After having two kids, I’ve noticed that my mama pudge has gotten a little worse. Honestly, most of the time it doesn’t bug me, however, I wanted to see what may be causing this to stick around longer than it did after I had my first kiddo. I knew it probably had to do something with hormones, but what I discovered was really intriguing!
I knew that it was a pretty common thing to have a little potbelly after one gives birth to a little one, however, I didn’t realize the spiraling effect of the lingering mama pouch. Basically it comes down to hormones and stress, especially if the mother decides to breastfeed. In order to burn fat, estrogen levels need to be at optimal levels, however, while nursing estrogen decreases. If you’re one of the lucky mom’s that have no menstrual cycle for the duration of the breastfeeding relationship this also decreases progesterone causing weight gain. It also makes us more prone to put on more weight if eating a higher carb diet, which is really common since us mamas be tired! This brings me to my second point, loosing weight is very difficult with lack of sleep due to a rise cortisol, the stress hormone, which is the biggest reason we tend to keep on the mama pouch. Lack of sleep and our constant worrying about our babes tend to increase our desire to grab for sweets and carbs causing a ripple effect by spiking our insulin levels, which packs on more weight. Us poor mamas have it rough! But there is hope! Below I have outlined a few quick tips and of course, if you’d like further help from this mama, let me know! I’d love to hear from you!
Quick tips for decreasing the mama belly
1. Grab some healthy fats
-I know how enticing it is to eat sugary and/or lots of refined carbs, but this will only make matters worse. Instead, steam some veggies and smother with coconut oil or ghee. Feeling like something a little sweeter? Smother some berries (low sugar fruit) with some coconut cream or yogurt, add a dash of cinnamon, which is great for stabilizing blood sugars!
2. Don’t overdo the workouts!
– Working out may be the last thing on your mind if you are exhausted, however, take a nice stroll outside with baby in tow either in a stroller or better yet, in a carrier. Not only does moving make you burn calories, being outside decreases cortisol levels! Win-win! When you have a little down time, you can also do some short, easy circuits (doing an extreme workout can stress your already stressed state so be careful not to overdo it). I like to do some easy diastasis safe exercises when I’m waiting for my dog to finish up his business outside or when I’m cooking I dance around with the kids and intentionally engage my core to strengthen those abs that stretched out with my pregnancy.
3. Don’t try to lose weight
– I know this one doesn’t really make sense, however, if you’re still nursing your milk needs to be toxin free. This means you don’t want to lose more than 2 pounds a week or you may be dumping out waste through your breast milk.
4. What it boils down to…
– Take care of yourself! This time will be over before you know it, so just relax and take in the beautiful moments you have with your little one and be kind to yourself. Eat as many nourishing foods, drink lots of water (commonly we eat when really we just are needing water due to dehydration. if you’re feeling hungry drink some water and if you’re still hungry 15-20 minutes later grab some nourishing food), and rest your body and mind.
To check out the original article I got this information from, click here.