10-steps for a gentle post-partum recovery

Here’s a post I started writing a few months ago, shortly after giving birth to my lovely baby boy, and recently posted to my other blog, Leap Into the Void, which is all about our moving plans for this year. Seeing as it’s been a week since my last post and that it’s a good fit for here, I thought I’d copy it over. I hope you like it!

I wrote it as much as anything as a reminder to myself to take it easy and not overdo it, especially as I was feeling so well at just three weeks post-partum, which was a big contrast to my first pregnancy, which took much longer to recover from both physically and emotionally. Given our moving plans and how much we have been doing, I’ve tried to keep the below 10 points in mind, despite not always managing to be quite as gentle on myself as I’d like – but at least I’m off work and not in the horrible position of having to consider a return to work in just a few weeks.

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Do pregnancy hormones have any effect on weight loss?

I learned something I probaby didn’t want to know earlier today. Thanks a lot, Google.

Basically, I was sitting here wondering whether pregnancy hormones (or the flushing out of pregnancy hormones) was one of the triggers for post-partum weight loss. I was wondering that solely on obvervations of my own weight, which stayed put pretty much static for the first couple of months until about 6 weeks ago when I started steadily losing about 1 pound per month without really trying. Yes, I’m trying to be more active and have been careful about what I eat but not really any more than usual as I’m also conscious of the fact that I’m breastfeeding two (yes, two) children, so I started weighing myself to ensure that I wasn’t gaining but also to ensure that, if I was losing, that I wasn’t losing too rapidly, as that would affect my supply. I was also aware that the linea negra was still visible and, knowing that that’s hormonal, was curious about whether that disappearing would coincide with any weight loss.

Anyhoo, that’s the background to why I was Googling “pregnancy hormones weight loss”. So what did I find? Well, of all the faddy, bonkers things that people do, I never in a million years considered that people would actually inject themselves with pregnancy hormones (HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin) as a means of losing weight. I mean, seriously? As if that’s no mad enough, the programme that advocates using HCG as a weight loss method (I don’t want to name anyone because I’d hate to drive traffic to them) provides the course of hormone injections while also stipulating that the client restricts their food intake to just 500 calories a day. Yes, that’s right – just 500 calories, which as many extra calories as I’m supposed to eat in order to sustain my milk supply. And as with so many of these miracle diets it will set you back more than $1,000 for the privilege. I mean wow. So you can take these injections and – while also not eating – lose weight. Go figure. Some people swear by it (duh, you’re not eating) and others just felt conned. Those were probably the hungry ones who didn’t quite manage the 500 calorie thing.

And after that short detour into madness I’m still no closer to finding out whether the release of pregnancy hormones from the body has any impact on post-partum weight loss. Oh well. Time for a healthy snack and maybe a few minutes on the hula hoop.