Before the birth of my beautiful son I would never have believed just how much of the day newborns take up! I imagined that I would be able to blog by the time that he was 2 weeks old but then reality hit! My son is 9 weeks old now and I am really enjoying my new role as Mum and I am glad that I now have enough of a routine to begin reintroducing the things that I enjoy into my life.
I have always been curious about pregnancy, labour, the period after having the baby, and whether or not its possible to regain your figure. I am happy that I now have first hand experience and that it is positive also. Below is a picture of me at 9 months pregnant.
My labour was 29 hours, which would have brought me to tears if anyone had told me that it would be that long, but once you are in the middle of it you cannot say I don’t want to do this any more! I used deep breathing for pain management for the first 25 hours and then I opted for gas and air for the last 4 hours. After 25 hours I was also 5cm dilated which meant that I could get into the birthing pool.
Having a water birth was a great experience and it is what I hoped to have from the day that I found out I was pregnant. There are many factors which can prevent you from having a water birth, some of which include being over weight, having high blood pressure, a history of complicated births, high temperature, or if the baby shows signs of being distressed. I was aware of the things that could stop me from having the birth that I wanted but I just chose to focus on the positive.
I continued to exercise in the gym until 2 weeks before my sons due date. I did Yoga and Pilates I also used the exercise bike, cross trainer and lifted light weights. Once I stopped going to the gym at 38 weeks, I continued to go for long walks at least 3 times per week up until the day that I went in to labour, my son came 3 days after his due date.
As I was so active throughout my pregnancy and ate healthily, I was very surprised when I got on the scales, when my son was 2 weeks old, to find that I was still 2 stones over my pre pregnancy weight. I decided that I would only weigh myself once per month and by the time my son was 7 weeks I was only 9lbs above my pre pregnancy weight without the gym. 7 weeks post partum I returned to the gym 2 days per week and this is a routine that I hope to continue for a while. As I only go twice per week I have to ensure that each workout counts. I do cardio and weights each time, I vary the cardio between my own work out or attending a spinning class. I do not concerned about being 9lbs above my usual weight as I know that it will come off in time with exercise and my usual eating patterns. I am still breast feeding which means that my body will naturally maintain some additional fat stores. I read an excellent article on breast feeding written by Anne Smith who is a Lactation ConsultantIt is said that the average woman “will carry around about 3 extra pounds of breast tissue while she’s lactating”.
I have often heard that between 300- 500 calories are burned each day with breastfeeding and that it is natures way of getting women back to their usual weight. However in reality many of the women that I have spoken to have not found it helpful. My opinion is that breast feeding does burn calories and speed up weight loss but you still have to eat healthily. You cannot over eat or take the unhealthy option because you are breast feeding. The only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn throughout the day. By eating healthily and getting some form of exercise no less than 3 days per week the weight will begin to come off.