At the same time, it doesn’t mean that you can eat junk, or eat too much – just because you are pregnant.
Eating and snacking on healthy food items is the key to keep yourself healthy, satisfy your baby’s nutritional needs and to keep your weight gain in the healthy range.
Having said that, let me share what worked for me!
I tracked my weight gain religiously
Since I found out that I was pregnant, I started to monitor my weight very closely. You could even say that I was obsessed.
I would step on my bedroom scale at least 4 times a week and record the values.
I had a few pregnancy apps installed on my phone and one of them had an option to track my pregnancy weight.
I would have to enter my pre-pregnancy weight and height, and my LMP. Based on my current gestational week, the app would tell me if my current weight is in the normal range or if I am overweight.
I did shoot up the overweight range briefly during my transition from second to third trimester, but then I got back on track.
For the most of my pregnancy I stayed in the normal limit!
I did not do anything too serious to keep my weight in check, but monitoring it regularly gave me a feeling that I had total control.
Gestational Diabetes helped me
OK. I didn’t actually have Gestational Diabetes (GDM) as I observed. But here’s what happened!
On one of my visits to my doctor, I didn’t know I would take the Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) on that day – the one taken to screen pregnant ladies for GDM.
So just before visiting the doctor, I had a second breakfast (I was extra hungry that day), accompanied by pomegranate juice.
Obviously I failed the GTT with a reading of 199 (the doc said the reading should be below 130).
The doc immediately declared I have GDM and asked me to go on a GD diet for a month. She asked me to take a fasting and post prandial blood sugar tests exactly a month after that.
I was totally upset and got stressed! I was not allowed to add sugar in tea, coffee, or milk . I was not allowed to eat fruits like banana, and pomegranate.
I was not allowed to eat dried fruits like dates, raisins, and fig.
Cutting off these fruits and dried fruits were a big thing because those were my saviours whenever I got hungry between meals. I was kind of starved and frustrated.
I could not keep up with this diet after 4 days. But I somehow sticked to it.
At the same time I did not restrict myself with ice-cream once a week. And I continued eating healthy meals and snacks whenever I wanted (no portion control).
Before visiting the doc in a month, I bought myself a Glucometer and checked my sugar levels twice a week. All the time my readings were well within the “normal” range.
After one month, I went in for the official test at the doctor’s and passed it with a fasting reading of 80 and post prandial reading of 87. The doctor smiled and said I can resume to normal diet.
But I somehow started to like my beverages without sugar. And it felt great! I just stayed off banana and pomegranate. I ate everything else I craved for.
In fact, I ate a lot of sweets since it was festive season and still stayed within the healthy blood sugar limits!
I kept myself highly (yet comfortably) active
Before getting pregnant, I would work out pretty much everyday. So it was a habit for me.
I continued doing it during my pregnancy – however I must admit that in my first trimester I could hardly move. I would feel exhausted all the time accompanied my vomiting.
In my second and third trimesters I was pretty active. I did all the household chores myself. I walked (just inside and around my house – or on the top floor) for about 15–20 minutes after every meal.
I did not extend myself to uncomfortable limits. If I had cramps, or if I felt extremely fatigued on some days, I just chilled.
On days when I am fine, I would continue to be highly active. I strongly believe that this helped me with keeping my weight in the healthy range.
I stayed as much positive as I could
Stress is a big thing – something that isn’t compatible with pregnancy as well as maintaining a healthy weight.
So I tried to stay as much positive as I could.
Especially, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to continue taking care of my business as much as I did before during my final weeks and after delivery.
So I planned well in advance and had content ready for 4 months after my delivery date for all my blogs! I delegated as much as I could.
I sorted out paying bills by getting help from family members and put others in-charge for those kind of tasks that had to be done on a deadline.
Luckily I was pretty healthy and energetic in my second and third trimesters for most days, so I worked like crazy until the last moment.
In fact, I worked just before going in to the hospital – left my laptop ON hoping I would come back after a regular check up – but ended up having an emergency C-Section!
I stayed pretty active after my C-Section
Having an emergency C-Section and being in the ICU for a day was certainly not a pleasant thing! But I had to be brave and get back on feet.
On the day after the C-Section, I started walking around a lot.
After getting back home I continued with my habit of walking 15–20 mins after every meal – just out of habit!
Also I did anything that didn’t hurt. If something did hurt, I stopped doing the same.
I actively nursed my baby girl
Anyone would admit that breastfeeding is a great way to lose pregnancy weight!
Since I was in the ICU for a day, my baby was given formula. And she got addicted to the sweetness of the same.
So it was highly challenging for me initially to switch her to breast milk. I eventually succeeded on day 3.
Since then I completely breastfed her. I should emphasise here that I didn’t do it to lose weight, but because I cared for my baby and wanted her to grow up with all her nutritional needs met!
However, I am pretty sure this helped me to shed those extra pounds.
I did not eat aggressively while breastfeeding
This is something I hear from a lot of women – and something I experienced myself with my first pregnancy.
I used to get extremely hungry while breastfeeding and eat a LOT (while breastfeeding my first baby). And eat frequently too.
This lead to more incoming calories than outgoing (due to breastfeeding) – but I couldn’t help it with my first pregnancy.
This time though, to my surprise, all my hunger was gone once I delivered the baby (I was extremely hungry and ate a lot in my third trimester).
All my cravings were gone too. So I just ate in normal amounts while breastfeeding and I strongly think this contributed to my fast weight loss.
Having said that, if you experience extreme hunger while breastfeeding snack on healthy stuff – vegetables, fruits, milk, and nuts. Including dates in your diet will help with iron!
What’s the matter with the emergency C-Section?
If you’ve been wondering why I went into an emergency C-Section – here’s the quick story!
My son was born via C-Section, and hence (for some reasons) my doctor scheduled a C-Section for my daughter too.
The C-Section was scheduled to be at the end of week 38. I was prescribed a couple of steroid shots (to help mature baby’s lungs) exactly a week before the scheduled date.
I had one shot, went home, and was asked to come to the hospital the same time next day for the second shot of the steroid.
The night after the first shot, I had mild labor pains, some watery discharge and significantly reduced movement of the baby.
I was walking all night in my bedroom and the next day I went in for the second shot of steroid and informed the doctor about my pain and reduced movement.
She put me on observation at L&D for about an hour and asked me to have the C-Section done the same day because of poor reactiveness of the baby.
I said OK. And it happened. The baby girl was out before I knew it!
Despite being born 3 weeks ahead, she had no issues, went straight to the hospital room and did great (no NICU, no assisted respiration etc. as we were worried about).
My weight loss progress
My pre-pregnancy weight was 67 Kg (148 lbs). On the day I went to the hospital for C-Section I was 77 Kg (170 lbs).
3 Days after my C-Section I was at home and I weighed 70 Kg (154 lbs). 5 Days later, I was 68 Kgs (150 lbs).
And then I stayed at 68–68.5 for about a week. So I stopped tracking for a while.
On day 18, I stepped on the scale and found that I weighed 67 Kgs. On day 20, I was 66 Kgs, and I am staying that way at the time of writing this post (day 28 after my C-Section).
I certainly hope these tips will help you shed those extra pounds that you gained during pregnancy.
The keys to get back to pre-pregnancy weight fast are these:
- Watch your pregnancy weight gain – don’t eat junk, and stay as active as you can (but don’t go on a diet).
- Breastfeed (if you have no issues with it).
- Resume your regular activity as soon as possible after your delivery no matter whether you had normal delivery or a C-Section. With a C-Section you just have to take it easy. Don’t do strenuous stuff right away. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t walk around!
I still have about 10% of loose preggo tummy. Need to tighten it up!
I am now looking forward to the completion of 6 weeks so I can resume my workout starting from walking on the treadmill to doing some light moves!