Getting back in shape after childbirth is something that every mama dreams of . Yours truly also struggled with the nagging thought of ‘Will I get back into my pre-pregnancy clothings?’ during the initial months after childbrith.
Then lo and behold! dear husband signed up for a new credit card and got a slimming centre voucher as a welcome gift and guess who used the voucher!
My Size (Pre-Pregnancy and Post-Partum)
For a bit of background info before I go on with this story : I was about 45-46kg pre-pregnancy and was wearing (generally) 26″ jeans very comfortably. I put on about 19kg altogether during pregnancy and 1 week after giving birth, I had about 10kg to lose to get back to normal. I couldn’t even bear to put the measuring tape around me.
Dominic was about 3 months old when I got the slimming centre voucher. By then, I was wearing a 27″, newly bought, Giordano jeans, barely squeezing into it. Actually I think I was more a 28″ then but because of the cut of the jeans, I had to take something smaller so that the jeans wouldn’t look strange on me. I seriously cannot remember what was my weight then. Probably a bit over 50kg?
Actually, I was rather pleased with my ‘progress’ considering the fact that I did not go on any diet and basically ate what I wanted to eat. As a matter of fact, even until now, I have never gone on any diet all my life. I am not boasting. Basically, I just couldn’t be bothered with dieting even during the times when I was really a bit more pudgy than I liked. I love eating too much to go on a diet. It’s a complete lack of self-discipline.
Well, I attribute my ‘rather-pleasing’ weight loss to breastfeeding, as I was breastfeeding Dominic totally for over 3 months already.
Why I decided to go for it?
Ok, it was precisely because of my lack of self-discipline that I wanted to look for quick solutions. By the way, I was not too keen on dieting also because I was breastfeeding and I didn’t want to jeopardise Dominic’s nutrition just for vanity reasons. Generally speaking, unless you have a serious weight problem, you should avoid dieting (especially crush dieting) while breastfeeding.
Besides plain laziness, it was also part of my curious nature to want to try things out. It is very common for me to by things to try out just to see if they are really as good as they claimed to be. E.g. I try out various cosmetics on my face to see if they are really good or just empty promises; I have tried various breastmilk production boosting stuff to see if these things really worked even though I generally didn’t have supply problem. So, I hope you get the picture here.
Anyway, since the treatment is free, and I certainly didn’t mind if it really helped me to lose a few kg, and I was really curious about slimming treatment, so I went for it.
At the Slimming Centre
The receptionists at the centre tried to change my mind about going for the slimming treatment. They offered me a massage treatment instead. I am not sure if it is because they felt that I didn’t need slimming treatment or because massage treatment was cheaper. I insisted that I wanted the slimming treatment. So they asked me to fill up some forms about my health history and took my weight and height. After that, I was introduced to my therapist and led to a small treatment room (much like any facial salon’s treatment room).
The moment I was striped of my clothings (except underwear), the therapist exclaimed about my abdomen area which was still very loose and flabby and covered with stretch marks. (I was really like a huge pregnant zebra before giving birth.) She took my measurements (like a tailor) and told me that I should seriously work on getting rid of those excesses I accumulated during pregnancy because after a few months, the fats would ‘solidify’ and stay permanently in my body and it would be harder to get rid of the fats. And if I got pregnant again, I would basically pile up more fats on top of what was accumulated during the first pregnancy.
And then I went through the whole rigmaroles.
The Hard Sell
After going through the whole slimming process, I hardly lost any inches. If any, it would be all water because I was perspiring in the sauna for a while. So much for slimming treatment being a quick solution!
After I got dressed and got out of the little cubicle, the therapist started to go through a whole list of packages with me and persuading me to sign up. I asked her how many sessions did she think I need to go through and she said at least 20 sessions, which worked out to be over $2000. I was very determined not to buy anything there right from the beginning. The whole experience was supposed to be a ‘try for fun’ adventure. Anyway, the therapist was really hard selling. No matter what excuse I gave, she would come up with more reasons for me to sign up – cheaper packages, exchangeable packages, sign up now to get special price (once I step out of the salon, I would not be entitled to special price), fear tactics, etc. When I told her I need to discuss with my husband as it involved a big amount, she basically sowed seeds of discord by telling me that I should be entitled to spend this money on myself (after all I gave birth for him), etc.
To tell you the truth, I was very tempted. I mean, what if I didn’t lose any more weight on my own from that time? One thing that kept me determined was a rational decision NOT to sign anything even if I really do have the intention to sign. I would then sign another day but not that very day. I stuck by my resolve. In the end, after a long long hard sell session, the therapist had no choice but to allow me to call her back before a certain time the next day and still get the ‘special price’. She was even desperate enough to try to sell me slimming products when I showed that I was really not going to buy any slimming treatment packages from her.
The Day After
I was covered in rashes! Yeeks! I must be allergic to the ointments she applied on me. Well, that gave me one more reason to say no. As a matter of courtesy, I did call her back to give her my reply (which I had already told her the day before).
Did I get back in shape?
In terms of weight, yes. By the time Dominic was about 6 months old (i.e. about 3 – 4 months after the slimming centre episode), I was down to even lighter and skinnier than pre-pregnancy, without slimming treatment, and without dieting. Just total breastfeeding and plenty of housework. I was about 45kg and had to get a new pair of Giordano (24″).
Later on, I did gain back some weight. Now I am more or less at my pre-pregnancy size.
However, in terms of muscle tone, no, I did not recover back to normal. My stomach is still flabby, so even though I may be skinnier, sometimes, depending on what I wear, I do have a small bulge at the tummy area, which makes me look fat there.
Does Breastfeeding Help You to Lose Weight?
Well, yes and no. A lot of other factors come into play, you see: Are you binging with no discretion? How often do you breastfeed? Are you supplementing? Are you doing enough exercises or physical activities? And I believe it’s genetics as well.
Some people do get back in shape easily through breastfeeding while others don’t. Some even put on more weight despite breastfeeding. Some take 3 months, 6 months or longer. I think I can safely say that if you are seriously breastfeeding (i.e. total breastfeeding and no supplement, etc), you should be losing more weight, or losing weight faster, than if you were not breastfeeding. In other words, if you find yourself still putting on some weight, you would be faring much worse if you were not breastfeeding. Hence, the reason why you are not losing weight is not so much of a breastfeeding issue but your lifestyle or eating habit problem.