If you believe what you read in the papers or the glossy magazines, the norm for women who have recently given birth is to spring back almost immediately to their pre-baby weight losing their pregnancy weight gain in a matter of weeks, to have no stomach fat and to look glamorous and polished almost immediately.
Much has been written about celebrity mothers who are back in their tiny jeans within weeks, and in order to find out what mothers really think and feel about losing baby weight, the leading parenting website BabyCenter commissioned a large study. BabyCenter surveyed 7,000 mothers and their findings were interesting and revealing.
Weight loss is slow
For the vast majority of mothers, losing the baby weight takes time. Many enter into their pregnancies with the perception that losing weight and stomach fat will be straightforward but for most, this is not the case. 60% of mothers with a child aged between 1 and 2 are still carrying a few extra kilos. The main issue contributing to the speed of weight loss is time; mothers with a newborn simply don’t have the opportunity to go to the gym.
It is a common misconception though that weight loss will be quick and easy after having a baby, an idea not helped by celebrity mothers with their personal trainers and chefs to help the process along. Studies have shown that mothers should be thinking about losing their pregnancy weight only when they are ready and that weight loss should be planned over months, not weeks and days as this is unrealistic and that mums should follow a realistic and safe weight loss plan catered for mums – such as the Lose Baby Weight plans.
Even for mothers who do manage to get back to their pre pregnancy weight, many find that their bodies are a different shape to their pre-pregnancy figures. Almost half find that pregnancy changes their breasts, and more than a third find their hips broaden too. For almost 9 out of 10 mothers though, it’s their stomachs which don’t snap back into shape after giving birth. Skin tone deteriorates with age, and mothers who have their children later may find it more difficult to return their stomachs to their pre-pregnancy firmness and lose stomach fat than mothers who have their children early.
Pregnancy weight gain and metabolism
Women who gain lots of weight during their pregnancies unsurprisingly find it difficult to lose. Only 33% of those who gain a lot of weight during pregnancy manage to lose it by their baby’s first birthday. 46% of those who gain less manage to lose it within a year. The old adage of eating for two has been proven wrong, and trying not to gain too much weight through a pregnancy will make the task of losing any baby weight that bit easier.
The myth that being a mother changes a woman’s metabolism has also been disproved. Metabolism does not change, but lifestyle does and it’s simply the case that mothers have less chance to go to the gym or out for a run, and less time to cook healthy meals. It also appears that this issue gets worse with each pregnancy, but this is generally because mothers haven’t lost all of the weight from their first pregnancy before getting pregnant again and starting the weight gain cycle all over again. Whatever the post-pregnancy weight it can be lost and mothers should think of losing a little every week rather than being focused on the total amount.
The self-esteem issue
There is no denying that having a baby changes your body, and 64% of women feel that their own body image got worse after having a baby. Comparing yourself with celebrity mothers or even an acquaintance who looks fantastic can have a very negative effect. Despite what mothers may feel about their new body shape, partners are overwhelmingly supportive.
Only 8% of new mothers have heard negative comments from their partners, and women seem to want to be thinner than men expect them to be. However, despite support from the men closest to them, mothers do hear negative comments about their weight and body shape, most often from parents. Even complete strangers feel they have the right to comment on a new mother’s weight or body shape, and this can have a devastating effect on self-esteem.
Many mothers find that having a baby is the incentive they need to lose a little extra weight and get fit and healthy. Their relationship with food alters when they become a parent, and the desire to run around and play with their kids makes them more willing to get fit and healthy. Motivation cannot be forced though, and mothers need to do things at a pace which is appropriate for them and their circumstances.
If you would like help losing your baby weight through our proven and safe methods that fit into a busy mums life then click here